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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316788

ABSTRACT

Background: Cancer patients are vulnerable populations for COVID-19 complications and mortality. We previously reported on the poor single-dose immunogenicity of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in cancer patients, particularly those with haematological malignancies. Methods: In this prospective, observational study relating to the safety and immunogenicity of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, 201 vaccinated cancer patients (solid cancer n=125;haematological cancer n=76) and 54 healthy controls (mostly health-care workers “HCW”) were recruited between December 8th, 2020, and April 23rd, 2021. The previously reported interim results covered a period of 101 days since first patient recruitment, during which time 47 subjects received a second “boost” vaccination on day 21. Because of the change in UK Government policy, all others received a delayed vaccine boost at about 12 weeks after their first vaccination, and had their blood sampled 2 weeks’ later. Here, we describe immunogenicity data following the delayed boost in 31 HCWs, 72 solid cancer and 56 haematological cancer patients. Seroconversion, virus neutralisation, and T cell assays were as described previously, with an additional test for neutralisation of the B.1.617.2 (delta) variant-ofconcern (VOC). The primary endpoint of the study was the impact on seroconversion following delayed (>21days) vaccine boosting in solid and haematological cancer patients. The secondary endpoints were: safety following delayed vaccine boost;T cell responses;and neutralisation of SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan (“wild type” [WT]), B.1.1.7 (alpha), and B.1.617.2 (delta) variants.Findings: Delayed (>21days) boost vaccination of solid cancer patients and haematological cancer patients with the BNT162b2 vaccine was well tolerated, as the primary vaccination had been. There was no vaccine-associated death. Boosting significantly increased solid cancer patients’ seroconversion responses, that had been strikingly poor in response to a single dose: from 38% to 84%. Boosting also significantly improved vaccine immunogenicity for haematological cancer patients, but most (57%) still failed to seroconvert. Seroconversion correlated strongly with the capacity to neutralise SARSCoV- 2 cell entry, although neutralisation of the WT variant was typically greater than of the VOC. Neutralisation was significantly increased by boosting for HCWs but not for cancer patients. In comparison to seroconversion, boosting achieved higher rates of functional T cell responsiveness (de novo responses) but had little impact on the magnitude of T cell responses for those who had responded to first-dose vaccination. When patients were scored as showing both seroconversion and T cell responses, the unfavourable situation of haematological cancer patients was overt with only 36% (12/33) defined as being responders compared to 78% (25/32) of solid cancer patients and 88% (15/17) of HCWs. There was no significant difference in any aspect of immunogenicity for HCWs or solid cancer patients receiving the delayed boost versus the day 21 boost (this comparison could not be made for haematological cancer patients because too few received an early boost). Chemotherapy within 15 days either side of the boost exacerbated the likelihood of non-responsiveness to the vaccine.Interpretation: Boosting at either 3 weeks or longer (up to 12 weeks) post-primary vaccination shows high efficacy in terms of seroconversion of solid cancer patients and increases in their SARS-CoV-2 Spike-specific antibody titres. By contrast, delayed boosting left most haematological cancer patients without serological protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data support the ongoing adjustment of health care measures to limit the evident vulnerability of such individuals to SARS-CoV- 2, and to limit their potential to transmit virus variants that might develop in the context of absent or partial immunoprotection. The absence of any clear improvements in immunogenicity of a delayed boost relative to boosting on day 21 emphasizes the importan e of early boosting for cancer patients, and potentially of doing so repeatedly, particularly given how well the vaccine was tolerated. Chemotherapy, if possible should be withheld 15 days before and 15 days after the vaccination date.Trial Registration: The trial is registered with the NHS Health Research Authority (HRA) and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) (REC ID: 20/HRA/2031).Funding: KCL, CRUK, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Wellcome Trust, Rosetrees Trust, Francis Crick Institute.Declaration of Interest: None to declare. Ethical Approval: The trial was approved by the institutional review boards of the participating institutions (IRAS ID: 282337 REC ID: 20/HRA/2031).

