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Posted by on Aug 26, 2022 in Hodgkin's lymphoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

The study aimed to investigate the rate of response (seroconversion) to SARS-Cov-2 vaccination in patients with blood cancers. This study concluded that seroconversion rates in these patients were significantly lower than that of healthy controls.  

Some background

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) vaccination is recommended for all patients with blood cancers despite concerns around effectiveness. Seroconversion is the development of antibodies in the blood as a result of infection or immunization (vaccination). During infection or vaccination, antigens enter the blood and the immune system begins to produce antibodies in response. Seroconversion rates can be used to measure response to vaccination.  

Patients with blood cancers usually have a weaker immune system. This is either due to the disease or the treatments. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the antibody response to SARS-Cov-2 vaccination in patients with blood cancers. 

Methods & findings

This study reviewed 26 previous studies that evaluated the SARS-Cov-2 vaccine response in patients with blood cancers. The vaccine response (seroconversion rate) was compared to that of healthy people (controls).

After the first dose of vaccination, the seroconversion rate for patients with blood cancers was significantly lower (33.3%) compared to 74.9% for controls.  

After the second dose of vaccination, the seroconversion rate for patients with blood cancers was still significantly lower (65.3%) compared to 97.8% for the control group.  

This difference in seroconversion rates was particularly pronounced for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL; by 46%) and those with B-cell leukemia/lymphoma treated with anti-CD20 antibodies such as ofatumumab (Arzerra; by 70%) or with Bruton Tyrosine Kinase inhibitors (BTKi) such as ibrutinib (Imbruvica; by 63%). This difference was less pronounced (by 23%) in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). 

The bottom line

This study concluded that the seroconversion rates following SARS-Cov-2 vaccination in patients with blood cancers were significantly lower than in healthy controls. This was true especially in patients with CLL and in those treated with certain immune therapies. 

The fine print

The studies did not evaluate methods to improve the seroconversion rates in these patients. 

What’s next?

Consult your physician about the SARS-Cov-2 vaccination.  

Published By :

The Oncologist

Date :

Mar 11, 2022

Original Title :

Impact of Therapy in Patients with Hematologic Malignancies on Seroconversion Rates After SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination.

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