Immunotherapy

Cellular immunotherapy

What if the cells that cancer affects could be trained to fight back? This is the core of cellular immunotherapy at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Cells are taken from your body and multiplied in a lab. Sometimes they are also re-engineered to help the cells better fight cancer. The boosted cells are then returned to your body. Now better able to spot cancer cells that were once hidden and attack them. Our treatments include chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, T-cell receptor (TCR) modified cells and tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) cell therapy.

Antigen A foreign substance, such as bacteria, that causes the body’s immune system to respond by making antibodies. Antibodies defend the body against antigens. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Lymphocyte A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes (white blood cells) are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies, and T lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte. T-cell receptor A group of proteins found on T cells. T-cell receptors bind to certain antigens found on abnormal cells, including cancer cells. This causes the T cells to attack them and helps the body fight the cancer. A group of proteins found on T cells (a type of immune cell that recognizes and binds to foreign substances). T-cell receptors bind to certain antigens (proteins) found on abnormal cells, cancer cells, cells from other organisms and cells infected with a virus or another microorganism. This interaction causes the T cells to attack the abnormal cells and helps the body fight infection, cancer or other diseases. Also called TCR.

CAR T-cell therapy

CAR T-cell therapy is a game changer in the field of cellular immunotherapy. This innovative therapy engineers a patient’s own T cells to zero in on enemy cancer cells. The rebooted T cells can even help the immune system “remember” these cancer cells, which may offer long-lasting protection against cancer returning — even after the treatment is completed.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte. T lymphocyte A type of white blood cell. T lymphocytes are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T cells and thymocyte.
David G. Maloney, MD, PhD and Medical Director of Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic talks about CAR T-cell therapy at SCCA.

The FDA has approved six cellular immunotherapies for patients with hematologic malignancies. These are: 

  • Tisagenlecleucel, known by the brand name Kymriah®, is available for adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma and for young adults with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), known by the brand name Yescarta®, is available for adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma, as well as relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma.
  • Brexucabtagene autoleucel, known by the brand name Tecartus®, is available for adults with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
  • Lisocabtagene maraleucel, known by the brand name of Breyanzi®, is approved to treat adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.
  • Idecabtagene vicleucel, known by the brand name of Abecma®, is approved to treat adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.  
  • Ciltacabtagene autoleucel, known by the brand name of Carvykti™, is approved to treat adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

SCCA is one of the first centers in the nation to offer all six, due to the extensive experience of our physicians and nurses in developing and delivering this complex, groundbreaking therapy.

B-cell lymphoma A type of cancer that forms in B cells (a type of immune system cell). B-cell lymphomas may be either indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). Most B-cell lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphomas. A type of cancer that forms in B cells (a type of immune system cell). B-cell lymphomas may be either indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). Most B-cell lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphomas. There are many different types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. These include Burkitt lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. Prognosis and treatment depend on the type and stage of the cancer. Follicular lymphoma A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually indolent (slow-growing). The tumor cells grow as groups to form nodules. A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually indolent (slow-growing). The tumor cells grow as groups to form nodules. There are several subtypes of follicular lymphoma. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer. Mantle cell lymphoma An aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that usually occurs in middle-aged or older adults. An aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that usually occurs in middle-aged or older adults. It is marked by small- to medium-size cancer cells that may be in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood and gastrointestinal system. Refractory In medicine, refractory disease is a disease or condition that does not respond to treatment. Relapse The recurrence (return) of disease after an apparent recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are tisagenlecleucel, axicabtagene ciloleucel, brexucabtagene autoleucel, lisocabtagene maraleucel, idecabtagene vicleucel, and ciltacabtagene autoleucel?

These CAR T-cell therapies are FDA approved therapies available only at authorized treatment centers such as SCCA. This type of immunotherapy uses engineered T cells to harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to treat certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), such as LBCL and MCL, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), as well as multiple myeloma.  

