Immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccination in melanoma patients under immune checkpoint blockade

2022 | journal article; research paper. A publication of Göttingen

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​Immunogenicity of COVID-19 vaccination in melanoma patients under immune checkpoint blockade​
Niewolik, J.; Mikuteit, M.; Cossmann, A.; Vahldiek, K.; Gutzmer, R.; Müller, F.   & Schröder, D.  et al.​ (2022) 
Oncology,.​ DOI: 

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Niewolik, Jacqueline; Mikuteit, Marie; Cossmann, Anne; Vahldiek, Kai; Gutzmer, Ralf; Müller, Frank ; Schröder, Dominik ; Heinemann, Stephanie ; Behrens, Georg M. N.; Dopfer-Jablonka, Alexandra; Steffens, Sandra; Grimmelmann, Imke
Background: Immunogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is modestly impaired in cancer patients due to a generally weakened immune system. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are expected to enhance immune response. This has already been described to be the case in influenza vaccines, and first data about COVID-19 vaccines show a trend in this direction. Aim: We aimed to investigate the immune response of patients with melanoma under ICI therapy after COVID-19 vaccination. Patients and Methods: In the Skin Cancer Center Hanover (Germany), we recruited 60 patients with advanced melanoma who either received ICI therapy during or before the vaccination period. Serological blood analysis was performed using quantitative ELISA for Anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein 1 IgG antibodies. Results: We did not observe an enhanced humoral immune response in patients under active or past ICI therapy after COVID-19 vaccination. Nevertheless, there is a tendency of higher antibody levels when ICI therapy was received within the last 6 months before vaccination. Subgroup analysis revealed that patients in our study population under ongoing targeted therapy during vaccination period had significantly higher median antibody levels than patients without any active antitumor treatment. Conclusion: Melanoma patients under ICI therapy show comparable antibody response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination to healthy health care professionals. This finding is independent of the timing of ICI therapy.
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DEFEnse Against COVID-19 STudy 
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin 



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