By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a summary of recent research on COVID-19 and cancer presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.
Patients with leukemia show strong T-cell response to COVID vaccine
Antibodies to COVID-19 vaccines are significantly worse in patients with leukemia than in patients with severe tumors, but new data suggest that they may still be better protected against severe viral infections.
Researchers at Monash University in Australia studied the immune responses of about 400 adults with active or recently treated cancer after three doses of COVID vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech or AstraZeneca. Only 3.2% of the 256 patients with solid tumors did not have antibodies capable of neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 and preventing infection, and 30% of the 137 patients with hematologic malignancies, the researchers said on Saturday in ASCO 2022. However, the responses of the immune cells were called T. Some of the cells that were able to kill infected cells were similar regardless of the type of cancer. Thus, the T-cell responses indicate an immune defense “for those who do not have an antibody reaction,” the researchers said.
The same team said in a separate presentation on Saturday that data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for cancer patients were “reassuring.” Responses from a survey of nearly 500 adults and children showed some of the following side effects, which were accompanied by pain and often fatigue at the injection site. However, the rate of severe reactions was low (0% -10%) and interruptions in cancer treatment were rare (0% -11%). “No significant change in quality of life was reported for 1 or 2 doses in children or adults,” the researchers said.
The discovery of COVID-19 is often significant among cancer patients
According to data collected by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and reported in ASCO 2022, the vast majority of vaccinated cancer patients develop COVID-19 and require hospitalization.
Researchers studied 231 patients who were diagnosed with an infectious disease during or within a year of treatment. Patients received at least one dose of the vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Most of the explosions occurred more than six months later. About 20% of patients with metastatic non-metastatic tumors and infectious diseases were hospitalized. The rate of hospitalization of patients with leukemia with COVID-19 ranged from 32% to 56%.
“Although the proportion of repressed cases with hospitalized patients in the ASCO register in 2021 remained relatively stable (approximately 40%), the hospitalization rate for recurrent cases in the last month of 2021 and early 2022 was low (approximately). Approximately 20%, this corresponds to less severe cases of COVID-19 in patients infected with the Omicron variant, ”the researchers said in a brief presentation. “The majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections occur after six months or more, which over time can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine and affect additional doses,” they said.
Patients with cancer are more likely to be in the long-term COVID group
U.S. researchers said on Saturday that ASCO 2022 cancer patients make up the majority of people who end up with persistent, problematic symptoms after recovering from COVID-19, U.S. researchers said.
Of the more than 4.3 million people diagnosed with COVID-19 between January 2020 and February 2022, they identified 1,700 adults with long-term COVID-19 and 37.3% with cancer. The most common cancers were skin (21.9% of cancer patients), breast (17.7%), prostate (8.3%), lymphoma (8%) and leukemia (5.7%).
Among patients with chronic COVID, cancer patients are older than non-cancer patients, may have other medical conditions, and may be hospitalized for COVID-19. The researchers called for “additional research to identify risk factors for long-term COVID in cancer patients.”
Click on the Reuters chart for available vaccines at https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl.
(Report by Nancy Lapid; edited by Bill Berkrot)