COVID-19 vaccination could protect people with blood cancer

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In a study from the Medical Center-University of Freiburg, scientists found COVID-19 vaccination could protect people with blood cancer.

People suffering from blood cancer often have a weak immune system, putting them at higher risk of falling seriously ill with COVID-19.

Some cancer therapies, moreover, result in these patients forming few or no antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 after COVID-19 vaccination.

However, vaccination can also activate so-called T cells, which are responsible particularly for the long-term immune response.

In the study, the team characterized in detail the course of several months of the immune response of patients with blood cancer who had received a total of three vaccinations against COVID-19.

The scientists compared the quantity and quality of antibodies and T cell responses to the spike protein among blood cancer patients and healthy study participants after two and three COVID-19 vaccinations.

They found that patients who can form antibodies tend to produce antibodies of particularly high quality.

After their second vaccination, they are already able to neutralize and thus deactivate different SARS-CoV-2 variants. This ability is considerably more pronounced in this patient cohort than in vaccinated healthy people.

The results allow inferences to be made about the protection that vaccination gives these patients against serious illnesses from SARS-CoV2.

The study focused on patients with two kinds of blood cancer: B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

The results showed that almost all study participants had a strong T-cell response to COVID-19 vaccination.

The team says this could be one reason why breakthrough infections turned out to be mild to moderately severe even in study participants who had been unable to form any specific antibodies after vaccination because of their therapy.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about new treatment option for COVID-19, and vitamin D deficiency linked to severe COVID-19 and death.

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The study was conducted by Dr. Andrea Keppler-Hafkemeyer et al and published in the journal Nature Cancer.

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