These CAR T-cell therapies are different from other cancer medicines because they are made from the patient’s own white blood cells, which have been modified to recognize and attack the patient’s cancer cells. 

Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte.
Who is eligible for these therapies?

Axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), also known by the brand name Yescarta®, is an FDA-approved treatment for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). 

This therapy is available at SCCA for:

  • Adult patients with confirmed diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), high-grade B-cell lymphoma, or DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma that has either not responded to, or has relapsed after two or more lines of systemic therapy. Therapy must have included a CD20 antibody and an anthracycline
  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy
  • Adult patients with large B-cell lymphoma that are unresponsive to first-line chemoimmunotherapy or that relapse within 12 months of first-line chemoimmunotherapy. 
  • Patients must have adequate organ, cardiac and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures).

Tisagenlecleucel, also known by the brand name Kymriah®, is an FDA-approved treatment for individuals with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

This therapy is available at SCCA for:

  • Young adults (ages 18–25) whose B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is refractory or in second or later relapse.
  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, high grade B-cell lymphoma or DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma that has either not responded to, or relapsed after, second or greater lines of systemic therapy.
  • Patients must have adequate organ, cardiac and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures).

Brexucabtagene autoleucel, also known by the brand name Tecartus™, is an FDA-approved treatment for adults with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).  

This therapy is available at SCCA for:

  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma.
  • Patients must have adequate organ, cardiac and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures).

Lisocabtagene maraleucel, also known by the brand name Breyanzi®, is an FDA-approved treatment for adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma ( LBCL). 

This therapy is available at SCCA for:

  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma), high-grade B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma grade 3B. 
  • Patients must have adequate organ, cardiac and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures).

Idecabtagene vicleucel, also known by the brand name Abecma®, is an FDA-approved treatment for adults with multiple myeloma.  

This therapy is available at SCCA for:

  • Adult patients with multiple myeloma who have received four or more prior lines of therapy, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody. 
  • Patients must have adequate organ, cardiac and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures).

Ciltacabtagene autoleucel, also known by the brand name Carvykti™, is an FDA-approved treatment for adults with multiple myeloma.

This therapy is available at SCCA for:

  • Adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received four or more prior lines of therapy, including an immunomodulatory agent, a proteasome inhibitor, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.
  • Patients must have adequate organ, cardiac and pulmonary function (must meet established criteria/measures).
Anthracycline A type of antibiotic that comes from certain types of Streptomyces bacteria. Anthracyclines are used to treat many types of cancer. Anthracyclines damage the DNA in cancer cells, causing them to die. Antibody A protein made by immune system cells and released into the blood. Antibodies defend the body against foreign substances, such as bacteria. B-cell lymphoma A type of cancer that forms in B cells (a type of immune system cell). B-cell lymphomas may be either indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). Most B-cell lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphomas. A type of cancer that forms in B cells (a type of immune system cell). B-cell lymphomas may be either indolent (slow-growing) or aggressive (fast-growing). Most B-cell lymphomas are non-Hodgkin lymphomas. There are many different types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. These include Burkitt lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. Prognosis and treatment depend on the type and stage of the cancer. Follicular lymphoma A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually indolent (slow-growing). The tumor cells grow as groups to form nodules. A type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) that is usually indolent (slow-growing). The tumor cells grow as groups to form nodules. There are several subtypes of follicular lymphoma. Grade In cancer, a grade is a description of a tumor based on how abnormal the cancer cells and tissue look under a microscope and how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow and spread. In cancer, a grade is a description of a tumor based on how abnormal the cancer cells and tissue look under a microscope and how quickly the cancer cells are likely to grow and spread. Low-grade cancer cells look more like normal cells and tend to grow and spread more slowly than high-grade cancer cells. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer. They are used to help plan treatment and determine prognosis. Also called histologic grade and tumor grade. Indolent Slow-growing. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer. Mantle cell lymphoma An aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that usually occurs in middle-aged or older adults. An aggressive (fast-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that usually occurs in middle-aged or older adults. It is marked by small- to medium-size cancer cells that may be in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood and gastrointestinal system. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Any of a large group of cancers of the lymphocytes (white blood cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever and weight loss. Any of a large group of cancers of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever and weight loss. There are many different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These types can be divided into aggressive (fast-growing) and indolent (slow-growing) types, and they can be formed from either B cells or T cells. B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas include Burkitt lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, immunoblastic large cell lymphoma, precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma. T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas include mycosis fungoides, anaplastic large cell lymphoma and precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma. Lymphomas that occur after bone marrow or stem cell transplantation are usually B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and type of disease. Also called NHL. Refractory In medicine, refractory disease is a disease or condition that does not respond to treatment. Relapse The recurrence (return) of disease after an apparent recovery. Relapse The recurrence (return) of disease after an apparent recovery. Systemic therapy Treatment using substances that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and affecting cells all over the body. Systemic therapy Treatment using substances that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and affecting cells all over the body.
How are these therapies delivered?
  • Because CAR T-cell therapy is made from the patient’s own white blood cells, blood will be collected by a process called “leukapheresis” (LOO-kuh-feh-REE-sis), which concentrates white blood cells.
  • The patient’s blood cells are then sent to a manufacturing center to make the treatment.
  • Before getting CAR T-cell therapy, the patient will usually have several days of chemotherapy to help the T-cells grow.
  • When CAR T-cell therapy is ready, the patient’s care team will infuse the cells through a catheter placed into a vein (intravenous infusion). The infusion usually takes less than 30 minutes.
  • The patient is then monitored daily for at least seven days after the infusion.
  • Patients should plan to stay close to SCCA for at least four weeks after getting treated. Our care team will help with any side effects that may occur.
  • If patients have side effects, they may be hospitalized until their condition is stable and it is safe to leave the hospital.
  • Patients should not drive for eight weeks following T-cell therapy.
Chemotherapy Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. It may be given alone or with other treatments. Treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth, injection, infusion or on the skin, depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. It may be given alone or with other treatments, such as surgery, radiation therapy or biologic therapy. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. Infusion An injection of medications or fluids into a vein over a period of time. Side effects A problem that occurs when treatment affects healthy tissues or organs. Some side effects of cancer treatment are nausea, vomiting, fatigue, pain, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss and mouth sores.
What if CAR T-cell therapy is not appropriate for me?

These therapies are available for a certain population of cancer patients. However, patients at SCCA also have access to many different therapies, including other CAR T-cell therapies in clinical trials. Talk with our care team to learn more.

Is CAR T-cell therapy used to treat other types of cancer?

Right now, the FDA has approved CAR T-cell therapy for adult patients with certain types of lymphoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and multiple myeloma that hasn’t responded to other forms of treatment. Clinical trials of different CAR T-cell therapies for a variety of cancers are underway at SCCA, as we are pioneers in this new form of cancer treatment.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer.
Does insurance cover CAR T-cell therapy?

Health insurers are preparing their coverage policies for these new FDA-approved treatments. In the meantime, coverage will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, which is typical when new therapies are first approved. At SCCA, we will do everything we can to seek health insurance coverage for clinically eligible patients.

Cellular immunotherapy research therapies

In addition to offering FDA-approved therapies, SCCA also partners closely with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to offer cellular immunotherapy clinical trials to individuals with different diseases. These clinical trials may include Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, T-cell receptor (TCR) therapy or Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) therapy.

Antigen A foreign substance, such as bacteria, that causes the body’s immune system to respond by making antibodies. Antibodies defend the body against antigens. Lymphocyte A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes (white blood cells) are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies, and T lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. T-cell receptor A group of proteins found on T cells. T-cell receptors bind to certain antigens found on abnormal cells, including cancer cells. This causes the T cells to attack them and helps the body fight the cancer. A group of proteins found on T cells (a type of immune cell that recognizes and binds to foreign substances). T-cell receptors bind to certain antigens (proteins) found on abnormal cells, cancer cells, cells from other organisms and cells infected with a virus or another microorganism. This interaction causes the T cells to attack the abnormal cells and helps the body fight infection, cancer or other diseases. Also called TCR.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell

CAR T-cell therapy is where your T cells are modified in the lab so that they make a type of protein known as CAR before they are grown and given back to you. CAR stands for chimeric antigen receptor. CARs are designed to allow the T cells to attach to specific proteins on the surface of the cancer cells, improving their ability to attack the cancer cells.

