Today 29 June 2018 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that two different CAR T-cell therapies are being recommended for approval for people with lymphoma:
- Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) is recommended as a treatment option for people with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) or primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (PMBL) who have already had at least two courses of treatment but who need more treatment.
- Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) is recommended as a treatment option for people with DLBCL who have already had at least two courses of treatment but who need more treatment.
This innovative new type of treatment has been a key topic in lymphoma research recently.
The recommendations now go to the European Commission (EC), who make a final decision on whether these treatments can be marketed throughout Europe.
What are CAR T cells?
Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell therapy uses your own immune system to destroy lymphoma cells. Your own T cells (a type of white blood cell that fights infection) can be genetically modified (changed) to recognise and kill lymphoma cells with a certain protein on their surface.
Your T cells are collected from your blood and genetically modified in a laboratory. The genetically modified T cells (CAR T-cells) are grown in the laboratory until there are enough of them, then given back to you.