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COVID-19 vaccination in patients with cancer, a rapid review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

on behalf of the Cancer and COVID-19 Global Taskforce

Original languageEnglish
Article number1355

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The Cancer and COVID-19 Global Taskforce ( is funded through UK Research and Innovation as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund; Research for Health in Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (R4HC-MENA) project, grant number ES/P010962/1. Publisher Copyright: Copyright: © the authors

King's Authors


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine development and administration have become global priorities since the beginning of the pandemic, particularly for special populations at higher risk of complications and mortality, such as patients with haematologic and solid organ malignancies. This review aims to summarise the current data for COVID-19 vaccine efficacy in patients with cancer, suggest priority areas for future research and look at potential disparities at a global level. Although patients diagnosed with or receiving therapy for cancer were excluded from the initial vaccine trials, emerging evidence now supports vaccine safety with potentially diminished immune response in this group. Several studies that evaluated antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination found that patients with solid malignancies had lower serologic response rates compared to healthy controls, but better than patients with haematologic malignancies, who had the lowest seroconversion rates and antibody titres. As anticipated, poor serologic responses have been particularly observed among patients receiving B-cell depleting therapies. The data on cellular response are scarce and conflicting since not all studies have showed a difference between patients with malignancies and healthy subjects. Several questions concerning vaccination remain unanswered and require further exploration, such as response duration, need for response monitoring and rates of breakthrough infections.

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