Chimeric Antigen Receptor (or CAR) T-Cell Therapy is a new cancer immunotherapy that is delivered through Nova Scotia Cell Therapy and Transplant Program (CTTP). CAR T-Cell therapy involves separating specific immune cells from the patient’s own blood and genetically modifying them to recognize a specific marker on the cancer cells and then injecting them back to destroy these cells. This treatment is currently offered to patients diagnosed with relapsed or refractory Large B Cell Lymphomas who have failed their first and second lines of therapy.
T cells are collected from the patient and sent to an external manufacturing lab to create and grow CAR T cells. The final product is cryopreserved, packaged, and shipped back to the VG hospital in Halifax, ready to be infused back to the patient. The modified T cells then multiply in the body, targeting the cancer.
CAR-T cell therapy is provided at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
How do I access CAR T-Cell Therapy?
A referral to the CAR T-Cell Therapy from a Hematologist is required to be evaluated for this treatment.
How do I prepare for my appointment?
Patients who are eligible for this treatment will be given an initial consult appointment. For this appointment, the patient should bring: - their health card and a list of current medications. It is important they also have a care partner present for this appointment.
A care partner is a responsible adult who will come with the patient to and from the hospital and helps as needed outside the hospital. Patients must have a care partner throughout the CAR T-Cell Therapy process.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
The initial consult appointment takes about 2 hours. The patient will meet with the CAR T-Cell Therapy Physician who will discuss this treatment option in detail. They will also spend time with a CAR T-Cell Therapy Coordinator who will provide information about the process.
The CAR T-Cell therapy team may ask questions to get to know you and will also provide you with time to ask your questions.
The CAR T-Cell Therapy Coordinator will arrange for you to meet with multiple members of our team who will provide care and support throughout. For example:
- Nurse Practitioner
- Social Worker
Will there be any follow-up after my first appointment?
If you have met the eligibility criteria for CAR T-cell Therapy, a CAR T-Cell Therapy Coordinator will be in touch with you regarding any follow up tests, procedures, or appointments.