CAR T

CAR T

Storyboard Text

  • Hey Dr. Scott.
  • Hey Aubrey, how are you!
  • Not well. I've been fatigued all week and red spots have been showing up on my skin again.
  • That's not good. Sounds like your ALL is coming back
  • Doctors take a type of white blood cell from your body and genetically change the cells in a lab so they can better find your cancer.𝛀
  • I figured. I don't want to go through chemo again. It was draining experience for me. I read online about CAR T-Cell therapy. Can you tell me about that?
  • Yea I can. CAR T therapy has become really popular lately.
  • CAR T therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that uses cells from your own immune system.𝛀
  • CAR T stands for Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell𝛀
  • Then millions of these target-seeking cells are put back into your body.𝛀
  • CAR T-cell therapy may work when other treatments haven’t.↻
  • Sounds pretty good to me so far.
  • Don't forget though,the treatment is fairly new so doctors don't know how well it works or how long it lasts.
  • Unlike chemo and radiation, which kill healthy cells as well as cancerous ones, CAR T targets the tumors with more precision.
  • Also, CAR T-cell therapy is a one-time treatment, but it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. And when you add in related costs, like hospital stays and home health care, the total may be closer to $1.5 million.
  • Jeez,I definitely don't have that much money. I'll have to talk to my insurance
  • That's the thing, the price is so high some insurance companies haven't figured out how to pay for it yet.
  • 60% is bigger than 40% but I don't really like those odds.
  • Yea they aren't the best but,In some studies, 9 out of 10 people with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) whose cancer didn't respond to other treatments or whose cancer came back had full remission with CAR T-cell therapy.
  • More than half the children went on to receive a potentially curative stem-cell transplant, and approximately 60% of those children were still alive 5 years later without their cancer coming back or the children experiencing any disease-related problems.𝜴
  • I'm gonna have to start a gofundme because this is a lot. Tell me some pros, I need to know if this is worth the effort.
  • HAHA. Sure thing. An NCI-led research team, recently reported on long-term follow-up from children with relapsed ALL who had been treated with CAR T cells as part of a clinical trial.𝜴
  • Those are much better odds. I feel much better about it now. But still I ask what are the cons?
  • I'll tell you a few side effects. One is cytokine release syndrome (CRS). This happens when CAR T-cells begin attacking cancer and trigger an immune response in your body.
  • For some people, CRS may feel like a bad case of flu. In others, it can cause very low blood pressure, high fevers, and trouble breathing.
  • There are also brain and nervous system problems. These usually happen in the first 2 months after your infusion.
  • The most common ones are headache and feeling anxious. You might also be confused, have seizures, or not be able to talk at all for a few days. Most of these go away, but they can be life-threatening for some people.
  • Does It get worse than what you've already told me because this seems pretty risky?
  • Worse is debatable but I will tell you that you could get a new type of cancer after CAR T, or your ALL might come back. You should have your doctors watch for signs of cancer for the rest of your life.
  • CAR T can also kill off B cells, another kind of white blood cell you need to fight germs and foreign invaders, so you're more likely to get sick. Also, if you had hepatitis B before, it could start up again.
  • This is all a lot of information to take in. I need to sleep on it.
  • It is indeed a lot to take in. This is life changing treatment, it could be in a good way or a bad way. You have to decide if you want to take that risk. And don't forget to check in with your insurance.
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