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How is Yescarta administered?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 23, 2020.

Official Answer


Yescarta is given through a catheter placed into your vein (intravenous infusion). The infusion usually takes less than 30 minutes.

After infusion, the patient will need to remain in the hospital depending upon CAR T-cell side effects and acceptance of the treatment, usually for at least 7 days after the infusion. While they may be discharged from the hospital, the patient will also need to remain local to stay in contact with their medical team for at least 4 weeks after receiving Yescarta. If side effects become serious after discharge, the patient may need to be readmitted to the hospital for monitoring.

Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), from Kite Pharma/Gilead, 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. Yescarta is a biologic-type of living drug which is manufactured specifically for each patient. The receipt of CAR T-cell therapy is a one-time procedure, and the CAR-T cells may continue to replicate in the body to fight the cancer.

Here's the general process for CAR T-cell development:

  • First, leukapheresis, a procedure to collect the patient's white blood cells (lymphocytes) is performed in the hospital, then the T-cells are isolated.
  • The T-cells are sent to lab where they are genetically engineered to construct a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) on the cell surface. Genes are inserted into the T-cells using an inactive virus which allows the CAR T-cell to recognize, activate, and kill the cancer cell.
  • The CAR T-cell is grown in the lab for about 2 weeks to greatly increase the dose. The cells are frozen and then sent to the hospital for re-infusion to the patient.
  • In the mean time, the patient will receive 3 days of chemotherapy to help lower the white blood cell count and allow the CAR T-cells to be better accepted by the body.

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