Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Therapy (CAR T-cell Therapy)

CAR T-cell therapy, also known as Adoptive Cellular Therapy (ACT), is a type of individualized immunotherapy. In CAR T-cell therapy, some of your body’s own white blood cells, in this case T cells, are collected and sent to a lab. T cells are then engineered in the lab to produce chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). CARs are proteins that enable the T cells to find and attack myeloma cells. The newly manufactured T cells are then infused back into your body to find and fight the myeloma.

CAR T-cell therapy often requires a hospital stay after administration. Your healthcare team will need to monitor your reaction to the treatment.  
Some of the benefits of CAR T therapy include the following: 

  • Being administered in a single infusion. Therefore, CAR T therapy has a shorter treatment duration. 
  • Helping patients achieve longer remissions (meaning partial or complete disappearance of myeloma symptoms). 
  • Creating cells that live in the body long-term, CAR T cells may recognize and attack myeloma cells over time. 
  • Possibly reducing the need for stem cell transplants. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some CAR T products, such as ABECMA®  (idecabtagene vicleucel, or ide-cel) and CARVYKTI™ (ciltacabtagene autoleucel, or cilta-cel). Currently, researchers are developing other CAR T treatments in clinical trials. However, CAR T is not widely available, and not all myeloma patients are eligible. At present, only patients who have relapsed or refractory disease may be eligible. Learn more about Abecma's use for myeloma here, and Carvykti's use for myeloma here



The International Myeloma Foundation medical and editorial content team

Comprised of leading medical researchers, hematologists, oncologists, oncology-certified nurses, medical editors, and medical journalists, our team has extensive knowledge of the multiple myeloma treatment and care landscape.

Additionally, the content on this page is medically reviewed by myeloma physicians and healthcare professionals.  

Last Medical Content Review: May 8, 2024

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