Multiple Myeloma Coverage from Every Angle

COVID-19 and Multiple Myeloma: Patient Questionnaire Findings From the UK

By: Cordi Craig, MS
Posted: Friday, October 8, 2021

Findings published in the British Journal of Haematology suggest that patients with multiple myeloma in the United Kingdom should continue to self-isolate due to poorer COVID-19 vaccine immune response compared with age-matched peers. Clinical concerns regarding immunosuppressive therapies, frequent medical visits, and poor vaccine response combined with social isolation may possibly impact patients’ physical and psychological health.

“Urgent measures should be taken to suitably modify health-care provision and provide psychological support for these patients,” Muhammad K. Javaid, MRCP, PhD, of Oxford University, United Kingdom, and colleagues stated. “Measures to improve COVID-19 immunity such as additional booster vaccination or passive antibody trials should be prioritized for this patient population.”

The study team developed a national Web-based prospective study to evaluate metrics associated with COVID-19 physical and emotional impacts from patient-reported outcomes. Between February 5 and March 29, 2021, during nationwide lockdowns in the United Kingdom, 109 patients with multiple myeloma completed the COVID-19 questionnaire and returned a blood sample.

Nearly all patients were fully or partially shielded during both waves of the pandemic due to current or recent immunosuppressive therapy. The reported impact on lifestyle and social activities varied considerably between patients. Almost one-third of the respondents reported making less healthy diet choices, but few increased their alcohol, smoking, or prescription drug use for anxiety or depression. According to the results, men were significantly more likely to be at risk of social isolation than women (P = .027). Via the Hospital, Anxiety, and Depression Scale (HADS), 23.1% of patients reported mild to moderate anxiety or depression during the study period.

Of the patients whose blood samples were analyzed (n = 107), 5 patients appeared to have had a natural infection. All patients who had a previous infection demonstrated a strong antibody response to the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than half of the patients (60%) had an optimal response. No differences in humoral responses were reported between patients who received the adenoviral vector (AstraZeneca) versus the mRNA-based vaccination (Pfizer).

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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