Moffitt Cancer Center administers breakthrough immunotherapy.

In October 2018, the FDA approved Kite’s breakthrough Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR-T) Yescarta™ for people with diffuse large B cell lymphoma. The CAR-T based treatment reached another milestone December 4th after Moffitt Cancer Center’s announcement that the first commercial treatment of Yescarta had been administered to a patient.

Moffitt Cancer Center is actively seeking to enroll eligible patients; there are currently 10 patients awaiting treatment. Yescarta has been approved to treat diffuse large B cell lymphoma, commonly understood as one of the more aggressive forms of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Noting the precedence, Frederick Locke, Vice Chair of Moffitt’s Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Immunotherapy Department explained: "We are proud to lead worldwide efforts in this next phase of CAR-T treatment for lymphoma patients and bring this critical innovation to as many patients as possible.” He continued, noting trial results, “we expect many lives will be extended as commercial opportunity expands first from the United States [then] to other countries around the world."

According to Moffitt Cancer Center, Yescarta is approved to treat patients whose cancer has failed two lines of chemotherapy. To help win approval, Moffitt co-led the national ZUMA-1 clinical trial and provided the clinical setting for the breakthrough therapy.

Since the first infusion, six patients have had their T cells removed and sent to Kite’s (now a Gilead company) facilities for apheresis—the process where a patient's T cells are removed and engineered with additional receptors to target, and destroy cancer cells.

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center has been recognized as a Top 10 cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report and one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction noted the center recognizing Moffitt’s excellence in research and clinical trials.