Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore previously showed that most people with cancer successfully produce antibodies following infection with the novel coronavirus. Now, in a study published online on June 5 in Cancer Cell, the research team has found that cancer patients exhibit an immune response following COVID-19 vaccination.
Overall, 94% of 200 fully vaccinated cancer patients seroconverted, i.e., produced antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The response rate was quite high (98%) among patients with solid tumors and somewhat lower (85%) in people with hematologic (blood) malignancies. Those blood cancer patients undergoing treatments (such as CAR T therapies) that kill B cells had seroconversion rates of 70%, and for blood-cancer patients who had recently received bone marrow or stem cell transplants, the seroconversion rate was 74%.
Co-senior authors were Amit Verma, M.B.B.S., is director of the division of hemato-oncology at Montefiore and professor of medicine and of developmental and molecular biology at Einstein, and Balazs Halmos, M.D., M.S., director of the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program at Montefiore and professor of medicine at Einstein. Astha Thakkar, M.D., a hematology/oncology fellow at Montefiore, was first author of the study.
Posted on: Wednesday, June 23, 2021