Cancer patients need COVID reminders even more: study

News Photo: Cancer patients need COVID reminders even more: study

TUESDAY, May 24, 2022 (HealthDay News)

Cancer patients continue to face an increased risk of COVID-19, even if they have been vaccinated.

Although vaccination is effective for most people with cancer (even if they are immunocompromised by the disease and their cancer treatments), its effectiveness declines more rapidly in this group, by three to six months compared to the general population, according to new research.

The UK’s Coronavirus Cancer Assessment Project has also found that vaccine effectiveness is much lower in people with blood cancers leukemia or lymphoma, those who have recently been diagnosed with cancer and those who have received cancer treatment in the last year.

“We know that people with cancer have a higher risk of COVID-19[feminine] disease and that the immune response in cancer patients after vaccination against COVID-19 is weaker. However, no studies have looked at the efficacy of the vaccine and its decline in cancer patients at the population level,” said study leader Dr. Lennard Lee, from the University’s Department of Oncology. of Oxford.

“We have undertaken the largest real-world healthcare system assessment of COVID-19 in cancer patients worldwide,” he added in an academic press release.

Getting a COVID-19 booster was especially important for cancer patients, the study authors found.

According to co-author Peter Johnson, professor of medical oncology at the University of Southampton, “This study shows that for some people with cancer, COVID-19 vaccination may give less effective and shorter-lasting protection. This highlights the importance of vaccination booster programs and rapid access to COVID-19 treatments for people undergoing cancer treatments.”

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 377,000 people with active or recent cancer who had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and undergone a COVID PCR test in England.

The investigators then compared the number of breakthrough COVID-19 infections and COVID-associated hospitalizations and deaths in this group with those of a control group of individuals without active or recent cancer.

Overall vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection was almost 70% for people in the general population who had received at least two doses of the vaccine during the study period, according to the report. By comparison, it was just under 66% in cancer patients.

After three to six months, efficacy fell to around 61% in the control group and 47% in the cancer group, the results showed.

Vaccine protection was higher against hospitalization (about 83%) and death (about 93%) in the cancer group than against infection, but it also declined after a few months.

The type of cancer treatment also mattered. In cancer patients treated within the past 12 months with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, vaccine efficacy was lower and declined more three to six months later than in cancer patients who had not received these treatments or had been treated over a year ago.

The results were published online May 23 in The Lancet Oncology.

More information

The US National Cancer Institute has more on COVID-19 and cancer.

SOURCE: University of Oxford, press release, 23 May 2022

By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter

Medical news
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