Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president of Texas Oncology, discusses considering getting another COVID-19 booster or a fourth dose among breast cancer survivors or patients currently in treatment, as well as those who are may be immunocompromised.
There are several strategies to consider to get an extra COVID-19 booster, and patients should discuss these options with their physicians, noted Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president of Texas Oncology.
Should patients, both those being treated for breast cancer and survivors, consider another COVID-19 booster in light of the news of their declining efficacy?
Yes, so that’s a big call, and I would say that the CDC wrote this in their guidelines earlier this year: That patients who are either immunocompromised or who have cancer and are in treatment could consider a fourth dose. For Moderna or Pfizer it is 3 shots in a primary series and then a booster, a total of 4 doses. So that’s a potential strategy. And the U.S. oncology network has implemented that strategy and that guidance for our practice.
The second option for some patients who are immunocompromised – because some patients do not have an adequate immune response, especially some of our patients with liquid tumors – what may be a better option for them, is to check their antibody titers and if they are low to get a treatment called Evusheld [tixagevimab and cilgavimab] it is a long-acting monoclonal antibody that is also protective against serious illness and death associated with coronavirus infection.
So I think there are a few strategies that if patients are immunocompromised or have cancer and are in treatment, we recommend that they discuss with their doctor what strategy they should implement. But getting a fourth shot is definitely an option.