“While under active treatment, patients with cancer are vulnerable to infection, as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immune-altering therapies can lead to neutropenia, lymphopenia, and altered immune competence,” commented Maria Alma Rodriguez, MD, Professor of Medicine, and Director, Cancer Survivorship Programs, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Immune deficits can persist for months or even years after treatment.” This seems to be particularly true in cancer survivors who underwent organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, CAR cellular therapies, monoclonal antibody treatment, or long-term immune maintenance therapies, as well as in those without recovery of normal bone marrow function after undergoing chemotherapy. At the NCCN 2022 Annual Conference, Dr. Rodriguez emphasized the importance of appropriate vaccination practices in these highly susceptible populations.
Sanft T, Tevaarwerk A, Ansbaugh S, et al. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines): Survivorship. Version 1.2022. Accessed April 4, 2022. Available at NCCN.org
Peters ZJ, Ashman JJ, Schwartzman A, et al. National hospital care survey demonstration projects: examination of inpatient hospitalization and risk of mortality among patients diagnosed with pneumonia. Nat Health Stat Rep 2022;167.
Kobayashi M, Farrar JL, Gierke R, et al. Use of 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine among U.S. adults: updated recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices—United States, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:109–117.
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, Kobayashi M , Farrar JL , Gierke R Use of 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine among U.S. adults: updated recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices—United States, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022; 71: 109– 117. 10.15585/mmwr.mm7104a1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 vaccines for moderately or severely immunocompromised people. Accessed April 4, 2022. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html
Recommendations of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. Accessed April 1, 2022. Available at: https://www.nccn.org/docs/default-source/covid-19/2021_covid-19_vaccination_guidance_v5-0.pdf?sfvrsn=b483da2b_80#:∼:text=The%20NCCN%20Committee%20recommends%20that,the%20preferred%20vaccine(s)