CAR T-cell therapy

Lymphoma consultation at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic now offers a new way of fighting cancer called CAR T-cell therapy. CAR T-cell therapy, which stands for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, was approved in October 2017 by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It’s a type of cell-based regenerative medicine. The process involves taking a patient's white blood cells, genetically changing a subset of them called T cells into CAR T cells, and infusing them back into the patient. The altered cells are better able to recognize and kill cancer cells.

This treatment is only available at select medical centers trained and certified to manage CAR T-cell therapy. Mayo Clinic was one of the centers that treated patients in the landmark clinical trial that led to FDA approval of this therapy in lymphoma and is certified to provide this therapy.

What you can expect

CAR T-cell therapy for each patient is an individualized treatment made by genetically changing the patient's own T cells.

Evaluation for eligibility of CAR T-cell therapy is a multistep process including consultations with a specialist in your cancer type, a doctor specializing in CAR T-cell therapy and our multidisciplinary team.

To proceed with the therapy, white blood cells will be collected from your blood at Mayo Clinic. Average time to make CAR T cells is 2 1/2 weeks, during which time you could be home. You will be notified when your cells are ready for infusion. You will then return to Mayo Clinic to receive your CAR T-cell treatment. You can expect to stay in Rochester, Minnesota, for about seven weeks for both the treatment and required monitoring and management for potential side effects after treatment.

Conditions treated

The FDA-approved indications for CAR T-cell therapy, Yescarta made by Kite Pharma Gilead, is aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, including the diagnosis of:

  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma
  • Large B-cell lymphoma transformed from follicular lymphoma
  • Aggressive B-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified (NOS)

Patients who have relapsed or refractory disease after two or more types of prior treatments could be evaluated for CAR T-cell therapy with Yescarta.

In addition, Mayo Clinic has multiple active clinical trials testing CAR T-cell therapy in lymphoma and other cancer types.


Please call the Hematology Department at 507-284-5363 to check if we have CAR T-cell therapy for your cancer type and to request an appointment for a consultation.


When you are seeking to understand coverage for CAR T-cell therapy at Mayo Clinic, ask the following questions:

  • Does my insurance plan include coverage at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota?
  • Does my insurance plan provide coverage for CAR T-cell therapy? If not, is there a review process?