Monitoring of immunological response to COVID-19 vaccine in lymphoma/leukemia patients treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies and in patients who have completed allogenic stem cell transplantation

The pandemic with Covid-19 is still ongoing and vaccinations have started in Norway and many other countries. The RNA vaccines from Pfizer/BionTech and Moderna have been approved in Norway and strategies to prioritize individuals with the greatest medical need are in place. Patients who suffer from hematological malignancies are among those groups, as it has been shown that such patients are at higher risk of fatal complications from Covid-19 disease. We have previously shown that lymphoma patients treated with anti-CD20 B-cell depleting antibodies do not develop serological response to influenza-vaccination. This might also be the case for Covid-19 vaccination. However, such patients might still develop significant T-cell responses that could mediate protection against developing serious Covid-19 disease. Another group of patients that we know are immunosuppressed over time are patients who have undergone allogeneic stem cell transplantation. 

Patients that can be included:

  1. Lymphoma/leukemia on treatment with anti-CD20 antibodies alone or in combination with other therapies or within 6 months after such therapies. N = 100 patients
  2. Allogeneic stem cell transplantation during last 5 years. N = 100 patients

End-points are:

  1. To measure serological responses against Covid-19 (all patients)
  2. To measure cellular responses against Covid-19 (subgroup of patients)

Serum will be collected before vaccination and 2-8 weeks after last vaccine to monitor serological responses against Covid-19. Additionally, for a subgroup of patients peripheral blood mononuclear cells will also be collected in order to monitor T-cell responses against Covid-19. This is a Norwegian multicenter study where all university hospitals participate and sponsored by Oslo University Hospital.

Project leader:

Arne Kolstad


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