Lung Cancer Patients Respond Well to COVID-19 Vaccines

(Reuters) – Lung cancer patients may get good protection from mRNA COVID-19 vaccines even while undergoing treatments that suppress the immune system, a small study suggests.

From January through July this year, researchers in France administered the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech to 306 lung cancer patients, 70% of whom had recently received immunosuppressive therapies.

Patients with COVID-19 antibodies from a previous infection received only one dose of vaccine; most patients, however, received both doses, according to a paper scheduled for publication in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

About 10% of the patients failed to develop antibodies in response to the first two doses and received a third dose, which successfully induced antibodies in all but three individuals who also had blood disorders known to impair the effect of the vaccines.

The researchers noted that before vaccines, the death rate among lung cancer patients who developed COVID-19 was 30%. In this seven-month study, only eight patients, or 2.6% of the total, developed mild cases of COVID-19.

Because the study was small and not randomized, the investigators called for more research to confirm their findings.

SOURCE: Journal of Thoracic Oncology, released November 15, 2021.

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