CAR T-Cell Therapy Effects: Review of Procedures and Patient Education

Holly McConville, RN, BSN; Megan Harvey, MSN, RN; Colleen Callahan, MSN, CRNP; Laura Motley, BSc, RN, BSN; Heather Difilippo, CRNP; Claire White, BSN, RN, CPHON®


Background: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a cellular immunotherapy that redirects the killing activity of T cells to fight tumor cells. CD19 CAR T-cell therapies have demonstrated high rates of complete response in clinical trials in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell malignancies and have been associated with on-target side effects.

Objectives: This article describes educational opportunities for patients and families during the CAR T-cell therapy procedure, highlighting specific points where education by nurses is critical for safety and protocol adherence.

Methods: Current literature on CAR T-cell therapy was reviewed and supported by the authors’ professional experiences.

Findings: CAR T-cell therapy is a novel treatment, and repetition of information and building the knowledge base of patients and families is important. The role of nurses in educating patients about the side effects of CAR T-cell therapy is critical for the safety and psychological well-being of patients.

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