Currently available COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy in clinical trials.1-3 However, cancer patients, including those with hematological malignancies, were largely excluded from these trials. In this prospective, observational study we measured anti-S protein IgG titers as well as avidity in lymphoma patients (n=67) vaccinated with a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. Serological response rates in lymphoma patients who were treatment naïve (100% in CLL, 88.9% in other, non-CLL non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients), or who were last treated more than 24 months prior to vaccination (100% in CLL, 90% in other-NHL), were similar to healthy controls (100%). Patients on active therapy, however, had a diminished response rate (40% in CLL, 21.0% in other-NHL). No patient who received anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) within six months of vaccination responded. Thus, the utility of testing anti-S titers should be explored in patients on active therapy or with recent anti-CD20 mAb exposure, to assess their response to vaccination. We also propose studying passive protection with S-protein mAbs as an alternative prophylactic strategy for patients who respond poorly to vaccination.
COVID-19; lymphoma; BNT162b2; mRNA-1273
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