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Collaborative Study: Antibody Production Post COVID-19 Vaccines in Patients with Blood Disorder

KSL Diagnostics was pleased to collaborate with Dr. Francisco J. Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, Chief, Lymphoma Section at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), to study the antibody response of the FDA EUA-authorized vaccines in patients undergoing treatment for various blood cancers—particularly B Cell lymphoma (BCL).

The study resulted in a paper titled "Impaired humoral responses to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with lymphoma receiving B-cell–directed therapies" being published in Blood earlier this year.


The main goal of the study was to evaluate the response of cancer patients undergoing active treatment for their illness to mRNA vaccines and how quickly antibodies representing immunity can be detected, indicating an ability to mount a strong immune response to exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Within the study, 86 patients with various types of blood cancers undergoing treatment completed a course of Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In addition, 193 healthy volunteers and 63 elderly residents with no cancer history were enrolled in the study. By the end of the investigation, within the group of patients actively receiving B-cell depleting therapies or within 9 months of completing B-cell lymphoma directed therapy, only 6 patients developed antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus — regardless of the type of vaccine. Compared to the >95% vaccine mediated antibody response in the health volunteers and elderly residents, the study's findings raise concerns about the efficacy of mRNA vaccines in generating enough antibodies in the blood to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the current dose-schedule in B-cell lymphoma patients. Additional booster vaccine doses may be necessary at a longer time interval. Based on the study's results, it is essential that patients receiving treatments that suppress the immune system are monitored for humoral immune responses by their doctors.


KSL Diagnostics is proud to be a NYS/CLIA/CAP/ISO 15189 certified laboratory that developed a proprietary FDA approved SARS-CoV-2 laboratory-based antibody test measuring the IgM, IgG, and IgA immune responses. It is one of the only NYSDOH-approved tests able to measure all three immunoglobulin types semi-quantitatively, able to detect antibodies developed against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein/structural protein (S1 RBS RBD). It is effective in picking up vaccine induced antibody responses and SARS-CoV-2 infections and is supported by a large body of studies and data. In addition, KSL Diagnostics offers testing to detect total antibodies to nucleocapsid protein, which helps assess if a person has been recently infected with COVID-19 virus.


A PDF of the publication can be downloaded from Blood here.