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Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860837


BACKGROUND: Patients with solid or hematological tumors, neurological and immune-inflammatory disorders are potentially fragile subjects at increased risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 and an inadequate response to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. METHODS: We designed a prospective Italian multicentrer study to assess humoral and T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients (n = 378) with solid tumors (ST), hematological malignancies (HM), neurological disorders (ND) and immunorheumatological diseases (ID). A group of healthy controls was also included. We analyzed the immunogenicity of the primary vaccination schedule and booster dose. RESULTS: The overall seroconversion rate in patients after 2 doses was 62.1%. Significantly lower rates were observed in HM (52.4%) and ID (51.9%) than in ST (95.6%) and ND (70.7%); a lower median antibody level was detected in HM and ID versus ST and ND (P < 0.0001). Similar rates of patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 T-cell response were found in all disease groups, with a higher level observed in ND. The booster dose improved the humoral response in all disease groups, although to a lesser extent in HM patients, while the T-cell response increased similarly in all groups. In the multivariable logistic model, independent predictors of seroconversion were disease subgroup, treatment type and age. Ongoing treatment known to affect the immune system was associated with the worst humoral response to vaccination (P < 0.0001) but had no effect on T-cell responses. CONCLUSIONS: Immunosuppressive treatment more than disease type per se is a risk factor for a low humoral response after vaccination. The booster dose can improve both humoral and T-cell responses.

Front Oncol ; 12: 855723, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775732


Background: Frail patients are considered at relevant risk of complications due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and, for this reason, are prioritized candidates for vaccination. As these patients were originally not included in the registration trials, fear related to vaccine adverse events and disease worsening was one of the reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Herein, we report the safety profile of the prospective, multicenter, national VAX4FRAIL study (NCT04848493) to evaluate vaccines in a large trans-disease cohort of patients with solid or hematological malignancies and neurological and rheumatological diseases. Methods: Between March 3 and September 2, 2021, 566 patients were evaluable for safety endpoint: 105 received the mRNA-1273 vaccine and 461 the BNT162b2 vaccine. Frail patients were defined per protocol as patients under treatment with hematological malignancies (n = 131), solid tumors (n = 191), immune-rheumatological diseases (n = 86), and neurological diseases (n = 158), including multiple sclerosis and generalized myasthenia. The impact of the vaccination on the health status of patients was assessed through a questionnaire focused on the first week after each vaccine dose. Results: The most frequently reported moderate-severe adverse events were pain at the injection site (60.3% after the first dose, 55.4% after the second), fatigue (30.1%-41.7%), bone pain (27.4%-27.2%), and headache (11.8%-18.9%). Risk factors associated with the occurrence of severe symptoms after vaccine administration were identified through a multivariate logistic regression analysis: age was associated with severe fever presentation (younger patients vs. middle-aged vs. older ones), female individuals presented a higher probability of severe pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, and bone pain; and the mRNA-1237 vaccine was associated with a higher probability of severe pain at the injection site and fever. After the first dose, patients presenting a severe symptom were at a relevant risk of recurrence of the same severe symptom after the second one. Overall, 11 patients (1.9%) after the first dose and 7 (1.2%) after the second one required postponement or suspension of the disease-specific treatment. Finally, two fatal events occurred among our 566 patients. These two events were considered unrelated to the vaccine. Conclusions: Our study reports that mRNA-COVID-19 vaccination is safe also in frail patients; as expected, side effects were manageable and had a minimum impact on patient care path.

J Clin Med ; 11(4)2022 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715434


Correlation between risk of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and CD3+ counts within the peripheral blood stem cell graft has recently been reported in the setting of post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PT-Cy). We aimed to investigate the benefit of the addition of a single dose of anti-T lymphocyte globulin (ATLG 5 mg/kg) to PT-Cy in this setting. Starting in 2019, all patients receiving PBSC transplant containing CD3+ counts above 300 × 106/kg (study group) received a post-transplant dose of ATLG in addition to standard PT-Cy. The study was designed as a real-life analysis and included all consecutive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) recipients according to the above-mentioned inclusion criterion (n = 21), excluding cord blood and bone marrow donors. Using a 1:2 matched-pair analysis, we compared the outcomes with a historical population who received PT-Cy only (control group). We found a delayed platelet engraftment (29% vs. 45% at 30 days, p = 0.03) and a non-significant trend toward higher risk of poor graft function (29% vs. 19%, p = 0.52). The addition of ATLG impacted long-term immune reconstitution on the CD4+ subsets, but this did not translate into higher rate of relapse or viral infection. Acute GvHD was not significantly impacted, but 1-year cumulative incidence of chronic GvHD was significantly lower in the study group (15% vs. 41%, p = 0.04). Survival outcomes were comparable. In conclusion PT-Cy and ATLG was overall safe and translated into a low rate of chronic GvHD incidence.