During the collection of T cells through leukapheresis, some patients may experience numbness, tingling or muscle spasms due to a drop in blood calcium levels. This can easily and quickly be treated by replacing the calcium, either orally or through an IV.
Additionally, cancer patients undergoing CAR-T cell therapy may experience other symptoms such as cytokine release syndrome (CRS), allergic reactions or effects on the nervous system.
Other side effects of CAR-T cell therapy
CAR-T therapy can also have serious effects on the nervous system, resulting in symptoms like:
- Confusion or agitation
- Trouble speaking or understanding
- Loss of balance
Additionally, other side effects can include symptoms such as allergic reactions during the infusion, a weakened immune system, low blood cell counts or abnormal levels of minerals in the blood.
It’s important to report any and all symptoms or side effects a patient experiences right away to their physician, as there are often treatments to help manage.