2.
Lancet Oncol ; 22(6): 765-778, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531901

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The efficacy and safety profiles of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 in patients with cancer is unknown. We aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccine in patients with cancer. METHODS: For this prospective observational study, we recruited patients with cancer and healthy controls (mostly health-care workers) from three London hospitals between Dec 8, 2020, and Feb 18, 2021. Participants who were vaccinated between Dec 8 and Dec 29, 2020, received two 30 µg doses of BNT162b2 administered intramuscularly 21 days apart; patients vaccinated after this date received only one 30 µg dose with a planned follow-up boost at 12 weeks. Blood samples were taken before vaccination and at 3 weeks and 5 weeks after the first vaccination. Where possible, serial nasopharyngeal real-time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) swab tests were done every 10 days or in cases of symptomatic COVID-19. The coprimary endpoints were seroconversion to SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in patients with cancer following the first vaccination with the BNT162b2 vaccine and the effect of vaccine boosting after 21 days on seroconversion. All participants with available data were included in the safety and immunogenicity analyses. Ongoing follow-up is underway for further blood sampling after the delayed (12-week) vaccine boost. This study is registered with the NHS Health Research Authority and Health and Care Research Wales (REC ID 20/HRA/2031). FINDINGS: 151 patients with cancer (95 patients with solid cancer and 56 patients with haematological cancer) and 54 healthy controls were enrolled. For this interim data analysis of the safety and immunogenicity of vaccinated patients with cancer, samples and data obtained up to March 19, 2021, were analysed. After exclusion of 17 patients who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (detected by either antibody seroconversion or a positive rRT-PCR COVID-19 swab test) from the immunogenicity analysis, the proportion of positive anti-S IgG titres at approximately 21 days following a single vaccine inoculum across the three cohorts were 32 (94%; 95% CI 81-98) of 34 healthy controls; 21 (38%; 26-51) of 56 patients with solid cancer, and eight (18%; 10-32) of 44 patients with haematological cancer. 16 healthy controls, 25 patients with solid cancer, and six patients with haematological cancer received a second dose on day 21. Of the patients with available blood samples 2 weeks following a 21-day vaccine boost, and excluding 17 participants with evidence of previous natural SARS-CoV-2 exposure, 18 (95%; 95% CI 75-99) of 19 patients with solid cancer, 12 (100%; 76-100) of 12 healthy controls, and three (60%; 23-88) of five patients with haematological cancers were seropositive, compared with ten (30%; 17-47) of 33, 18 (86%; 65-95) of 21, and four (11%; 4-25) of 36, respectively, who did not receive a boost. The vaccine was well tolerated; no toxicities were reported in 75 (54%) of 140 patients with cancer following the first dose of BNT162b2, and in 22 (71%) of 31 patients with cancer following the second dose. Similarly, no toxicities were reported in 15 (38%) of 40 healthy controls after the first dose and in five (31%) of 16 after the second dose. Injection-site pain within 7 days following the first dose was the most commonly reported local reaction (23 [35%] of 65 patients with cancer; 12 [48%] of 25 healthy controls). No vaccine-related deaths were reported. INTERPRETATION: In patients with cancer, one dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine yields poor efficacy. Immunogenicity increased significantly in patients with solid cancer within 2 weeks of a vaccine boost at day 21 after the first dose. These data support prioritisation of patients with cancer for an early (day 21) second dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine. FUNDING: King's College London, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome Trust, Rosetrees Trust, and Francis Crick Institute.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , London/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/blood , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales
3.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292804

ABSTRACT

T cells are involved in the early identification and clearance of viral infections and also support the development of antibodies by B cells. This central role for T cells makes them a desirable target for assessing the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we combined two high-throughput immune profiling methods to create a quantitative picture of the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2. First, at the individual level, we deeply characterized 3 acutely infected and 58 recovered COVID-19 subjects by experimentally mapping their CD8 T-cell response through antigen stimulation to 545 Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) class I presented viral peptides (class II data in a forthcoming study). Then, at the population level, we performed T-cell repertoire sequencing on 1,015 samples (from 827 COVID-19 subjects) as well as 3,500 controls to identify shared "public" T-cell receptors (TCRs) associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection from both CD8 and CD4 T cells. Collectively, our data reveal that CD8 T-cell responses are often driven by a few immunodominant, HLA-restricted epitopes. As expected, the T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2 peaks about one to two weeks after infection and is detectable for several months after recovery. As an application of these data, we trained a classifier to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection based solely on TCR sequencing from blood samples, and observed, at 99.8% specificity, high early sensitivity soon after diagnosis (Day 3-7 = 83.8% [95% CI = 77.6-89.4];Day 8-14 = 92.4% [87.6-96.6]) as well as lasting sensitivity after recovery (Day 29+/convalescent = 96.7% [93.0-99.2]). These results demonstrate an approach to reliably assess the adaptive immune response both soon after viral antigenic exposure (before antibodies are typically detectable) as well as at later time points. This blood-based molecular approach to characterizing the cellular immune response has applications in vaccine development as well as clinical diagnostics and monitoring.

