Medical Technology

Cancer patients can benefit from mRNA-based vaccines

(Reuters) – Although people who suffer from cancer do not have the typical strong immune response to COVID-19 vaccines however, they can still benefit from the shots, according to new data.

Researchers from the U.S. Veterans Affairs healthcare network compared 29152 patients diagnosed with cancer who were vaccinated to the same number of patients who were not vaccinated. Immunization with both doses of an mRNA vaccination from Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech was linked with lower infection rates, particularly for patients who were not receiving systemic treatment and those receiving hormonal therapy researchers reported in JAMA Oncology.

After 14 days following the second dose, the efficacy of the vaccines was 58% in all 76% in patients receiving hormone therapy, and 85% in those who had not received any systemic therapy – including chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs – for at least 6 months.

There were a few deaths related to COVID-19 in general, but the rate was much lower in the vaccinated group.

Researchers said that their study was the first to show the effectiveness of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 patients with cancer.

SOURCE: JAMA Oncology, online December 2, 2021

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