Who could be on my treatment team?

At the certified treatment center?, there will be a team of medical staff who will be taking care of you throughout your CAR T treatment.

Every center may work differently, but here are some people who could be part of your treatment team:

Certified treatment center team for YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel).
Doctors

Doctors can include your attending oncologist and other specialists.

They will be in charge of your treatment plan and can prescribe YESCARTA and other medical treatments.

Nurses and nurse coordinators

Nurses in different roles will care for you throughout every step of your treatment.

Nurse coordinators, also called nurse navigators or case management nurses, will guide you through your treatment plan and make sure that you understand each step of the process. They can also help you coordinate the logistics and connect you with additional support.

Social workers

Social workers will provide counseling to help you manage stress and issues that come with having cancer and receiving treatment—they can also connect you to additional support services.

Clinical dietitians

Clinical dietitians or nutritionists will help you meet your nutritional needs by providing you with advice and education around diet, including meal planning.

Pharmacists

Pharmacists will prepare, give out, and provide information about prescription drugs. They will help ensure the effective and safe use of medicines.

Look up the team at your certified treatment center:


What is the treatment process?

CAR T-cell therapy is a multi-step process that includes a one-time infusion of YESCARTA. Your timeline might vary since your treatment team will make changes to suit your specific needs.

What is the treatment process?

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Explore each of the steps below to learn more about what to expect and how you can prepare:

Step 1 | Time may vary CAR T consultation
Individuals and a medical professional discussing treatment options at a certified treatment center.

At the certified treatment center, you will meet with your team and get assessed to see if you are eligible for YESCARTA.

What to expect How to prepare
Step 2 | 1 day T cell collection
T cells collected from patient via apheresis.

In a one-day appointment, T cells are collected from your blood. This process is also known as leukapheresis or apheresis.

What to expect How to prepare
Step 3 | At least 2-3 weeks CAR T cells are made
YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) manufacturing facility.

Your T cells are shipped to the YESCARTA manufacturing facility, where they will be turned into CAR T cells. You will wait for at least 2–3 weeks until your CAR T cells are ready.

What to expect How to prepare
Step 4 | 3 days Low-dose chemotherapy
Patient receiving low-dose chemotherapy.

You will return to the certified treatment center for 3 days of low-dose chemotherapy to prepare your body for YESCARTA.

What to expect How to prepare
Step 5 | At least 1 week YESCARTA infusion and close monitoring
A patient with the oncologist and caregiver during YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) infusion at the certified treatment center.

Your CAR T-cell infusion at the treatment center will last approximately 30 minutes. You will stay at the center for at least 1 week so the treatment team can monitor you for any side effects.

What to expect How to prepare
Step 6 | A few weeks Continued monitoring
A caregiver taking a patient's temperature while the patient recovers at home.

After you leave the certified treatment center, you will need to stay close by for a few weeks until at least 4 weeks after infusion.

What to expect How to prepare
Step 7 | Ongoing Recovery at home
A caregiver continuing to take care of a recovering patient at home.

Your treatment team will let you know when you are no longer required to stay near the treatment center. This usually happens about 4 weeks after infusion. At this point you may return home if you live further away. You may also start returning to your local oncologist for follow-up appointments.

What to expect How to prepare

“During the treatment process, everything I asked the treatment team was answered and explained. I would encourage other caregivers to ask questions all the time. Don’t be shy!”

FrancesYESCARTA Caregiver

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

You're not alone. Your treatment team will be with you every step of the way. Speak with your team if you have any questions.


Patient and caregiver perspectives

These testimonials are representative of the patients’ and caregivers' own experiences. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

The treatment process

Listen to patients and caregivers talk about their experience with YESCARTA treatment

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After treatment

Listen to patients and caregivers talk about recovery and life after YESCARTA treatment

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Have questions? Call us

Your treatment team is the best resource for support throughout treatment.

If you have questions at any step of the CAR T process, our dedicated team at Kite can also help. You can call them at:



If you have questions at any step of the CAR T process, our dedicated team at Kite can help.



Individuals and a medical professional discussing treatment options at a certified treatment center.

Step 1

CAR T consultation

At the certified treatment center, you will meet with the team and get assessed to see if you are eligible for YESCARTA.

Location

At the certified treatment center

Time

Time may vary


What to expect

The first step of getting YESCARTA is meeting with your treatment team. They will coordinate multiple lab tests (such as scans and bloodwork) to determine your eligibility for YESCARTA, and look into your health insurance coverage.

