Northside Hospital to expand biological therapy for certain cancers

The Northside Hospital Cancer Institute's immunotherapy program is expanding treatment for acute lymphoid leukemia and certain types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Immunotherapy, also known as biological therapy, refers to treatment that uses parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases like cancer.

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The network of facilities now offers access to a prescription chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell treatment “made from a patient’s own white blood cells,” which can be used in patients up to age 25 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in either relapse (went into remission, then came back) or is refractory (did not go into remission after receiving other leukemia treatments) phase, according to a Northside news release.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma that has relapsed or is refractory after at least two other types of treatments can also gain access to the Kymriah CAR T-cell therapy.

“These patients historically have had very poor outcomes, very low chances of even brief remissions and certainly no chances of a cure prior to CAR T-cell therapy. And now many of them are alive months or years after therapy,” Scott Solomon with Northside’s Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) program said in a statement.

According to the Kymriah website, the treatment may cause severe or life-threatening side effects, including cytokine release syndrome or neurological toxicities.

If patients have any of these side effects and are admitted to a facility, experts encourage them to share thpse symptoms with their health care provider.

NHCI, which is nationally recognized for leukemia treatment and stem cell transplantation, also offers Yescarta CAR T-cell therapy for patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and multiple myeloma and participates in immunotherapy trials for patients with acute myeloid leukemia as well as other “hematologic malignancies.”

Learn more about Northside's immunotherapy program at