Doctors and treatment team stand smiling as they celebrate the introduction of CAR T therapy at LLUH

CAR T team at Loma Linda University Cancer Center. Physicians from left to right: Mojtaba Akhtari, MD, Chelsea Collins, MD, Sajad J. Khazal, MD, Albert Kheradpour, MD, Hamid Mirshahidi, MD, Hisham Abdel-Azim, MD

Loma Linda University Cancer Center introduces CAR T therapy, becoming the first and only institute in the Inland Empire to offer this cutting-edge cancer treatment for both children and adults. This significant development brings new hope to cancer patients in the region, providing a revolutionary approach to fighting blood cancers using genetically modified cells from the patient's own body.

“The availability of immune cellular therapy at Loma Linda University Cancer Center will vastly improve care for many people in the region who are battling blood cancers.  Loma Linda University Cancer Center is providing these cutting-edge treatments for blood cancer and soon for other types of non-blood cancer as new indications get approved; until now, those patients have needed to travel to the Los Angeles area for these procedures and follow up several times a week," said Mark Reeves, MD, PhD, director of Loma Linda University Cancer Center. 

CAR T therapy (Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy) is a personalized treatment that involves engineering a patient's immune cells to better recognize and combat cancer cells. This therapy has been successful in treating blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma with the potential to extend to other forms of cancer in the future.

"CAR T therapy represents a remarkable and truly revolutionary advancement in cancer treatment,” said Hisham Abdel-Azim, MD, division head of Transplant and Cell Therapy/Hematological Malignancies at Loma Linda University Cancer Center. “By modifying a patient’s immune cells to target cancer, we see high rates of success in curing patients who had limited treatment options. The good news is that CAR T therapy is often a one-time treatment, providing hope for patients with relapsed or refractory cancers."

The Loma Linda University Cancer Center serves a diverse population of over 4 million people, including many from minority communities.

"We are proud to be the only center in the region offering this life-changing therapy,” Abdel-Azim said. “Our multidisciplinary team approach and comprehensive support structure allow us to deliver CAR T therapy safely and effectively. This development will greatly benefit our patients, reducing the burden of travel and providing access to world-class treatment close to home."

“This new treatment option is a significant milestone for the region. Here at LLUCC we strive to provide our community with the most advanced and less toxic therapies for cancer. We combine personalized approaches from both medical and social aspects to support our patients,” said Judy Chatigny, RN, assistant vice president, Loma Linda University Cancer Center.

Learn more about treatments, programs, and research at Loma Linda University Cancer Center.  For new referrals or inquiries contact us at or 909-558-9602.