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Influenza vaccine immunogenicity in patients with primary central nervous system malignancy.

Al's Comment:

 This says that the flu vaccine is not as effective in brain tumor patients as it is in the general population.  It doesn't mean that you shouldn't get the shot, just that it is more important than usual to make sure those around you get it!


Posted on: 04/12/2014

Neuro Oncol. 2014 Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Influenza vaccine immunogenicity in patients with primary central nervous system malignancy.
Strowd RE1, Swett K, Harmon M, Carter AF, Pop-Vicas A, Chan M, Tatter SB, Ellis T, Blevins M, High K, Lesser GJ.
Author information: 
1Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (R.E.S.); Department of Biostatistics, Wake Forest School of Public Health, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (K.S.); Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Hematology and Oncology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (M.H., A.F.C., G.J.L.); Division of Infectious Disease, Alpert Medical School at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (A.P.); Department of Radiation Oncology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (M.C.); Department of Neurosurgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (S.B.T.); Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Infectious Disease, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (M.B., K.H.).
 
Abstract
BACKGROUND: 
Patients with central nervous system (CNS) malignancies represent an "at-risk" population for contracting influenza, particularly if they are receiving ongoing chemotherapy, radiation, and/or glucocorticoid treatment. The Centers for Disease Control endorses vaccination for these patients, although data are not available to indicate whether they mount an immunologic response adequate to achieve clinical protection.
 
METHODS: 
A pilot prospective cohort study was designed to evaluate the immunogenicity of the standard-dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine in patients with malignant CNS tumors. Baseline data collection included diagnosis, chemotherapy, timing of chemotherapy or radiation relative to vaccination, and glucocorticoid dose. Serum samples were collected at baseline, day 14, day 28, and month 3 following vaccination. Samples were tested using hemagglutinin inhibition to determine seroconversion (4-fold rise in titer) and seroprotection (titer >1:40).
 
RESULTS: 
A total of 38 patients were enrolled (mean age, 54 years ±13.5 years, 60.5% male, 94.7% Caucasian, and 5.3% African American). CNS tumor diagnoses included glioblastoma multiforme (55.2%), other high-grade glioma (13.2%), low-grade glioma (15.8%), and primary CNS lymphoma (15.8%). At enrollment, 20 patients (52.6%) were taking glucocorticoids, 25 (65.8%) were on active chemotherapy, and 3 (7.9%) were undergoing radiation. Seroconversion rates at day 28 for the A/H1N1, A/H3N2, and B strains were 37%, 23% and 23%, respectively. Seroprotection was 80%, 69%, and 74%, respectively. All rates were significantly lower than published rates in healthy adults (P < .001).
 
CONCLUSION: 
Influenza vaccine immunogenicity is significantly reduced in patients with CNS malignancies. Future studies are needed to determine the causative etiologies and appropriate vaccination strategies.
 
 PMID: 24714522 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 
 

 


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