With Covid-19 vaccination expanding to all age groups in different parts of the world, scientists have now moved their focus on understanding how patients suffering from life-threatening diseases such as cancer would respond to the vaccine. A recent study conducted in the United States and Switzerland showed that almost all cancer patients responded well to the mRNA vaccine and developed the desired immune response three to four weeks after getting the second dose of the vaccine. However, a very small minority of cancer patients who were part of the study did not respond to the Covid-19 vaccine at all, the Indian Express reported. The study which has been carried by journal Cancer Cell has raised challenges before the medical fraternity about few cancer patients exhibiting no response to the vaccine
As part of the study, a total of 131 cancer patients were administered with the Covid-19 vaccine out of the lot a total of seven high-risk patients failed to show any response to the vaccine. Dr Dimpy P Shah, corresponding author of the study was quoted as saying that no antibodies against the virus could be detected in the seven patients. Shah further said that the study has laid bare several challenging questions including if and when such patients be administered with the third dose.
Co-lead author Pankil K Shah was quoted as saying that patients who have developed hematological malignancies, such as myeloma and Hodgkin lymphoma were more likely to not develop any anti-bodies than patients who have solid tumors. The study also found that patients undergoing Rituximab therapy within six months of vaccination also failed to develop antibodies.
However, the patients undergoing chemotherapy developed a considerable amount of antibodies but the immune response was far muted than that registered among the general population. On several countries planning to give a single dose due to vaccine shortage, Shah said that it was certain that one dose of vaccine will not be enough for cancer patients to develop immunity against the virus.