Covid-19 vaccines protect cancer patients, says European Society of Medical Oncology based on new studies confirming that vaccination is safe and effective.
The results of studies presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Lugano, Switzerland, confirm that coronavirus vaccination is safe and effective in cancer patients, so it should be promoted to this group of the population. . Also, a third booster dose can probably improve the immune response in those cancer patients who do not have adequate protection after the second dose.
This is the long-awaited scientific confirmation that cancer patients not only should not be afraid of coronavirus vaccines, but have every reason to do so. A number of studies now show that most cancer patients have a normal immune response to Covid-19 vaccines and have no more side effects than the general population. In addition, it is estimated that an extra dose could further increase the level of protection in this population group.
As cancer patients were excluded from the initial clinical trials of the vaccines, some doubts were expressed about their safety and efficacy in these vulnerable patients who often have a weakened immune system. But according to ESMO, there is no longer any cause for concern. At this year's conference, the relationship of Covid-19 with oncology was the focus, with more than 90 studies, according to its representative George Pentheroudakis.
An example is a Dutch study of 791 oncology patients in various hospitals, which concluded that those vaccinated were protected against coronavirus regardless of their type of cancer treatment (chemotherapy, immunotherapy or a combination thereof). Four weeks after their full vaccination with Moderna, 84% of patients on chemotherapy had developed adequate levels of antibodies, as did 89% of patients on combination chemotherapy and 93% of patients on immunotherapy. On the other hand, it was found that with one dose of vaccine only one third of the patients undergoing chemotherapy had achieved an adequate immune response against the coronavirus, so the scientists stressed the need to administer both doses.
A second Israeli study in 232 cancer patients and 261 non-cancer patients (control group) vaccinated with Pfizer / BioNTech showed that 86% of cancer patients developed adequate antibodies after full vaccination (compared with only 29% after the first dose). .
A third British study called CAPTURE in 585 cancer patients vaccinated with Pfizer / BioNTech or AstraZeneca found that most of their cancer patients (69%) had not developed any neutralizing antibodies against the dominant Coronavirus Delta variant. That is why, on behalf of ESMO, oncologist Dr. Quiz Castellano-Blanco noted that "the findings provide additional evidence that both doses, possibly a third booster, should be given to improve the protection of cancer patients. as it seems that their immune system will respond to the extra dose ".
He added that, combined with the fact that new studies have found no more side effects of the vaccines in cancer patients, there is now clear evidence that the Covid-19 vaccine is largely safe and effective in them as well as in the general population. . Any side effects of the vaccine in cancer patients are mild and common to the general population: most common are minor pain at the injection site, fatigue, fever, chills, headache and muscle aches - usually mild to moderate. degree.