Anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination After CAR T Therapy “Is Safe but Seroconversion Rate Is Low”

ASTCT recently published an article in their journal Nucleus detailing the COVID-19 vaccine after CAR T therapy.

The following was recently published in ASTCT’s Nucleus Plus: Emerging CAR T publication. Follow @Emerging_CAR_T for the latest from ASTCT on emerging CAR T therapies.

The largest study to date of the safety and efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in patients who have received CAR T-cell therapy concludes that the vaccine is safe but generates a low seroconversion rate (about 30%) even after two doses and a median follow-up of 77 days from administration of the first dose. French researchers report the finding in a letter to the editor published online in September in the British Journal of Haematology.

Researchers at Nantes University Hospital in France studied 23 patients, with a median age of 63, of whom 20 had received CAR T-cell therapy for high-grade lymphoma and three for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Eight of the lymphoma patients and three ALL patients had previously undergone allogeneic or autologous HSCT, including two who were transplanted after the failure of CAR T-cell therapy.

The median time from the administration of CAR T-cell therapy to the first vaccine dose was 401 days. All but two patients were in complete remission when they received the first vaccine dose; three patients were still on therapy. None had a clinical history of COVID-19. Patients were compared with a cohort of 25 volunteer healthy controls who were vaccinated at the same time. All study participants received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

No COVID-19 infection was documented in any study participants during the follow-up period. One patient died of sepsis 3.5 months after receiving the second vaccine dose without being tested for SARS-CoV-2 serology.


Gastinne T, Le Bourgeois A, Coste-Burel M, et al. Safety and antibody response after one and/or two doses of BNT162b2 Anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in patients treated by CAR T cells therapy [published online ahead of print, 2021 Sep 2]. Br J Haematol. 2021;10.1111/bjh.17818. doi:10.1111/bjh.17818

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