A study conducted by IDIAPJGol and ISGlobal recommends enhancing immunity against COVID-19 in cancer patients

A study conducted by IDIAPJGol and ISGlobal recommends enhancing immunity against COVID-19 in cancer patients

Researchers from the Jordi Gol Institute for Primary Care Research (IDIAPJGol) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center promoted by the “la Caixa” Foundation, led a study on the effectiveness of vaccines against Covid-19 among cancer patients in Catalonia. Work that has just been published in the journal Nature CommunicationsIt recommends administering additional doses of the vaccine among this vulnerable population.

Cancer patients are at increased risk of death from COVID-19, especially those with lung cancer, hematological malignancies, or those receiving systemic therapy such as chemotherapy.

The participation of patients with active cancer in clinical trials conducted to test the effectiveness of vaccines against the Covid-19 virus was very limited, so it was not possible to know exactly how effective vaccination against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is. The virus is among this at-risk group.

However, prospective data from several studies show that cancer patients may develop fewer protective antibodies against COVID-19 than the general population, especially after receiving a single dose of the vaccine.

Real world data

The study was just published in Nature Communications It confirms these findings, based on the analysis of big data obtained from clinical records. This is the most comprehensive work to date on this issue and the first to use information from real-world data, providing a more realistic view of how vaccines perform in everyday clinical practice among people with cancer.

The researchers analyzed data on 184,744 patients with tumors included in the Information System for the Development of Research in Primary Care (SIDIAP), a database that includes people treated at the first level of care in Catalonia. Half of the individuals included in the study (92,372) had received at least the first full immunization (two doses of vaccine) and the other half (92,372) had not been vaccinated at the time of the study.

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The researchers compared data on deaths and serious complications resulting from Covid-19 in the immunized group after receiving the first and second doses of the vaccine with those in the non-immunized group. The researchers then compared the results of the experimental group members after they received the booster dose of the vaccine (which was 54,267 patients) with a similar sample of people in the control group who received only the first two vaccines.

The results of the study showed that the death rate and serious complications among cancer patients who were not vaccinated against Covid-19 is twice the death rate among those who received the first full dose. However, this difference is smaller than that observed between the general population immunized against SARS-CoV-2 and unvaccinated.

“Our results clearly show that vaccination against Covid-19 significantly reduces deaths and serious complications among cancer patients, especially those who received the booster dose,” highlights ISGlobal researcher Ottavio Ranzani, who supervised the study with Talita Duarte Sales, from the ISGlobal Institute. . IDIAPJGol.

For her part, this researcher explains, “This work provides essential information to understand the impact of vaccination against Covid-19 on cancer patients, and helps design public health policies to protect this vulnerable population.”

Article reference

Lazar Neto F, Mercadé-Besora N, Raventós B, Pérez-Crespo L, Castro Junior G, Ranzani OT, Duarte-Salles T. Efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines against severe COVID-19 among patients with cancer in Catalonia, Spain. Nat Common. 2024 Jun 19;15(1):5088. doi:10.1038/s41467-024-49285-y. PMID: 38898035.

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