Antigen A foreign substance, such as bacteria, that causes the body’s immune system to respond by making antibodies. Antibodies defend the body against antigens. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte. T lymphocyte A type of white blood cell. T lymphocytes are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T cells and thymocyte.
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell

What is CAR T-cell therapy?

T-cell receptor (TCR)

TCR is similar to CAR T-cell therapy, but instead of attaching to specific proteins on the surface of the cancer cells, TCRs can recognize tumor specific proteins on the inside of the cells.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. T-cell receptor A group of proteins found on T cells. T-cell receptors bind to certain antigens found on abnormal cells, including cancer cells. This causes the T cells to attack them and helps the body fight the cancer. A group of proteins found on T cells (a type of immune cell that recognizes and binds to foreign substances). T-cell receptors bind to certain antigens (proteins) found on abnormal cells, cancer cells, cells from other organisms and cells infected with a virus or another microorganism. This interaction causes the T cells to attack the abnormal cells and helps the body fight infection, cancer or other diseases. Also called TCR.
T-cell receptor (TCR)

What is T-cell receptor (TCR) therapy?

Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL)

Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL) are T cells that can be found in your tumor. During TIL therapy, TILs are collected or “harvested” from your tumor and treated with substances that make them grow to large numbers quickly. The cells are given to you and used to target and kill cancer cells.

Lymphocyte A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes (white blood cells) are B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B lymphocytes make antibodies, and T lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. T cell A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer. Also called T lymphocyte and thymocyte.
Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes (TIL)

What is tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy?

Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic

SCCA is a global CAR T-cell therapy leader, home to groundbreaking science and advanced immunotherapy. Over 200 patients have been part of our CAR T-cell clinical trials — one of the largest groups for a single institution. As both a research and cancer care center, we provide the therapies of tomorrow, today.

This expertise is the foundation for our Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic. Opened in October 2016, it is the first of its kind: a center dedicated to cellular immunotherapy, where SCCA can offer more clinical trials and the newest therapies. Our specialized patient care coordinators at the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic at SCCA can provide more information.

In addition to the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic, cellular immunotherapy patients can also be seen in the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program by immunotherapy experts.

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. A type of treatment in which a patient's T cells (a type of immune system cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will attack cancer cells. T cells are taken from a patient’s blood. Then, in the laboratory, the gene for a special receptor that binds to a certain protein on the patient’s cancer cells is added to the T cells. This special receptor is called a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR). Large numbers of the CAR T cells are grown in the laboratory and given to the patient by infusion. Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy is used to treat certain blood cancers, and it is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called CAR T-cell therapy. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies.
Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic
Specialized patient care coordinator
Learn more about the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic

Long-term follow-up

If you received immunotherapy treatment from SCCA and have questions related to your treatment that your local physician can’t answer, our Long-Term Follow-Up (LTFU) program is here to help. Our physicians will work with you and your local team to care for you. We will also gather information from you to help us prevent and treat any long-term effects of immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies.

Contact us

Long-Term Follow-Up Program
email imtxltfu@fredhutch.org
Monday to Friday, 8 am–4 pm (Pacific Time)

Messages are assigned priority according to the urgency and the order in which they are received. In general, most messages receive a response within three business days. Please be aware that the response time depends on the volume and nature of the messages received. 

Fred Hutch resources

Learn more about our Long-Term Follow-Up Program from Fred Hutch including physician guidelines and published papers.

Fred Hutch Long-Term Follow-Up Website