According to a recent study conducted by Mays Cancer Centre and the Geneva University Hospital, 94% of cancer patients respond positively within three to four weeks of the final dose of the Covid mRNA vaccines, but the lack of any reaction from the rest is keeping the doctors come to a conclusion. A study, conducted on 131 patients, apart from 7 individuals, all of them have shown signs of building antibodies to fight the virus. The doctors continue to assess the option of a third dose for the rest. The team has also excluded the T-cell and B Cell responses in the patients.
Dimpy P. Shah, the co-author of the journal Cancer Cell, is an MD in the Mays Cancer Centre. Shah, talking about the high-risk patients with no response, said,” “We could not find any antibodies against the virus in those patients. That has implications for the future. Should we provide a third dose of vaccine after cancer therapy has completed in certain high-risk patients?”
Senior co-author and the executive director of Mays Cancer Centre, Ruben Mesa, remarked “With other vaccines and infections, patients with cancer have been shown not to develop as robust an immune response as the general population. It made sense, therefore, to hypothesize that certain high-risk groups of patients do not have antibody response to COVID-19 vaccine.”
According to another doctor of the center, Pankil Shah, certain high-risk patients with malignancies in their blood, are least likely to react to the vaccine. Patients with myeloma and Hodgkin Lymphoma fall under this group of people.
The doctors are still finding how patients with chemotherapy have developed the response. Among the patients, 106 had solid cancers while 25 had hematological cancer. The study was conducted on 80% non-Hispanic whites, 18% Hispanics, and 2% African-Americans. The doctors are looking to study a larger and more diverse sample in the future. “We recommend that future studies be done in Black, Asian and Hispanic patients, as well, to see if there are any differences in vaccination immune response,” Dr. Mesa commented.
While drawing lines between this study and the ones conducted before, Dr. Pankil Shah said that they waited three to four weeks to study the patients rather than looking for responses after the first week. Talking about the high-risk patients who failed to develop an antibody after the vaccination, Dr. Pankil Shah added, “”They still need to have that awareness that they could potentially be at risk because their body has not responded to vaccination.”
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