Here are the basic steps of the treatment process:
- Evaluation: Tests and screenings are carried out to determine if CAR T-cell therapy is a suitable option.
- Collection: T-cells are collected from the patient.
- Engineering: The T-cells are sent to a laboratory on the Sheba Medical Center campus, where they are genetically modified to express CARs on their surface.
- Multiplication: The altered T-cells multiply in the laboratory until there are millions of them. This usually takes about a few weeks.
- Chemotherapy (Conditioning Therapy): Before injecting the CAR T-cells back into the patient’s bloodstream, chemotherapy may be delivered to prepare the body for the infusion of the modified cells.
- Infusion: CAR T-cells are re-infused into the patient in a one-time procedure, using a process similar to a blood transfusion. Afterwards, patients may need to remain in the hospital for several weeks for observation.