A new, first-of-its-kind study published by Israelis researchers has shown that most people actively undergoing cancer treatment can still develop a high enough level of antibodies from taking the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The study was published in the JAMA Oncology peer-reviewed journal amid worldwide concerns that cancer patients may not have be able to develop enough protection against the coronavirus by taking the vaccine and against the backdrop of an understanding that patients with cancer are at higher risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Center at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Greater Tel Aviv, examined cancer patients who were receiving active treatments. The patients, whose average age was 66, had a variety of cancers, including breast, lung, colon and brain. Ninety-two patients, or about 92%, and all of the controls had detectable antibodies after the second Pfizer vaccine shot.
“We found that there is a high level of antibodies that provides complete protection to 90% of oncology patients during active treatment against cancer,” explained Prof. Salomon M. Stemmer, Director, Oncology Research Unit, Rabin Medical Center.
“The majority of cancer patients…developed good levels of antibodies against COVID-19 to feel safe and continue their regular behavior just like the general population,” he said. “This is great news for the patients.”