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Southampton Clinical Trials UnitNews

Third vaccine dose improves COVID-19 immune response in blood cancer patients

Published: 31 March 2022

New research has found that the weakened immune systems of blood cancer patients can improve after they receive a third COVID-19 vaccination.

Patients with lymphoma have defects in their immunity system that restrict its response to vaccination. Despite this, this new study found improvements in antibody and T-Cell responses after a third vaccine dose, except in patients who had recently received a certain antibody treatment for their cancer.

The study, led by Dr Sean Lim at the Univeristy of Southampton's Centre for Cancer Immunology and supported by the Cancer Research UK Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, has been published in the journal Nature Cancer.

“Despite the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions worldwide, a cloud continues to hang over immunosuppressed patients, who may not develop protective immune responses after vaccination,” explained Dr Sean Lim, Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant in Haematological Oncology at the University of Southampton. “In particular, individuals with haematological malignancies are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 disease even if they have been vaccinated.”

“We observed a good link between the level of antibodies in the blood samples and how well these antibodies blocked the virus from binding. This suggests that the antibodies induced in patients with lymphoma perform similarly to those in healthy donors.”

Read more on the main University of Southampton website.

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