SDP5: Sweden’s CAR T Cell Competence Network (SWECARNET)

***See film content developed by SWECARNET at the bottom of this page***

Lead: Karolinska Institutet, LABMED and Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, CAST

Involved partners: Uppsala Universitet, Skånes Universitetssjukhus, Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, Novartis Sverige AB, Celgene AB/BMS, Gilead Science Sweden AB, Janssen-Cilag AB.

Aims: to create a platform and network for clinical use of CAR T cells in Sweden.

Examples of tasks and actions:

  • Develop guidelines including indications and the implementation of CAR T cells into the patient flows within one diagnose group
  • Develop guidelines and SOPs of how to apply and followup CAR T therapies and how to submit data to EBMT database – provide educational program
  • Develop SWECARNET app


Interview with project leader

Hi Stephan Mielke!

What is the need your project addresses?

The fast track translation of CAR T therapies creates significant challenges for both regulators and healthcare providers due to uncertainty in poorly understood, potentially life threatening side effects and unknown longterm effects. With few European clinicians with hands on experience in delivery and followup of CAR T therapies, networks of experts are needed to ensure establishment of critical guidelines, education and SOPs for standardised delivery and data collection, ensuring optimal performance and development of these therapies.

What is your approach to meet the need?

We are networking key persons in the Swedish CAR T field, within companies, healthcare, competent authorities and regulatory bodies, towards knowledge exchange and development of standardised processes for CAR T delivery and follow up. This network will work closely with the Regional Cancer Center (RCC) and the Swedish Norwegian Bone Marrow transplant group (SNBMTG) to create guidelines and recommendations based on the novel nature of CAR T therapies, but drawing from established expertise in allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

How will this improve Sweden´s capabilities within ATMPs?

Strategies developed within this network will ensure the processes by which healthcare facilities are approved to deliver CAR Ts are streamlined and that once approved healthcare staff will be have the resources they need to ensure optimal performance of these product. This means not only more patients receiving potentially life saving treatments but in more locations in Sweden to minimise burden of treatment on the patient. Sweden is focusing on value-based healthcare and the resources developed within this network will ensure that quality is not lost for the sake of quantity. In a general sense the lessons learned, information shared and processes developed through this CAR T network will build competence within healthcare personel, competent authorities and regulatory bodies who will then be more capable of implementing other ATMPs to Swedish healthcare.

For more information please contact Stephan Mielke


IN SWEDISH: from KUH/CAST doctors, nurses and nurses assistants on the patient experience of having life threatening disease and through CAST receiving possibly life saving treatments. Further, how it is to work in such a treatment environment, being a physchologist, friend and decision maker, combining resources and strategies, novel and standard, in high competence teamwork for the best of the patients.

IN ENGLISH: Stephan Mielke from Karolinska Hospital talks about the activities of SWECARNET, Sweden’s National cancer network towards driving solutions for implementation of CAR T immunotherapy treatments for cancer in Sweden and future challenges. Stephan explains the progression of cancer treatments and the progress made in the 20 years since discovery of ’T bodies’ in Israel to the gene/cell therapy product CAR T. Why was Sweden so early to translate a CAR T, treating the first patient in Sweden as early as 2014, and yet is falling behind in bringing CAR Ts to standard of care? SWECARNET is driving implementation of CAR T by building a National network of investigators, physicians/healthcare, patients/families/care givers, industry/companies and authorities/regulators to support both development of CAR T and adoption into standard of care.

IN SWEDISH: Watch the Swedish video for introduction to CAR-T development and implementation in Sweden and then interviews Sweden’s first 2nd generation CAR T patient and Gunilla Enblad, the first physician in Europe to treat a patient with CAR T in a clinical trial, a medicine produced at Karolinska’s Vecura under the leadership of Pontus Blomberg. Listen to hear patient perspectives on the implementation and use of CAR T and discussion between Stephan and Gunilla on the challenges of CAR T implementation and where energy and attention must be invested.

How do we create a common goal for CAR T in Sweden?