Understanding KYMRIAH

Is KYMRIAH right for me?

KYMRIAH® (tisagenlecleucel) is approved to treat children and young adults whose B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is refractory or in second or later relapse. KYMRIAH is a therapy option for those looking for a different way to try to treat their cancer because previous treatments have not kept their cancer in remission.

KYMRIAH is different from a stem cell transplant (SCT). If you are considering treatment options, talk to your doctor about KYMRIAH. Go to What should I ask my treatment team? for help speaking with your doctor.


Topics to discuss with your doctor:

  • Your treatment history
  • Your advanced blood cancer's past response to chemotherapy
  • Any previous stem cell transplants
  • Other conditions you may have
  • All current medications, including supplements or steroids
  • What tests are needed to make sure KYMRIAH is right for you

What is KYMRIAH?

KYMRIAH is not a pill, chemotherapy, or transplant. KYMRIAH is a type of cutting-edge immunotherapy that uses the power of your own immune system to treat your advanced blood cancer.


Watch this video to learn how KYMRIAH works and the process for receiving treatment.


Watch this video to learn how KYMRIAH works. 

A natural defender, the T cell is a part of your immune system. T cells detect and destroy infected ‭or cancerous cells by looking for certain antigens. Antigens are markers on cells that help your ‭immune system identify normal cells from infected or cancerous cells; however, your cancerous B cells look like normal B cells, so T cells don't always recognize them. ‬‬‬


‭After KYMRIAH, your T cells will be able to recognize an antigen on your B cells called CD19. By reprogramming your T cells into CAR-T cells, KYMRIAH enhances their ability to detect and destroy your B cells, including those with cancer in them. Because KYMRIAH uses your own T cells, you may hear it referred to as an "individualized" therapy made just for you. After being treated with KYMRIAH, you may not need any other treatment for your advanced blood cancer, though you will continue to be closely monitored by your doctor.


‭To learn more about the therapy process with KYMRIAH, go to What is the process for getting KYMRIAH?.‬


If you or your family members would like to learn more about KYMRIAH, visit Download Helpful Materials.

KYMRIAH for Kids
How does KYMRIAH work?

KYMRIAH is a special kind of medicine that trains some of your cells to be cancer-fighting cells. Your trained cells will help fight your advanced blood cancer.

How do my T cells become KYMRIAH CAR-T cells?

KYMRIAH is a unique therapy that starts and ends with you. Your cells make KYMRIAH possible, so the process begins with your T cell collection and ends with infusing them back into you. For a more detailed description of KYMRIAH therapy, go to What is the process for getting KYMRIAH?.

First, your doctor takes some of your blood to collect your T cells. Then, they are frozen and sent to be reprogrammed into KYMRIAH CAR-T cells.
Next, your T cells are reprogrammed into KYMRIAH CAR-T cells. The CAR in CAR-T stands for chimeric antigen receptor. This CD19-detecting receptor gives your T cells a new way to target your B cells.
Once your KYMRIAH CAR-T cells are returned to your body, they are ready to begin detecting and destroying your advanced blood cancer.


What makes KYMRIAH different from other therapies?

KYMRIAH is different from other therapies because it is an individualized therapy that uses the power of your own immune system to fight your advanced blood cancer.


KYMRIAH is different from a stem cell transplant (SCT). 


If your advanced blood cancer has returned and/or isn’t responding to other treatments, KYMRIAH may be right for you. You do not have to be in remission (or get into remission) to begin KYMRIAH therapy.

KYMRIAH is typically given in a single infusion, unlike other treatments delivered more than once.

Your physician may decide to give you a short course of chemotherapy before receiving KYMRIAH. This prepares your body for new CAR-T cells.

KYMRIAH enhances the ability of your T cells to detect and destroy your healthy and cancerous B cells. Because KYMRIAH uses your own cells, you do not need a donor.


KYMRIAH for Kids
How is KYMRIAH different from other medicines?

KYMRIAH is not like other medicines you may have tried. KYMRIAH uses your own body’s strength to fight your advanced blood cancer.