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What type of drug is Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel)?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 30, 2020.

Official Answer


Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) is a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy.

It is used in pediatric and young adult patients (up to age 25) with relapsed or refractory (r/r) B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Kymriah is a genetically-modified autologous T-cell immunotherapy. The therapy is derived from a patient's own white blood cells through a process known as leukapheresis.

The white cells are modified genetically to include a new gene that contains a specific protein (a chimeric antigen receptor or CAR) that directs the T-cells to target and kill leukemia cells that have a specific antigen (CD19) on the surface.

Once the cells are modified, they are infused back into the patient to kill the cancer cells. Kymriah is the first FDA-approved cell-based gene therapy in the U.S. See also:

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