AACR22: A COVID-19 vaccine for people with B-cell deficiency
Although an array of scientific advancements is leashing the COVID-19 pandemic to some extent, still a large number of people with compromised immune systems – have been left behind. Because of the recent advancements in cancer therapies, including several chemotherapies and immunotherapies, survival among cancer patients has significantly improved. Unfortunately, these patients remain immunocompromised for a prolonged time as these therapies destroy B-cells that are responsible for antibody-mediated protection, thus lacking sufficient humoral immune responses after vaccination with current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The human immune system comprises two lines of defense – B-Cell mediated antibody response and T- Cell-mediated innate response.
When patients are immunocompromised, their B-cells are affected, but their T-Cells and innate immune system remain intact. A team of scientists has created a vaccine containing six SARS-CoV-2 antigens from different parts of the virus, unlike just the spike proteins in current vaccines, making it capable of inducing more robust and broader T-cell immunity than the current vaccines. Supported with very robust preliminary data from Phase I/II clinical trials showing T-cell immunity in 71% of subjects after 14 days that increased to 93% in 28 days, a great sigh of relief is on the near horizon for this vulnerable and isolated population.