From OHC

July 24, 2020

For years, the standard approaches to treating cancer have been surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The basic idea has been to isolate cancerous cells in your body and either remove or destroy them. These standard approaches can be very effective in managing cancer for many patients. Still, an estimated 600,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer in 2020.

Although overall cancer death rates are declining, patients are looking to cancer experts like the doctors at OHC to discover promising new therapies to help more patients beat cancer. And OHC is answering that call for hope in ground-breaking ways with adoptive cell transfer.

One of the most promising new therapies uses a patient’s own immune cells to treat their cancer. This approach is called adoptive cell transfer (ACT). There are several types of ACT treatments and the researchers at OHC have been at the forefront of evaluating these new treatments.

One ACT treatment that has shown great promise is chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T). Many cancer experts feel CAR-T is a major advancement because CAR-T helps your body’s own immune system T-cells recognize and destroy cancer cells. OHC is the region’s only adult cancer group to offer CAR-T to adults and one of only four in Ohio. OHC experts have been using CAR-T for almost two years to treat patients with aggressive blood cancers, and the encouraging news is that almost half of patients have experienced remission.

Now OHC doctors are evaluating an expanded use of CAR-T therapy with three new clinical trials, offering a new sense of hope to patients whose cancer hasn’t responded to standard treatments.

CAR-T Clinical Trial 17006: For cancer patients with additional complex health conditions.

In Ohio, available only at OHC: This trial is for patients whose B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma didn’t respond to chemotherapy and they are not eligible for a stem cell transplant due to other medical conditions, such as impaired kidney function, impaired cardiac function, age or another condition.

“Since this particular CAR-T treatment has fewer side effects, we believe it could be ideal for blood cancer patients who have other health issues or are older,” said OHC’s James H. Essell, MD, who is a national expert and author on CAR-T and serves as a principal investigator for OHC blood cancer clinical trials. This trial will also evaluate the administration of the treatment in an outpatient setting.

CAR-T Clinical Trial 17007: CAR-T administered in an outpatient setting.

In Ohio, available only at OHC: This clinical trial is evaluating the administration of CAR-T in an outpatient setting.

“This particular CAR-T treatment has shown to be less harsh with fewer side effects, so we believe it can be given in an outpatient setting instead of an inpatient hospital setting. Patients will come to our office for treatment. They won’t have to spend the night in a hospital but instead in the comfort of their home with family and friends. And it will be a significant cost savings for the patient,” said Dr. Essell.

CAR-T Clinical Trial CTL019H2301 (BELINDA): CAR-T as a second line of treatment.

In the Cincinnati region, available only at OHC: The standard of care for patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma starts with chemotherapy. Next, a stem cell transplant is performed if there is no response to the chemotherapy or the cancer returns (relapse). If the cancer still doesn’t respond, then CAR-T is offered. This clinical trial is evaluating the use of CAR-T after chemotherapy relapse to determine its effectiveness over a transplant.

CAR T-cell therapy represents a significant new treatment option for patients left with few treatment options. But not every cancer care provider is involved in CAR-T research. Fortunately, the doctors at OHC are and have made it available as part of their ongoing commitment to give all cancer patients access to leading-edge treatments.

“This is what I’ve lived my entire life for. And it’s too important to limit access,” Dr. Essell added. “This could be life-changing, especially for patients who are running out of options, so OHC is doing everything we can to make it available to more patients.”

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and would like more information about treatments like CAR-T or a second opinion, visit and click Request An Appointment or call 1-888-649-4800. Together, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan specifically for you.

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