Having just returned from my 12 week Clinical Trial monitoring I got the first tangible hints that CAR-T (Chimeric Antigen Receptor – T cell) therapy is to become a reality at the James hospital at OSU Medical Center for CLL. I heard over a year ago that it was in the planning but while I was in the waiting area I was told by a patient that she was informed that she could be enrolled in a CAR-T Clinical Trial this summer at the James. On my way out I happened to occupy an elevator with a doctor in charge of Clinical Trials who told me it could come as soon as “a few weeks” but might be in a “few months”.
I view this as exciting because it expands the options for treatment of many patients who might relapse from targeted therapies only to be forced to go to other institutions with unfamiliar doctors and staff not to mention insurance, travel and other issues associated with such a change to another institution. For high risk patients in particular, a one stop shop for comprehensive CLL management to include the CAR-T option is a real plus.
At the James hospital, efficiency with registration, waiting times and release of medical test results to online MyChart have improved dramatically over the past two years.