According to a study conducted by a team of physicians and a virologist, individuals with blood cancer who received three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine showed a strong T cell response, which may have contributed to the mild to moderate severity of breakthrough infections in patients who did not develop specific antibodies after vaccination due to their cancer treatment.
The researchers also found that patients with blood cancer who were able to produce antibodies had a higher quality of antibodies that were able to neutralize different variants of SARS-CoV-2 after their second vaccination. These findings suggest that Covid-19 vaccination can generate broad antiviral immunity, including potent neutralizing antibodies, in patients with blood cancer and that multiple doses of the vaccine can be recommended for these individuals without interrupting their treatment.
The study focused on patients with two kinds of blood cancer: B-cell lymphoma and multiple myeloma. “Our results show that almost all study participants had a strong T cell response to Covid-19 vaccination,” explains Dr. Andrea Keppler-Hafkemeyer. “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,” adds Dr. Christine Greil. The co-principal investigators and lead authors regularly look after blood cancer patients in the Department of Medicine I at the Medical Center — University of Freiburg.
“Covid-19 vaccination can generate very broad antiviral immunity — including highly potent neutralizing antibodies — in patients with various types of blood cancer. Consequently, multiple vaccine doses can be recommended for patients with B-cell lymphoma or multiple myeloma without interrupting therapy,” summarizes Prof. Oliver T. Keppler.