Skip to main content

Is Tecartus a one-time treatment?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Dec 1, 2022.

Official answer


Yes, Tecartus is given as a one-time intravenous (IV) infusion through a catheter placed into your vein. The infusion usually takes less than 30 minutes; however, receiving this treatment involves several steps over a longer period of time.

Tecartus is made from your own white blood cells and is called CAR-T cell therapy. CAR-T stands for “Chimeric Antigen Receptor Therapy”. CAR-T is an advanced treatment for certain types of cancers that use specialized technology to create a personalized treatment just for you.

CAR T-cell therapy is not a "drug" in the usual sense, as might be used in chemotherapy or to treat an infection. Instead, it is a living biologic medicine (immunotherapy) created from your own cells. T-cells that occur naturally in your body normally target cancer cells to help keep them in check. However, this process isn't always as efficient as it should be, and the reengineered CAR T-cells can help to increase their cancer-killing ability.

What is Tecartus used for?

Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleucel), from Kite Pharma, is used to treat two different types of blood cell cancers: mantle cell lymphoma or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

  • It was first approved in July 2020 for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a rare, aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
  • In October 2021, Tecartus was approved for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

How do I receive Tecartus?

There are several steps you undergo before you receive Tecartus, including the collection of your white blood cells to manufacture your infusion, and having 3 days of chemotherapy before treatment. The process to collect your white blood cells is called “leukapheresis” (loo-kah-fur-ee-sis).

Your blood cells will be sent to a specialized manufacturing center to make your CAR-T treatment. Once you receive the infusion, your healthcare team will monitor your progress at the treatment center for at least 7 to 14 days after your treatment, depending upon your diagnosis.

After receiving Tecartus, you should plan on staying within 2 hours of the location where you received treatment for at least 4 weeks. This allows your expert healthcare team to monitor you for side effects.

Your doctor will test your blood to follow your progress. It is important not to miss any appointments scheduled for you. If you miss an appointment, call your doctor's office as soon as possible to reschedule.

You may need to be admitted to the hospital, especially if you have serious side effects. If the side effects clear up, your doctor will discharge you from the hospital if it is safe to do. You still may need to stay close by to be monitored. Your healthcare team will provide more information about the process.

Related questions

Where do I receive Tecartus?

You will receive the infusion at a special authorized treatment center certified to dispense CAR-T cell therapies. Your healthcare provider and a program from the manufacturer, called Kite Konnect, can help you find a CAR T Authorized Treatment Center when you’re ready to begin treatment.

You may need to be away from your home for at least 4 weeks if you do not live close to the treatment center. However, today there are more and more treatment centers available for CAR-T therapy. If you do not live close to a treatment center, you might consider staying with family or friends. You will also need support from a caregiver while recovering.

What type of side effects occur with Tecartus?

The most common side effects of Tecartus include:

  • fever (100.4°F / 38°C or higher)
  • low white blood cell counts (can occur with a fever)
  • low red blood cell count
  • low blood pressure (dizziness or lightheadedness, headache, feeling tired, short of breath)
  • fast heartbeat
  • confusion
  • difficulty with speaking or slurred speech
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

Tecartus may also 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)
  • trouble breathing
  • chills or shaking chills
  • confusion
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • severe fatigue (tiredness) or weakness

Before getting Tecartus, 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, liver or kidney problems
  • a recent infection, or if you have an infection now

Also tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements. There may the possibility of drug interactions.

This is not a complete list of side effects or warnings. Call your healthcare provider about any side effects that concern you.

This is not all the information you need to know about Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleucel) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of your doctor’s directions. Review the full product information and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


Read next

Related medical questions

Drug information

Related support groups