What should you know when considering CAR T-cell therapy for myeloma? This animated explainer video provides an overview of key questions to ask your healthcare team and advice for patients and care partners when considering CAR T-cell therapy.
While receiving a myeloma diagnosis and choosing a therapy can be overwhelming, advancements in research are providing more options and more hope for patients than ever.
And these advancements include CAR T-cell therapy – a treatment in which a patient’s T cells, a type of immune system cell, are laboratory-altered to attack cancer cells in the body.
If you are curious about this option, consider asking your healthcare team these key questions:
- Am I a candidate?
CAR T-cell therapy patients must meet specific criteria.
- What are the risks? Common side effects of this type of therapy are cytokine release syndrome (CRS), neurotoxicity, suppressed immune system, and low blood counts.
- Is the timing right for me? The current approval is for patients who are later in their myeloma journey.
- Are there alternatives? Ask about other treatment options that may be appropriate for your myeloma.
- Is there a clinical trial that may be right for me? There are many myeloma treatments available in clinical trials, there may even be CAR T-cell therapy options.
- What is the cost? Every person’s insurance situation is different so it’s important to understand what the financial impact will be.
- What is the center’s experience with CAR T-cell therapy? Your healthcare team should be well-versed in this type of treatment.
Beyond asking these questions, it’s also critical to research the therapy on your own –– ask your doctor where to find reliable information about the options you are considering.
You should also discuss the pros and cons of each treatment option with your healthcare team, inquiring about potential side effects, and understand how the treatment is administered and the frequency of appointments.
And it’s always a good idea to review your treatment choices with a care partner, such as a friend or loved one – someone you trust.
Finally, always speak up and ask questions. Remember, you have a voice in YOUR myeloma care.
To learn more about myeloma and to access tools for self-advocacy, visit powerfulpatients.org/myeloma.