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T-cell profiling of hematologic malignancy patients undergoing COVID-19 vaccination

Santosha Vardhana

Santosha Vardhana


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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

Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, it became rapidly apparent that patients with cancer, and in particular patients with blood cancers, were at particularly high risk of complications and death from COVID-19 infection.  Over the past 18 months, our group has identified distinct roles for B-cells and T-cells in short and long-term control of COVID-19.  In recent work, we have also established that patients with blood cancers often mount poor antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccination.  The nature of T-cell responses to COVID-19 vaccination, and the impact of both cancer type and treatment on the ability to mount T-cell responses to vaccination remains undefined. To answer this question, we have banked longitudinal samples from over 500 patients with blood cancers undergoing vaccination against COVID-19.  We will use a multiparametric approach, including flow cytometry, sequencing and identification of COVID-specific T-cell receptors, and sequencing of the viral genome to understand the T-cell response to vaccination in these patients and how breakthrough infections might occur in the context of T-cell failure.

Special Grants
Grant Subprogram
LLS Funded Initiative
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