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Stanford study of COVID-19 vaccine responses in patients with B-cell lymphoma

Ronald Levy

Ronald Levy

MD

Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

Project Term: June 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021

We are conducting a study analyzing blood samples from B-NHL patients before and at timepoints after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination for several aspects of immune system responses, compared to similarly-aged participants without lymphoma. These analyses aim to answer a few key questions: (1) Do B-NHL patients respond as well as healthy controls to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines?  (2) Does B-NHL subtype and/or treatment history, particularly the use of CD20-targeted therapies such as rituximab and BTK-targeted therapies such as ibrutinib, affect vaccine response? And (3) is it a good strategy to try to vaccinate patients before they start anti-lymphoma therapy, in cases where this is reasonable to do? An understanding of which B-NHL patients are most likely to have suboptimal responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and what in their response is lacking will help focus strategies for protecting these patients from a potentially fatal infection.

Lay Abstract

Patients with B cell Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (B-NHL) are more likely to become severely ill when infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 compared to the general population. Unfortunately, these same B-NHL patients often do not mount robust immune responses to vaccination. To understand how well B-NHL patients respond to vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and thereby how well they may be protected against COVID-19 disease, we are conducting a study analyzing blood samples from B-NHL patients before and at timepoints after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination for several aspects of immune system responses, compared to similarly-aged participants without lymphoma. An understanding of which B-NHL patients are most likely to have suboptimal responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and what in their response is lacking will help focus strategies for protecting these patients from a potentially fatal infection.

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