Study results show that the type of vaccine patients received was an important factor in inducing an immune response, with those who received mRNA injections doing better.
Individuals treated for active cancer had a lower immune response to the 3 COVID-19 vaccines compared to healthier individuals, although they were predicted to still be protected, study results show.
Vivek Naranbhai, MBChB, PhD, DPhil, a clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital (Vivek Naranbhai, MBChB, PhD, DPhil, a clinical fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in a statement.
Researchers measured the individual’s concentration of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and neutralizing titers to determine how well the antibodies prevent the virus from entering cells.
Individuals with cancer reactions to the 3 vaccines were lower compared to healthier individuals, but most have responses likely sufficient to protect against serious illness, while those who received immune-blocking treatments tended to have a enhanced immune response.
The type of vaccine individuals received was an important factor in inducing an immune response, with individuals receiving the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine having a lower immune response than those receiving an mRNA vaccine.
Additional doses of the vaccine elicited a higher immune response in those who received the booster dose, which was safe and well tolerated.
Individuals who had previously had a COVID-19 infection also had a higher immune response to the vaccine, while older age predicted a lower response.
Immunity from the vaccines declined over time.
Researchers included 1001 individuals with various hematologic and solid organ malignancies who were treated at the Mass General Cancer Center and who had received 2 doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or 1 dose of the J&J vaccine.
Of the subjects, 32 had received a booster dose of vaccine.
“We are also trying to learn more about how vaccines generally perform in patients with cancer, which could help advance the ongoing research into vaccines for the treatment of cancer,” Naranbhai said.
The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are safe and immunogenic in most people with cancer. EurekAlert. news item. November 10, 2021. Accessed November 12, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934460