The Need for Academic and Community Collaboration With CAR T-Cell Therapy: Bijal Shah, MD; Michael Wang, MD

The hematologists from Moffitt Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center discussed the need for collaboration between academic and community practices for patients who receive CAR T-cell therapy.

This content originally appeared on our sister site, OncLive.

OncLive spoke withBijal Shah, MD, MS, associate member, Department of Malignant Hematology, Moffitt Cancer Center, and Michael Wang, MD, professor, Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, to learn more about the need for collaboration between academic and community practices for patients who receive CAR T-cell therapy.

The hematologists explained how integrating primary care physicians into the post–CAR T-cell therapy management of patients with hematologic malignancies is difficul and engaging community practices has not been a priority in many cases. However, integrating primary care physicians is important because they can closely monitor heart function and recovery of immunoglobulin while supporting the patient.

Gaps in communication still exist, particularly when patients come into the emergency room with CAR T-cell therapy–related complications, such as infections. Moreover, these gaps have been further exacerbated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wang says.

Aggressive treatments with vaccines, IVIG, and prophylactic antibodies for patients who develop infections after CAR T-cell therapy are helpful, but managing patients who develop CAR T-cell therapy–related complications away from the center in which they received CAR T-cell therapy is challenging. Furthermore, this underscores the need for close collaborations and partnerships between academic and community practices, Shah concludes.

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