A hub-and-spoke model to deliver effective access to chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy in a public health network: the Catalan Blood and Tissue Bank experience

Published:August 27, 2022DOI:


      Background aims

      To describe and analyze whether a hub-and-spoke organizational model could efficiently provide access to chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy within a network of academic hospitals and address the growing demands of this complex and specialized activity.


      The authors performed a retrospective evaluation of activity within the Catalan Blood and Tissue Bank network, which was established for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to serve six CAR T-cell programs in academic hospitals of the Catalan Health Service. Procedures at six hospitals were followed from 2016 to 2021. Collection shipments of starting materials, CAR T-cell returns for storage and infusions for either clinical trials or commercial use were evaluated.


      A total of 348 leukocytapheresis procedures were performed, 39% of which were delivered fresh and 61% of which were cryopreserved. The network was linked to seven advanced therapy medicinal product manufacturers. After production, 313 CAR T-cell products were shipped back to the central cryogenic medicine warehouse located in the hub. Of the units received, 90% were eventually administered to patients. A total of 281 patients were treated during this period, 45% in clinical trials and the rest with commercially available CAR T-cell therapies.


      A hub-and-spoke organizational model based on an existing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation program is efficient in incorporating CAR T-cell therapy into a public health hospital network. Rapid access and support of growing activity enabled 281 patients to receive CAR T cells during the study period.

      Key Words

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