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August 2022 - Maximilian Mair and Julia Maria Berger


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Dr. Maximilian Mair and Julia Maria Berger


Humoral Immune Response in Hematooncological Patients and Health Care Workers Who Received SARS-CoV-2 Vaccinations

Data on the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations are limited in patients with cancer. In this study, the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after vaccination were measured in 595 patients with hematological and solid malignancies as well as 58 health care workers as controls. While most patients developed antibodies after two doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, individuals with hematological malignancies who received B cell-targeting agents had lower levels than patients receiving other therapies or patients with solid tumors. In patients with solid tumors, differences in antibody levels could also be observed according to the antineoplastic treatment modalities, where the lowest levels were seen in patients who received chemotherapy. In addition, antibody levels after two vaccination doses were significantly lower than in patients with cancer than in health care workers as controls. In summary, these data highlight the need for adapted vaccination strategies and dedicated trials in patients with cancer.

Selected Literature

  1. Mair MJ, Berger JM, Berghoff AS, Starzer AM, Ortmayr G, Puhr HC, et al. Humoral Immune Response in Hematooncological Patients and Health Care Workers Who Received SARS-CoV-2 Vaccinations. JAMA Oncol 2022;8:106.
  2. Robilotti E V, Babady NE, Mead PA, Rolling T, Perez-Johnston R, Bernardes M, et al. Determinants of COVID-19 disease severity in patients with cancer. Nat Med 2020;26:1218–23.
  3.  Lièvre A, Turpin A, Ray-Coquard I, Le Malicot K, Thariat J, Ahle G, et al. Risk factors for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and mortality among  solid cancer patients and impact of the disease on anticancer treatment: A French nationwide cohort study (GCO-002 CACOVID-19). Eur J Cancer 2020;141:62–81.
  4. Mair MJ, Berger JM, Mitterer M, Gansterer M, Bathke AC, Trutschnig W, et al. Third dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in hemato-oncological patients and health care workers: immune responses and adverse events – a retrospective cohort study. Eur J Cancer 2022;165:184–94.
  5. Mair MJ, Mitterer M, Gattinger P, Berger JM, Trutschnig W, Bathke AC, et al. Enhanced SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections in patients with hematologic and solid cancers due to Omicron. Cancer Cell 2022.
  6. Mair MJ, Pajenda S, Ilhan-Mutlu A, Steindl A, Kiesel B, Widhalm G, et al. Soluble PD-L1 is associated with local and systemic inflammation markers in primary and secondary brain tumours. ESMO Open 2020;5:e000863.
  7. Mair MJ, Ilhan-Mutlu A, Pajenda S, Kiesel B, Wöhrer A, Widhalm G, et al. Circulating PD-L1 levels change during bevacizumab-based treatment in recurrent glioma. Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021;70:3643–50.
  8. Mair MJ, Kiesel B, Feldmann K, Widhalm G, Dieckmann K, Wöhrer A, et al. LAG-3 expression in the inflammatory microenvironment of glioma. J Neurooncol 2021;152:533–9.
  9. Fong D, Mair MJ, Mitterer M. High levels of anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in previously infected patients with cancer after a single dose of BNT 162b2 vaccine. Eur J Cancer 2021;154:4–6.
  10. Fong D, Mair MJ, Lanthaler F, Alber M, Mitterer M. Mobility as a driver of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in cancer patients during the second coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic wave. Int J Cancer 2022;150:431–9.
  11. Berghoff AS, Gansterer M, Bathke AC, Trutschnig W, Hungerländer P, Berger JM, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Patients With Cancer Treated at a Tertiary Care Hospital During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Clin Oncol 2020;38:3547–54.
  12. Fuereder T, Berghoff AS, Heller G, Haslacher H, Perkmann T, Strassl R, et al. SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in oncology healthcare professionals and patients with cancer at a tertiary care centre during the COVID-19 pandemic. ESMO Open 2020;5:e000889.
  13. Berger JM, Gansterer M, Trutschnig W, Bathke AC, Strassl R, Lamm W, et al. SARS-CoV-2 screening in cancer outpatients during the second wave of the COVID-19  pandemic : Conclusions for crisis response at a high-volume oncology center. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2021:1–6.
  14. Berger JM, Wohlfarth P, Königsbrügge O, Knaus HA, Porpaczy E, Kaufmann H, et al. SARS-CoV-2-related mortality and treatment delays for cancer patients in Austria :  Findings of a multicentric nationwide study. Wien Klin Wochenschr 2022.


Medizinische Universität Wien
Universitätsklinik für Innere Medizin I
Klinische Abteilung für Onkologie
Währinger Gürtel 18-20
1090 Wien

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