SEATTLE — October 8, 2020 — Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), the only National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)-designated cancer center in Washington state, has been selected as an authorized treatment center to offer brexucabtagene autoleucel, also known by the brand name Tecartus™. It is the first and only chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).
“We are committed to ensuring that our patients have access to the best possible cancer care and the latest treatment advances,” said Nancy Davidson, MD, president and executive director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “Our team has a tremendous depth of expertise in the treatment of blood cancers and in immunotherapy. For more than a decade, we have been engaged in research around CAR T-cell therapy, and our staff is expertly trained to provide complex treatments of this kind. We know that relapsed or refractory MCL can be very aggressive and difficult to treat, and we are pleased to be able to offer a new therapy option for our patients with this disease.”
SCCA provides access to a broad range of treatment resources and advanced clinical trials; the organization is home to many of the world’s immunotherapy experts whose research has served as the foundation for many immunotherapies used to treat cancer. SCCA’s Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic, which opened in 2016, is a unique center dedicated to offering clinical trials and the newest therapies in cellular immunotherapy.
MCL is a cancer of white blood cells; a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, it comes from cells that originate in the “mantle zone” of lymph nodes. MCL predominantly affects men over the age of 60, and many patients suffer a relapse of the cancer after the initial treatment. Relapsed MCL is often highly aggressive.
Developed by Kite (a Gilead company), Tecartus™ was approved by the FDA in July. It is a one-time therapy that is created from a patient’s own white blood cells, which have been modified to recognize and attack lymphoma cells.
“The FDA approval of brexucabtagene autoleucel provides a desperately needed treatment option for these patients and is a step forward in advanced cancer care,” said David Maloney, MD, PhD, medical director for cellular immunotherapy at the Bezos Family Immunotherapy Clinic at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “Access to novel treatments like this CAR T-cell therapy at SCCA will save the lives of many suffering from MCL and will advance our knowledge of and efforts to bring more treatments like this to the clinic.”