If you are eligible, your treatment team will also explain important information such as the treatment process, risks and benefits, and side effect management.

Starting a new treatment process can be overwhelming and an emotional time. You can start talking to your caregiver to figure out roles and shared responsibilities for the steps ahead.

“We had three sessions with the treatment team who explained the whole process. They made sure I had a good understanding of what to expect regarding possible side effects. This made me feel confident going forward.”

MargaretYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Margaret YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador.

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Patients and caregivers can:

  • Do some research on the treatment center and how you will get there.
  • If you don't live nearby, take some time to think about travel, meals, and a place to stay near the treatment center.
  • Make sure to keep your records up to date. This includes the treatment center team's contact information and your treatment calendar.

You may need to bring the following information:

  • Government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license) and insurance cards
  • A list of all medications and supplements, including strength and how often you take them
  • Cancer treatment history—this may include the names of treatments, how long you received each treatment for, and how the cancer responded to these previous treatments
  • Any other medical records and tests—this may include X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, laboratory tests, and chemotherapy reports

Tips for patients

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for possible lab tests.

Tips for caregivers

  • Make any arrangements you may need to be the full-time caregiver (e.g., time off work), or coordinate with others.
  • Take notes at appointments or record them, with the healthcare provider’s approval.
  • Help with keeping track of treatment team contact details and appointment times.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • How long would I need to be at the certified treatment center for CAR T?
  • How many appointments at the certified treatment center should I expect?
  • What are the possible benefits and risks of YESCARTA?
  • How much of my treatment costs will my insurance cover?
  • How can I find more information on support resources?
T cells collected from patient via apheresis.

Step 2

T cell collection

In a one-day appointment, T cells are collected from your blood. This process is also known as leukapheresis or apheresis.

Location

At the certified treatment center or a specialized leukapheresis center

Time

The appointment can take a full day, but it
will take 3–4 hours to collect your T cells


What to expect

Blood is collected from a vein in your arm, or a central catheter?. Your blood will be passed through a machine to separate out your T cells. Your T cells will be collected, and the rest of your blood will be returned to your body.

If you require a central catheter, a separate appointment may be needed.

“For me, leukapheresis was scary and overwhelming, just like so many things in the cancer experience. But I was surrounded by professionals who held my hand through the whole thing.”

LayraYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Layra YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador talking with Laura.

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Tips for patients

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing that allows access to both of your arms or your central catheter.
  • Bring something that helps you feel comfortable and pass the time (e.g., music, book, tablet, etc.).
  • Ask a caregiver to keep you company and to drive you home—you may feel tired after the procedure.

Tips for caregivers

  • Spend time with the patient during T cell collection, if you can. Your presence can help with any discomfort they may be feeling from the procedure.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • Will I need a central catheter?
  • How else can I prepare for T cell collection?
YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) manufacturing facility.

Step 3

CAR T cells are made

Your T cells are shipped to the YESCARTA manufacturing facility, where they will be turned into CAR T cells. You will wait for at least 2–3 weeks until your CAR T cells are ready.

Location

You will wait at home

Time

At least 2–3 weeks


What to expect

Changing your T cells to CAR T cells is a rigorous process with many checkpoints to make sure all the requirements are met. Your treatment team will always keep you updated if there are any changes to your schedule.

While you wait, the treatment team may decide to put you on bridging therapy to control your cancer until your CAR T cells are ready. Examples of bridging therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or steroids. It may be given at either the certified treatment center or your local oncology clinic.

Patients and caregivers can:

  • Use this time to start preparing for your upcoming stay at the treatment center, especially if you need to be away from home for over a month. For example:
    • Book time away from work.
    • Arrange home, family, or pet care.
    • Pack essentials and clothing for your stay.
  • Talk to someone in your support network and/or a professional if the wait is stressful or challenging.

Tips for patients

  • Follow your treatment team's guidance about what you can do to stay well—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“There was a lot of waiting and anxiety in my whole lymphoma experience. We did stuff to distract ourselves and take it easy. Do enjoyable stuff, take it easy, be gentle with yourself.”

SharonYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • Will I need bridging therapy? If so, what is involved, and what side effects should I know about?
  • What can I do to stay well during the wait for my CAR T cells?
  • How will I know when my CAR T cells are ready?
  • What happens if the cells are delayed?
Patient receiving low-dose chemotherapy.

