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Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and breakthrough infections in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with cancer

Cortellini, Alessio; Aguilar-Company, Juan; Salazar, Ramon; Bower, Mark; Sita-Lumsden, Ailsa; Plaja, Andrea; Lee, Alvin JX; ... Pinato, David J; + view all (2022) Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and breakthrough infections in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with cancer. British Journal of Cancer 10.1038/s41416-022-01952-x. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Consolidated evidence suggests spontaneous immunity from SARS-CoV-2 is not durable, leading to the risk of reinfection, especially in the context of newly emerging viral strains. In patients with cancer who survive COVID-19 prevalence and severity of SARS-CoV-2 reinfections are unknown. / Methods: We aimed to document natural history and outcome from SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in patients recruited to OnCovid (NCT04393974), an active European registry enrolling consecutive patients with a history of solid or haematologic malignancy diagnosed with COVID-19. / Results: As of December 2021, out of 3108 eligible participants, 1806 COVID-19 survivors were subsequently followed at participating institutions. Among them, 34 reinfections (1.9%) were reported after a median time of 152 days (range: 40–620) from the first COVID-19 diagnosis, and with a median observation period from the second infection of 115 days (95% CI: 27–196). Most of the first infections were diagnosed in 2020 (27, 79.4%), while most of reinfections in 2021 (25, 73.5%). Haematological malignancies were the most frequent primary tumour (12, 35%). Compared to first infections, second infections had lower prevalence of COVID-19 symptoms (52.9% vs 91.2%, P = 0.0008) and required less COVID-19-specific therapy (11.8% vs 50%, P = 0.0013). Overall, 11 patients (32.4%) and 3 (8.8%) were fully and partially vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 before the second infection, respectively. The 14-day case fatality rate was 11.8%, with four death events, none of which among fully vaccinated patients. / Conclusion: This study shows that reinfections in COVID-19 survivors with cancer are possible and more common in patients with haematological malignancies. Reinfections carry a 11% risk of mortality, which rises to 15% among unvaccinated patients, highlighting the importance of universal vaccination of patients with cancer.

Type: Article
Title: Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and breakthrough infections in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with cancer
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41416-022-01952-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-022-01952-x
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Oncology, Public health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155073
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