Background: Information on immune responses in cancer patients following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is still insufficient, but generally, patients had impaired serological responses, especially those with hematological malignancies. We evaluated serological response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy compared with healthy controls.
Methods: In total, 195 cancer patients and 400 randomly selected controls who had been administered a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in two doses were compared. The threshold of positivity was 4.33 BAU/mL. Patients were receiving anticancer treatment after the first and second dose of the vaccines.
Results: a TOTAL OF 169 patients (87%) had solid tumors and 26 hemolymphopoietic diseases. Seropositivity rate was lower in patients than controls (91% vs. 96%), with an age/gender-adjusted rate ratio (RR) of 0.95 (95% CL = 0.89-1.02). Positivity was found in 97% of solid cancers and in 50% of hemolymphopoietic tumors. Both advanced and adjuvant therapy seemed to slightly reduce seropositivity rates in patients when compared to controls (RR = 0.97, 95% CL = 0.89-1.06; RR = 0.94, 95% CL = 0.87-1.01).
Conclusions: the response to vaccination is similar in patients affected by solid tumors to controls. On the contrary, hemolymphopietic patients show a much lower response than controls.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; antibodies; anticancer treatment; cancer; seroconversion; vaccine.