CAR-T Therapy Program

Phoenix Children’s Hospital is proud to be one of the few institutions in the nation currently approved to administer CAR-T therapy for relapsed or refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. We are currently the only institution in Arizona and the surrounding states of New Mexico and Nevada to offer this treatment option to patients ages 0-25. 

As the only children’s hospital in Arizona ranked by US News and World Report, Phoenix Children’s has access to many medical specialties, including the Ottosen Family Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. The program, which began in 2003, consistently has greater than 90 percent one-year survival rate for allogenic transplants, and is one of the best in the nation. The program is averaging 40 transplants a year and is expanding services rapidly, including its addition of cellular therapy.

Our providers have access to a full-service Pathology and Laboratory Services Division, including a Transfusion Medicine and Apheresis program. Transfusion Medicine provides 24/7 support for clinical programs while also providing the highest quality apheresis care to patients.

What is Cellular Therapy?

Cellular therapy is a type of treatment that uses living cells and the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.

One type of Cellular Therapy is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy. CAR-T therapy involves collecting t-cells from the blood and genetically modifying them so they recognize and destroy cancer cells. After genetic modification, the t-cells are returned to the patient and begin to work against cancer cells. The CAR-T cells persist in the body as a type of living drug. With this revolutionary therapy, survival significantly increases for patients who do not achieve cure with traditional chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Referral Process

During the initial referral process, Phoenix Children’s will work quickly and diligently to ensure a smooth and successful intake process, as we understand time is of the essence.

Phoenix Children’s will collect patient information, including a medical summary, demographics and insurance information. Our referral checklist will guide your team on the process. Once all of the necessary information is provided to Phoenix Children’s, the Cellular Therapy team will evaluate the patient’s candidacy, work with the medical team on potential next steps and notify the referring provider whether the patient is a candidate. If the patient is a candidate, the Phoenix Children’s Cellular Therapy team will work with the patient’s insurance company for the necessary approval and gather any additional information on the patient’s current treatment. We will collaborate closely with your team to maximize a successful outcome.

Email (include the referral checklist above) or call the physician referral line at (480) 826-4251 to refer a patient.

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