University of Southampton: Southampton led trial into COVID-19 vaccine response in lymphoid cancer patients

A new observational trial has started, evaluating immune responses in patients with lymphoid cancers to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Prospective Observational Study Evaluating COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Responses in Lymphoid Cancer (PROSECO) trial aims to recruit 680 patients who will provide blood samples before and after vaccination so that clinicians can study their B and T cell responses.

Lymphoid cancers or lymphomas, originate from lymphocytes, a type of immune system cell. PROSECO is looking to recruit patient with all types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

The trial will run from seven sites across the UK – the centres in Southampton, Oxford, Nottingham, Leicester, Portsmouth, Norwich are now open and another is being set up in Newcastle. Patients with lymphoid cancer are being approached by clinicians and invited to attend but patients who live in areas of participating centres are encouraged to approach their clinicians if they are interested in taking part and not had, or had their second dose less than 4 weeks ago. The researchers aim to study the immune responses to all approved vaccines in the UK.

Dr Sean Lim from the Centre for Cancer Immunology at the University of Southampton will lead the trial. She said, “Patients with lymphoid malignancies have weakened immune systems as a result of their disease or treatment. They are therefore at greater risk of develop severe COVID-19 disease and also less likely to be protected by vaccines. Whilst we are not issuing individual results from this study, the collective data is critical to help us understand whether these patients require a different vaccination approach.”

The trial has received funding from the Blood Cancer UK Vaccine Research Collaborative – a collaboration led by Blood Cancer UK, in partnership with Myeloma UK, the British Society for Haematology and Anthony Nolan. It is also supported by a Dr Lim’s Cancer Research UK Advanced Clinical Scientist Fellowship and Cancer Research UK/NIHR Southampton Experimental Cancer Medicines funding.

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