CAR cells must undergo extensive processing before they are ready to be administered to the patient. At Sheba, CARs are engineered in-house in a specialized laboratory. As a result, the entire process from lymphocyte collection to patient delivery only takes about 10 days. In contrast, many other hospitals use commercial CARs, which must be engineered abroad and shipped, taking months to become available. This delay allows the patient’s disease to progress further, which can also reduce the effectiveness of the body’s response to the CARs. Also, the shipping process compromises cell quality, as some cells die during the necessary freezing and thawing.
While commercial CARs are only approved for use in a few illnesses, Sheba’s CARs can be administered for a wide range of illnesses, including:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), for patients over 25 as well
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, including Richter’s transformation
- Acute myeloid leukemia that expresses CD19
Sheba’s extensive experience with CAR T-cell therapy speaks louder than words. Under the expertise of Prof. Arnon Nagler, Director of the Hemato-Oncology Division and a world renowned specialist in the field, we have provided over 220 patients with CAR-T therapy, including about 60 children.