Generic Name: axicabtagene ciloleucel
Drug Class: Immunotherapy Medications
Company: Kite, a Gilead company
Approval Status: Approved
Generic Version Available: No
Experimental Code: KTE-C19
Yescarta is a CAR-T therapy approved for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma) in adults, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma.
Yescarta is a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, or CAR-T, therapy. An individual’s T cells are collected, genetically reprogrammed by inserting an artificial receptor in a lab, multiplied and returned to the same patient. These synthetic receptors help the engineered T cells recognize and attack cancer cells. Specifically, Yescarta targets the CD19 protein on B cells that grow out of control in leukemia and lymphoma.
The ZUMA-1 trial showed a response rate of 72 percent for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, including 51 percent with complete remission. It was first approved in 2017.
Dosing Info: Yescarta involves a single infusion of genetically modified T cells. The turnaround time from cell collection to reinfusion of the altered cells is about three weeks. Chemotherapy is often given before the CAR-T infusion to kill cancerous immune cells and make room for the new ones.
CAR-T therapy can cause potentially severe immune reactions. Unleashing genetically modified T cells can lead to cytokine release syndrome (CRS), in which the new cells trigger strong immune activation. Severe side effects may include fever, chills, difficulty breathing, muscle or joint pain, low blood pressure and brain swelling. Symptoms of brain inflammation may include confusion, dizziness and memory problems. The immune reaction can lead to organ failure and death, but it can be managed if caught early. Treatment can also cause depletion of B cells and other white blood cells, which can lead to infections.
For More Info: https://www.yescarta.com
Co-Pay Program Info: https://www.yescarta.com/support
Patient Assistance Program Info: https://www.yescarta.com/support
Last Reviewed: September 18, 2018