Clinical Perspectives

What You Need to Know Today About Yescarta

October 20, 2017

032R4279 blog 640x367.jpg Cutting-Edge Immunotherapy Treatment Available for Aggressive Blood Cancer (Dr. Frederick Locke in the lab)

Recently, the FDA announced the approval of Yescarta for refractory or relapsed adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Yescarta, also known as axicabtagene ciloleucel, is a custom-made, one-time treatment using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. Moffitt Cancer Center has been critical to the advancement of this new, life-saving therapy.

CAR-T, a form of cellular immunotherapy, has been described as the next generation of cancer therapy. Infection-fighting T-cells are gathered from a patient’s blood and re-engineered in a laboratory to target and kill cancer cells. Infused back into the patient, the CAR-T cells can cause side effects that require close monitoring and supportive care in the hospital. But their effect on the cancer can be swift. In the pivotal national trial, 54% of patients saw their lymphoma disappear, and after the one-time infusion, 44% were still in remission six months later or beyond. 

Dr. Frederick Locke, of the Department of Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy, was the co-principal investigator of the national multi-center trial that led to the approval of Yescarta. 

Yescarta indications: certain types of large B-cell lymphoma; refractory or relapsed patients 

  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) 
  • Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
  • High grade B-cell lymphoma 
  • DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma

Moffitt is proud to be leading the way in the development of new immunotherapies like CAR-T therapy and providing patients access through a specialized care team. We look forward to offering patients Yescarta and Kymriah. At Moffitt, Kymriah -- another CAR-T therapy that was approved earlier in October for pediatric and young adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia -- will be used to treat young adults ages 18 to 25.