Antibody binding and neutralization of live SARS-CoV-2 variants including BA.4/5 following booster vaccination of patients with B-cell malignancies

Cancer Res Commun. 2022 Dec;2(12):1684-1692. doi: 10.1158/2767-9764.crc-22-0471.


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (NHL/CLL) patients elicit inadequate antibody responses after initial SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and remain at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease. We investigated IgG, IgA, and IgM responses after booster vaccination against recent SARS-CoV-2 variants including Omicron BA.5 in 67 patients. Patients had lower fold increase and total anti-spike binding titers after booster than healthy individuals. Antibody responses negatively correlated with recent anti-CD20 therapy and low B cell numbers. Antibodies generated after booster demonstrated similar binding properties against SARS-CoV-2 variants compared to those generated by healthy controls with lower binding against Omicron variants. Importantly, 43% of patients showed anti-Omicron BA.1 neutralizing antibodies after booster and all these patients also had anti-Omicron BA.5 neutralizing antibodies. NHL/CLL patients demonstrated inferior antibody responses after booster vaccination, particularly against Omicron variants. Prioritization of prophylactic and treatment agents and vaccination of patients and close contacts with updated vaccine formulations are essential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing

Supplementary concepts

  • SARS-CoV-2 variants