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What type of drug is Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel)?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 29, 2020.

Official Answer


Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) is a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy used for adults with large B-cell lymphoma, after failing at least two other treatments.

The patient’s T-cells, a type of white blood cell, are genetically modified and reinfused to target lymphoma cancer cells. It is a type of gene therapy and was FDA-approved in October 2017. CAR T therapy is manufactured specifically for each individual patient and is considered a breakthrough in hematologic cancer treatment.

Specifically, Yescarta was approved in adult patients with large B-cell lymphoma after at least two other kinds of treatment failed. Lymphoma types approved for treatment include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma. Yescarta is not indicated for the treatment of patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.

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