5.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(620): eabj7211, 2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443349

ABSTRACT

AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), a replication-deficient simian adenovirus­vectored vaccine, has demonstrated safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity against coronavirus disease 2019 in clinical trials and real-world studies. We characterized CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses induced by AZD1222 vaccination in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 296 unique vaccine recipients aged 18 to 85 years who enrolled in the phase 2/3 COV002 trial. Total spike protein­specific CD4+ T cell helper type 1 (TH1) and CD8+ T cell responses were increased in AZD1222-vaccinated adults of all ages after two doses of AZD1222. CD4+ TH2 responses after AZD1222 vaccination were not detected. Furthermore, AZD1222-specific TH1 and CD8+ T cells both displayed a high degree of polyfunctionality in all adult age groups. T cell receptor ß (TCRß) sequences from vaccinated participants mapped against TCR sequences known to react to SARS-CoV-2 revealed substantial breadth and depth across the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for both AZD1222-induced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses. Overall, AZD1222 vaccination induced a polyfunctional TH1-dominated T cell response, with broad CD4+ and CD8+ T cell coverage across the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
6.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0249484, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379827

ABSTRACT

The human adaptive immune system must generate extraordinary diversity to be able to respond to all possible pathogens. The T-cell repertoire derives this high diversity through somatic recombination of the T-cell receptor (TCR) locus, a random process that results in repertoires that are largely private to each individual. However, factors such as thymic selection and T-cell proliferation upon antigen exposure can affect TCR sharing among individuals. By immunosequencing the TCRß variable region of 426 healthy individuals, we find that, on average, fewer than 1% of TCRß clones are shared between individuals, consistent with largely private TCRß repertoires. However, we detect a significant correlation between increased HLA allele sharing and increased number of shared TCRß clones, with each additional shared HLA allele contributing to an increase in ~0.01% of the total shared TCRß clones, supporting a key role for HLA type in shaping the immune repertoire. Surprisingly, we find that shared antigen exposure to CMV leads to fewer shared TCRß clones, even after controlling for HLA, indicative of a largely private response to major viral antigenic exposure. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that increased age is correlated with decreased overall TCRß clone sharing, indicating that the pattern of private TCRß clonal expansion is a general feature of the T-cell response to other infectious antigens as well. However, increased age also correlates with increased sharing among the lowest frequency clones, consistent with decreased repertoire diversity in older individuals. Together, all of these factors contribute to shaping the TCRß repertoire, and understanding their interplay has important implications for the use of T cells for therapeutics and diagnostics.


Subject(s)
HLA Antigens/immunology , Histocompatibility Testing , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Chronic Disease , Cytomegalovirus Infections/immunology , Histocompatibility Testing/methods , Humans
7.
Br J Cancer ; 125(7): 939-947, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360191

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Using an updated dataset with more patients and extended follow-up, we further established cancer patient characteristics associated with COVID-19 death. METHODS: Data on all cancer patients with a positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction swab for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) at Guy's Cancer Centre and King's College Hospital between 29 February and 31 July 2020 was used. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to identify which factors were associated with COVID-19 mortality. RESULTS: Three hundred and six SARS-CoV-2-positive cancer patients were included. Seventy-one had mild/moderate and 29% had severe COVID-19. Seventy-two patients died of COVID-19 (24%), of whom 35 died <7 days. Male sex [hazard ratio (HR): 1.97 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15-3.38)], Asian ethnicity [3.42 (1. 59-7.35)], haematological cancer [2.03 (1.16-3.56)] and a cancer diagnosis for >2-5 years [2.81 (1.41-5.59)] or ≥5 years were associated with an increased mortality. Age >60 years and raised C-reactive protein (CRP) were also associated with COVID-19 death. Haematological cancer, a longer-established cancer diagnosis, dyspnoea at diagnosis and raised CRP were indicative of early COVID-19-related death in cancer patients (<7 days from diagnosis). CONCLUSIONS: Findings further substantiate evidence for increased risk of COVID-19 mortality for male and Asian cancer patients, and those with haematological malignancies or a cancer diagnosis >2 years. These factors should be accounted for when making clinical decisions for cancer patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hematologic Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Hematologic Neoplasms/complications , Hematologic Neoplasms/pathology , Hematologic Neoplasms/virology , Hospitals , Humans , London/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/complications , Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasms/virology , Risk Factors
8.
Nature ; 596(7871): 268-272, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262005

ABSTRACT

The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine1-3 has demonstrated clinical efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19, including against the B.1.351 variant that is partially resistant to neutralizing antibodies1. However, the immunogenicity of this vaccine in humans against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern remains unclear. Here we report humoral and cellular immune responses from 20 Ad26.COV2.S vaccinated individuals from the COV1001 phase I-IIa clinical trial2 against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain WA1/2020 as well as against the B.1.1.7, CAL.20C, P.1 and B.1.351 variants of concern. Ad26.COV2.S induced median pseudovirus neutralizing antibody titres that were 5.0-fold and 3.3-fold lower against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, respectively, as compared with WA1/2020 on day 71 after vaccination. Median binding antibody titres were 2.9-fold and 2.7-fold lower against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, respectively, as compared with WA1/2020. Antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis, complement deposition and natural killer cell activation responses were largely preserved against the B.1.351 variant. CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, including central and effector memory responses, were comparable among the WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 and CAL.20C variants. These data show that neutralizing antibody responses induced by Ad26.COV2.S were reduced against the B.1.351 and P.1 variants, but functional non-neutralizing antibody responses and T cell responses were largely preserved against SARS-CoV-2 variants. These findings have implications for vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
9.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(10)2021 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234670