Step 4

Low-dose chemotherapy

You will return to the certified treatment center for 3 days of low-dose chemotherapy to prepare your body for YESCARTA.

Location

At your certified treatment center or at an outpatient facility

Time

3 days, followed by at least 2 days of rest


What to expect

Low-dose chemotherapy is sometimes called lymphodepleting chemotherapy (LDC). The goal of LDC is not to treat cancer but to decrease (or ‘deplete’) the amount of T cells (a type of ‘lymphocyte’) in your body. This makes room for the CAR T cells you’ll receive.

Your treatment team will monitor and manage common side effects that may be caused by LDC. They will also educate you on the symptoms to look for and when you need to notify the team.

Patients and caregivers can:

  • Bring something that can help you pass the time (e.g., music, book, tablet, etc.).
  • Be prepared for responsibilities to shift as the patient may have low energy after low-dose chemotherapy.

Tips for patients

  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing that allows access to your arms or your central catheter.

“The one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the exhaustion by the end of day three of low-dose chemo. Thankfully I had already done my packing for the hospital, so I could get plenty of rest.”

CathyYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • How will LDC differ from chemotherapy I’ve had in the past?
  • What are the possible side effects of LDC?
  • Where will I get LDC, and what can I do to prepare?
A patient with the oncologist and caregiver during YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) infusion at the certified treatment center.

Step 5

YESCARTA infusion and close monitoring

Your CAR T-cell infusion at the treatment center will last approximately 30 minutes. You will stay at the center for at least 1 week so the treatment team can monitor you for any side effects.

Location

At the certified treatment center

Time

At least 1 week, including a 30-minute infusion


What to expect

On the day of your infusion, your team will take some time to prepare you for treatment. This may include giving you some premedications.

You’ll receive a one-time YESCARTA infusion that puts millions of your own CAR T cells into your body.

You will need to stay at the treatment center for at least 1 week after the infusion in case serious side effects happen. Serious side effects are most likely in the first few weeks after treatment.

While you are at the treatment center, your team will monitor you frequently and manage any side effects that may occur. They will also teach you how to look out for side effects. You can learn more by visiting the Managing side effects page and Important Facts about YESCARTA.

“Every morning the doctor would walk into my wife’s room and I was always included in the discussions. There was constant communication and we understood what was going on every minute of every day.”

SkipYESCARTA Caregiver

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Skip YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) caregiver ambassador.

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Patients and caregivers can:

  • Make other arrangements, for example:
    • Book time away from work.
    • Arrange home, family, or pet care.
    • Pack essentials and clothing for your stay.
  • Consider bringing a comfort item that reminds you of home or loved ones (e.g., a favorite item, piece of clothing, photo, etc.).
  • This can be a time of heightened emotions, so it’s important to check in with each other during treatment.

Tips for patients

  • You know yourself best, so talk to your caregiver and your treatment team about how you're feeling.
  • Staying in touch with friends and family at home can help you feel connected during your time away.

“I brought new comfy pajamas to the hospital, comfy slippers, my own pillow, and a soft blanket. I also brought pictures of my family so staff could see what I was fighting for. It was nice to have stuff to make me smile when I needed it.“

NikkiYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Nikki YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador reading a book.

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Tips for caregivers

  • You will be spending lots of time with the treatment team during this step—don’t hesitate to ask questions.
  • Remember to take care of yourself too. Ask the treatment team about good times for you to take a break and recharge.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • What will the day of the infusion look like?
  • What side effects should we be aware of, and what signs should we look out for?
  • What might be done to manage side effects?
  • Is there anything else we can do to prepare for the stay at the treatment center?
A caregiver taking a patient's temperature while the patient recovers at home.

Step 6

Continued monitoring

After you leave the certified treatment center, you will need to stay close by for a few weeks until at least 4 weeks after infusion.

Location

Near the certified treatment center

Time

Until at least 4 weeks after infusion


What to expect

When the treatment team feels you are ready, you will be discharged from the treatment center. The treatment team will ask you to stay close by, so that you can be monitored and get immediate help if side effects occur. This may be your home, if you live close, or a temporary accommodation.

Before you leave the treatment center, the treatment team will review all the possible side effects with you. You will be responsible for monitoring side effects once you’ve left the center.

Patients will not be able to drive during these weeks, and up to at least 8 weeks after infusion. You can learn more by visiting the Managing side effects page and Important Facts about YESCARTA.

