FRONTIERS IN ONCOLOGY, vol.11, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Introduction: After the results of phase III vaccine studies became available, the leading oncology societies recommended two doses of COVID-19 vaccination to all patients with cancer with no specific recommendation for tumor type and active treatments. However, the data on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy in cancer patients is limited due to exclusion of cancer patients from most vaccine clinical trials. Therefore, we systemically reviewed the available evidence evaluating the antibody responses in cancer patients.Methods: We conducted a systematic search from the Pubmed database and calculated risk differences (RD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) to compare seroconversion rates between cancer patients and controls using the Review Manager software, version 5.3.Results: Our systematic search retrieved a total 27 studies and we included 17 studies with control arms in the analyses. Cancer patients had significantly lower seroconversion rates (37.3%) than controls (74.1%) (RD: -0.44, 95% CI: -0.52, -0.35, p < 0.001) with first vaccine dose. After two doses, the seroconversion rates were 99.6% in control arm and 78.3% in cancer patients (RD: -0.19, 95% CI: -0.28, -0.10, p < 0.001). The difference in seroconversion rates was more pronounced patients with hematologic malignancies (72.6%) (RD: -0.25, 95% CI: -0.27, -0.22, p < 0.001) than patients with solid tumors (91.6%) (RD: -0.09, 95% CI: -0.13, -0.04, p < 0.003) and patients in remission (RD: -0.10, 95% CI: -0.14, -0.06, p < 0.001).Conclusion: In conclusion, COVID-19 vaccine seroconversion rates were significantly lower in patients with hematological malignancies and patients under active treatment. Further research focusing on the approaches to improve vaccine efficacy and exploration of novel treatment options is urgently needed for these patients.