ABSTRACT

Very few studies investigating COVID-19 in cancer patients have included cancer patients as controls. We aimed to identify factors associated with the risk of testing positive for SARS CoV2 infection in a cohort of cancer patients. We analyzed data from all cancer patients swabbed for COVID-19 between 1st March and 31st July 2020 at Guy's Cancer Centre. We conducted logistic regression analyses to identify which factors were associated with a positive COVID-19 test. Results: Of the 2152 patients tested for COVID-19, 190 (9%) tested positive. Male sex, black ethnicity, and hematological cancer type were positively associated with risk of COVID-19 (OR = 1.85, 95%CI:1.37-2.51; OR = 1.93, 95%CI:1.31-2.84; OR = 2.29, 95%CI:1.45-3.62, respectively) as compared to females, white ethnicity, or solid cancer type, respectively. Male, Asian ethnicity, and hematological cancer type were associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 (OR = 3.12, 95%CI:1.58-6.14; OR = 2.97, 95%CI:1.00-8.93; OR = 2.43, 95%CI:1.00-5.90, respectively). This study is one of the first to compare the risk of COVID-19 incidence and severity in cancer patients when including cancer patients as controls. Results from this study have echoed those of previous reports, that patients who are male, of black or Asian ethnicity, or with a hematological malignancy are at an increased risk of COVID-19.

10.
Cancer Cell ; 39(2): 257-275.e6, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009339

ABSTRACT

Given the immune system's importance for cancer surveillance and treatment, we have investigated how it may be affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection of cancer patients. Across some heterogeneity in tumor type, stage, and treatment, virus-exposed solid cancer patients display a dominant impact of SARS-CoV-2, apparent from the resemblance of their immune signatures to those for COVID-19+ non-cancer patients. This is not the case for hematological malignancies, with virus-exposed patients collectively displaying heterogeneous humoral responses, an exhausted T cell phenotype and a high prevalence of prolonged virus shedding. Furthermore, while recovered solid cancer patients' immunophenotypes resemble those of non-virus-exposed cancer patients, recovered hematological cancer patients display distinct, lingering immunological legacies. Thus, while solid cancer patients, including those with advanced disease, seem no more at risk of SARS-CoV-2-associated immune dysregulation than the general population, hematological cancer patients show complex immunological consequences of SARS-CoV-2 exposure that might usefully inform their care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/virology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hematologic Neoplasms/immunology , Hematologic Neoplasms/mortality , Hematologic Neoplasms/therapy , Hematologic Neoplasms/virology , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/therapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/etiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/mortality , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Virus Shedding , Young Adult
11.
Front Oncol ; 10: 1279, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-706935

ABSTRACT

Background: There is insufficient evidence to support clinical decision-making for cancer patients diagnosed with COVID-19 due to the lack of large studies. Methods: We used data from a single large UK Cancer Center to assess the demographic/clinical characteristics of 156 cancer patients with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis between 29 February and 12 May 2020. Logistic/Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify which demographic and/or clinical characteristics were associated with COVID-19 severity/death. Results: 128 (82%) presented with mild/moderate COVID-19 and 28 (18%) with a severe case of the disease. An initial cancer diagnosis >24 months before COVID-19 [OR: 1.74 (95% CI: 0.71-4.26)], presenting with fever [6.21 (1.76-21.99)], dyspnea [2.60 (1.00-6.76)], gastro-intestinal symptoms [7.38 (2.71-20.16)], or higher levels of C-reactive protein [9.43 (0.73-121.12)] were linked with greater COVID-19 severity. During a median follow-up of 37 days, 34 patients had died of COVID-19 (22%). Being of Asian ethnicity [3.73 (1.28-10.91)], receiving palliative treatment [5.74 (1.15-28.79)], having an initial cancer diagnosis >24 months before [2.14 (1.04-4.44)], dyspnea [4.94 (1.99-12.25)], and increased CRP levels [10.35 (1.05-52.21)] were positively associated with COVID-19 death. An inverse association was observed with increased levels of albumin [0.04 (0.01-0.04)]. Conclusions: A longer-established diagnosis of cancer was associated with increased severity of infection as well as COVID-19 death, possibly reflecting the effects a more advanced malignant disease has on this infection. Asian ethnicity and palliative treatment were also associated with COVID-19 death in cancer patients.

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