You must get in contact with your treatment team right away if you think a side effect is happening. You can also contact your team with questions at any time.

Patients and caregivers can:

  • Plan for accommodations near the treatment center if you will be staying away from home during this time.
  • Review the possible side effects and Important Facts about YESCARTA, and keep your treatment team's contact information handy. Getting medical attention right away may keep side effects from becoming more serious.
  • Make sure your Patient Wallet Card is filled in. Your team will give you this card to keep with you at all times. Show this card if you have to go to the emergency room or see another physician.

“This may have been the most stressful time as we were leaving 24/7 monitoring and care. We knew some patients have side effects weeks later. We were in constant contact with our team if anything came up.”

LarryYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Tips for patients

  • Make sure a caregiver is with you at all times, and can help you with things like transportation.

Tips for caregivers

  • Be prepared to drive or organize transportation for the patient as they are not allowed to drive for at least 8 weeks after infusion.
  • Always be on the lookout for possible side effects. You will likely be the first to notice if something seems different with the patient. You can learn more by visiting the Managing side effects page and Important Facts about YESCARTA.
  • Plan and prepare for meals that can support recovery and reduce the risk of food poisoning. Talk to your treatment team for recommendations.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • What side effects should we look out for?
  • What number should we contact if we think a side effect is happening?
  • What might be done to manage side effects?
  • What can we do to help with recovery?

Certified treatment center locator tool

There are over 120 cancer centers certified to provide YESCARTA throughout the US. When choosing a location, consider that you will need to stay close to the center for at least 4 weeks after receiving YESCARTA.

You can use the locator tool to find and learn about nearby treatment centers and their teams.

Information on new centers (where available) will be added on an ongoing basis. You can also contact your treatment team to learn more.

Certified treatment centers (also called Authorized Treatment Centers) are independent facilities certified to dispense Kite CAR T therapies. Choice of a certified treatment center is within the sole discretion of the physician and patient. Kite does not endorse any individual treatment sites. Insurance coverage should be considered when reviewing certified treatment center options.

Approved Uses

YESCARTA is a prescription medicine used to treat two types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma ...

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about YESCARTA? YESCARTA may cause side effects that are life-threatening and can lead to death ...

Approved Uses and Important Safety Information

Approved Uses

YESCARTA is a prescription medicine used to treat two types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:

  • large B-cell lymphoma when your first treatment did not work or your cancer returned within a year of first treatment, OR when at least two kinds of treatment have failed to control your cancer.
  • follicular lymphoma when at least two kinds of treatment have failed to control your cancer.

YESCARTA is different than other cancer medicines because it is made from your own white blood cells, which have been modified to recognize and attack your lymphoma cells.

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about YESCARTA?

YESCARTA may cause side effects that are life-threatening and can lead to death. Call or see your healthcare provider or get emergency help right away if you get any of the following:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills or shaking chills
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe fatigue or weakness

It is important to tell your healthcare provider that you received YESCARTA and to show them your YESCARTA Patient Wallet Card. Your healthcare provider may give you other medicines to treat your side effects.

Before getting YESCARTA, tell your healthcare provider about all your medical problems, including if you have or have had:

  • Neurologic problems (such as seizures, stroke, or memory loss)
  • Lung or breathing problems
  • Heart problems
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • A recent or active infection

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

How will I receive YESCARTA?

  • Since YESCARTA is made from your own white blood cells, your blood will be collected by a process called “leukapheresis” (loo-kah-fur-ee-sis), which will concentrate your white blood cells.
  • Your blood cells will be sent to a manufacturing center to make your YESCARTA.
  • Before you get YESCARTA, you will get 3 days of chemotherapy to prepare your body.
  • When your YESCARTA is ready, your healthcare provider will give it to you through a catheter placed into your vein (intravenous infusion). The infusion usually takes less than 30 minutes.
  • You will be monitored where you received your treatment daily for at least 7 days after the infusion.
  • You should plan to stay close to the location where you received your treatment for at least 4 weeks after getting YESCARTA. Your healthcare provider will help you with any side effects that may occur.
  • You may be hospitalized for side effects and your healthcare provider will discharge you if your side effects are under control, and it is safe for you to leave the hospital.
  • Your healthcare provider will want to do blood tests to follow your progress. It is important that you do have your blood tested. If you miss an appointment, call your healthcare provider as soon as possible to reschedule.

