Florida: A new study has found patients with cancer who receive chemotherapy — and some targeted therapies may mount an inadequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination.
The research has been published in the ‘Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovation, Quality & Outcomes Journal’.
“It is important for patients with cancer who are receiving chemotherapy to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Saranya Chumsri, M.D., a Mayo Clinic haematologist and oncologist, and author of the paper.
Dr Chumsri said this advice also applied to patients with cancer who are taking CDK 4/6 inhibitors.
These inhibitors are a newer class of medicines used to treat hormone-receptor-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers. Dr Chumsri said that while CDK 4/6 inhibitors are not conventionally considered to be as immunosuppressive as chemotherapy, her research on patients with breast cancer who take these drugs found that they exhibited less optimal neutralising antibody activity.
Dr Chumsri recommended that antibody levels should be tested in these patients after vaccination, and they should consider receiving booster vaccinations for COVID-19.
Dr Chumsri anticipated having additional data later this year regarding broader immune responses to COVID-19 vaccinations, including cellular and antibody responses in patients receiving chemotherapy and targeted therapies with booster vaccinations.