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IASLC 2021: Antibody Response to SARS–CoV-2 Vaccination in Patients With Lung Cancer

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2021

A significant subgroup of patients with lung cancer do not seem to begin to mount a vigorous antibody response to vaccination against SARS–CoV-2 after the first of two injections, compared with healthy controls, although most, about 70%, do, to some extent, according to research results presented during the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer (Abstract OA01.01). The results are part of an ongoing, prospective, control-matched longitudinal cohort study of 750 patients who have lung cancer in all stages with or without previous SARS–CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination, noted Jorge E. Gomez, MD, of Mount Sinai in New York, and co-investigators.

So far, 111 patients (median age, 69 years; 58% female) have been included: 78 who had received at least one vaccination and 33 who had not. Patients who had received just one dose had a lower median antibody level than partially vaccinated healthy controls (P = .01). Similarly, fully vaccinated patients had substantial antibody titers but a lower median antibody level than fully vaccinated healthy controls (P = .01).

Of note, a subset of the fully vaccinated group of patients did not raise large antibody titers, said Dr. Gomez and team members, and “especially important were the 30% of partially vaccinated patients who did not develop neutralizing antibodies. Whether patients mount a weaker antibody response to natural infection and/or vaccination, compared to healthy controls,” is important to answer, the investigators indicated. It is possible that “a tailored vaccination program [will be] necessary to ensure immune protection in patients with lung cancer,” the authors stated.

In the study to date, no significant differences have emerged in median antibody levels in patients by gender, smoking status, or age. The type of treatment did not appear to be a significant factor either. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of booster vaccinations in this patient population, focusing especially on those who failed to produce any antibodies, the authors said.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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