Leukemia Research, vol.31, no.4, pp.493-496, 2007 (SCI-Expanded)
The protective power of two booster dose vaccination against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has not been previously studied in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who remained unresponsive to immunization. The aim of this study was to determine the HBV infection rate in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with or without seroconversion and to compare these groups in respect to HBV infection rate. The study group included 111 male and 85 female ALL patients with a mean age of 6.23 ± 4.10 years. Patients were divided into three groups as follows: Group 1 included 82 patients who were vaccinated during maintenance chemotherapy, Group 2 included 87 unvaccinated patients, and Group 3 included 27 patients who were vaccinated prior to the diagnosis of ALL. Seroconversion was obtained in 35.4% (29/82) of patients in Group 1. The incidence of HBV infection was significantly lower in Group 1 (4/82, 4.8%) than in Group 2 (25/87, 28.7%). When we compared only the seronegative patients in Group 1 with Group 2 in respect to HBV infection rate, Group 1 still had a significantly lower HBV infection rate than Group 2 (7.5% versus 28.7%) (p < 0.001). No patients in Group 3 (n = 27) had HBV infection. In addition to the seroconversion level, infection rate is also important in the evaluation of the effectiveness of vaccination. Our study results suggest that a high protective role of HBV vaccination was also observed in non-seroconversion ALL patients. The effect of cellular immunity on the protection against infection should also be investigated in such patients with further studies. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.