Children's National Hospital offers KYMRIAH® (tisagenlecleucel), which is the first FDA approved CAR-T cell therapy for children and adults up to 25 years with acute B cell-lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) whose leukemia has come back or has failed to go into remission with standard treatment. If previous treatment methods were unable to keep your child's cancer in remission, KYMRIAH® may help your child beat cancer.
KYMRIAH® is a cutting-edge immune based cellular therapy that uses your child's own immune system to treat their cancer. It happens in three stages:
- Collection. First, your child's doctor will take some of your child's blood to collect their T cells. T cell sare special cells in your body that are naturally designed to attack cancer. After collection, the T cells are frozen and sent to the laboratory to be reprogrammed into KYMRIAH® CAR-T cells.
- Reprogramming. Next, your child's T cells are reprogrammed into KYMRIAH® CAR-T cells. The CAR in CAR-T stands for chimeric antigen receptor. The reprogramming involves genetic modification of your child’s T cells which makes them recognize a protein called CD19, which is present on most of your child’s leukemia cells. This CD19-detecting receptor gives your child's T cells a new way to target their cancerous B cells.
- Infusion. Once your child's KYMRIAH® CAR-T cells are returned to his or her body, they are ready to begin detecting and destroying their cancer.
At Children's National, our dedicated team of cancer experts can discuss your child's treatment history and overall health to see if they are a candidate for KYMRIAH® therapy. If your child is eligible to receive KYMRIAH®, they will need to be admitted to the hospital to receive the KYMRIAH® infusion and be monitored for safety and possible side effects from the infusion. If you child is not eligible for KYMRIAH®, they may be eligible for other CAR-T clinical trials available at Children's National. Our CAR-T team includes expert physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists from the departments of Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant, Intensive Care Unit, Neurology and Infectious Disease. Learn more.