What is it about?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple vaccines against the novel coronavirus (or “SARS-CoV-2”) were developed. Among them, the BNT162b2 vaccine proved to be effective both in clinical trials and for the general population. But, most clinical trials did not test this vaccine on patients with cancer. During the pandemic, it became clear that these patients face worse symptoms of COVID-19 compared to healthy people. The symptoms change depending on the type of cancer, treatment, and the patient's immune strength. To address this, the authors of this study had earlier reported on the short-term efficacy, safety, and immune response-generating ability of the BNT162b2 vaccine in patients with solid tumors. In this study, they measured the same outcomes in patients who received treatment for solid tumors during vaccination and 6 months after vaccination. They compared these outcomes with those for a group of healthy people. They found that after 6 months, 79% of patients who had received drip therapy and 84% of healthy people had enough antibodies (proteins that fight infection) against the virus. Patients who had received chemotherapy had lower antibody levels than those who had received other treatments. The safety and decrease in antibody levels over time were similar in both of the groups. There was only one COVID-19 positive patient in the cancer group and none among the healthy group.
Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Many studies show that the BNT162b2 vaccine is effective in patients with cancer for a short time. This study showed that the long-term effect of the vaccine was equally effective for patients being treated for cancer and healthy people. Yet, there has been a recent rise in infections among vaccinated people. Further, the extended efficacy of the vaccine in patients with cancer is unknown. KEY TAKEAWAY: The efficacy, safety, and immune response of BNT162b2 was similar in patients undergoing treatment for solid tumors and in healthy people six months after the vaccination.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Six-Month Efficacy and Toxicity Profile of BNT162b2 Vaccine in Cancer Patients with Solid Tumors, Cancer Discovery, September 2021, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR),
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