What should I avoid after receiving YESCARTA?

  • Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or do other dangerous things for 8 weeks after you get YESCARTA because the treatment can cause sleepiness, confusion, weakness, and temporary memory and coordination problems.
  • Do not donate blood, organs, tissues, or cells for transplantation.

What are the possible or reasonably likely side effects of YESCARTA?

The most common side effects of YESCARTA include:

  • Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher)
  • Low white blood cells (can occur with a fever)
  • Low red blood cells
  • Low blood pressure (dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, feeling tired, short of breath)
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

These are not all the possible side effects of YESCARTA. Call your healthcare provider about any side effects that concern you. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the Important Facts, including IMPORTANT WARNINGS.

Certified treatment centers

In order to provide YESCARTA, cancer treatment centers must first be certified. Certified treatment centers have specifically-trained medical staff, strict treatment protocols, and safety measures in place for CAR T-cell therapy. These centers are often first to use best care practices learned through research.

Certified treatment centers are sometimes known as authorized treatment centers.

A caregiver continuing to take care of a recovering patient at home.

Step 7

Recovery at home

Your treatment team will let you know when you are no longer required to stay near the treatment center. This usually happens about 4 weeks after infusion. At this point you may return home if you live further away. You may also start returning to your local oncologist for follow-up appointments.

Location

At home

Time

Ongoing


What to expect

When the treatment team thinks you are ready—usually about 4 weeks after infusion—you'll no longer be required to stay near the treatment center. At this point, follow-up appointments may start becoming less frequent, and you may return to seeing your local oncologist again.

You will have a CT/PET scan about a month after infusion to see how your cancer has responded to CAR T. It's normal to experience some anxiety leading up to the results of this scan. You will also have blood tests and other examinations to track your progress.

At 8 weeks after the infusion, many patients are cleared to start driving again. As you start to get back to activities of daily life, you can focus on your well-being, including things like nutrition, exercise, and mental health.

“We returned to our local oncologist for routine blood tests and scans. Thankfully the tests showed no evidence of disease at six months. Now, we approach each test and scan with less fear.”

SkipYESCARTA Caregiver

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Margaret YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador sitting with caregiver Skip.

This testimonial is representative of the caregiver’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Patients and caregivers can:

  • Talk to your healthcare team about what you can do to stay safe and well in the months following treatment.
  • Clarify where you need to go for follow-up appointments. If you miss an appointment, it's important to reschedule as soon as possible.
  • Continue to look out for side effects and talk to your healthcare team about how you are feeling. You can learn more by visiting the Managing side effects page and Important Facts about YESCARTA.
  • Make sure to carry a completed Patient Wallet Card at all times. You will need to show this to any healthcare provider you visit.
  • Plan and prepare for meals that can support recovery and reduce the risk of food poisoning. Talk to your treatment team for recommendations.
  • As you recover from treatment, you may find it helpful to speak to someone about your experience, whether it's a professional (therapist), another patient or caregiver, or a friend.

Tips for patients

  • Take care to avoid infections:
    • Avoid certain chores, including gardening and cleaning up after pets.
    • Avoid large crowds.
    • Practice good hygiene and follow food safety guidelines.
  • Be patient with yourself, as it can take time to recover and regain your strength. Talk to your doctor for more information about getting back to daily activities.

“I was gentle with myself and didn't let people rush me into getting back to my new 'normal.' It should be up to me to decide when I am ready. It takes time.”

NikkiYESCARTA Patient

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Nikki YESCARTA® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) patient ambassador making tea.

This testimonial is representative of the patient’s own experience. Individual treatment results and experience may vary.

Tips for caregivers

  • Consider asking friends and family for help, or hiring help wherever possible.
  • Keeping a clean home can limit sources of infection for the patient during recovery.
  • Be prepared to drive or organize transportation for the patient as they are not allowed to drive for at least 8 weeks after infusion.
  • Remember to take care of your needs too. Supporting a patient through treatment can be stressful in so many ways. Read more on the Caregiver support page.

Questions to consider asking the treatment team

  • If I’m not feeling well, when should I contact the local oncologist or the team at the certified treatment center? When should I seek urgent medical care? You can learn more by visiting the Managing side effects page and Important Facts about YESCARTA.
  • What can I do to stay safe and well while recovering at home?
  • What might my long-term recovery look like?
  • What kinds of medications or tests may I need after CAR T?