Scientific publications

Immune biomarkers to predict SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in patients with hematological malignancies

Dec 14, 2021 | Magazine: Blood Cancer Journal

Luis-Esteban Tamariz-Amador #  1 , Anna Martina Battaglia #  1   2 , Catarina Maia #  1 , Anastasiia Zherniakova #  1   3 , Camila Guerrero #  1 , Aintzane Zabaleta  1 , Leire Burgos  1 , Cirino Botta  2 , Maria-Antonia Fortuño  1 , Carlos Grande  1 , Andrea Manubens  1 , Jose-Maria Arguiñano  4 , Clara Gomez  5 , Ernesto Perez-Persona  6 , Iñigo Olazabal  7 , Itziar Oiartzabal  8 , Carlos Panizo  1 , Felipe Prosper  1 , Jesus F San-Miguel  1 , Paula Rodriguez-Otero  1 , Esperanza Martín-Sánchez  9 , Bruno Paiva  10 , The Asociación Vasco-Navarra de Hematología y Hemoterapia (ASOVASNA) Cooperative Group


There is evidence of reduced SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness in patients with hematological malignancies.

We hypothesized that tumor and treatment-related immunosuppression can be depicted in peripheral blood, and that immune profiling prior to vaccination can help predict immunogenicity.

We performed a comprehensive immunological characterization of 83 hematological patients before vaccination and measured IgM, IgG, and IgA antibody response to four viral antigens at day +7 after second-dose COVID-19 vaccination using multidimensional and computational flow cytometry. Health care practitioners of similar age were the control group (n = 102). Forty-four out of 59 immune cell types were significantly altered in patients; those with monoclonal gammopathies showed greater immunosuppression than patients with B-cell disorders and Hodgkin lymphoma. Immune dysregulation emerged before treatment, peaked while on-therapy, and did not return to normalcy after stopping treatment.

We identified an immunotype that was significantly associated with poor antibody response and uncovered that the frequency of neutrophils, classical monocytes, CD4, and CD8 effector memory CD127low T cells, as well as naive CD21+ and IgM+D+ memory B cells, were independently associated with immunogenicity.

Thus, we provide novel immune biomarkers to predict COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness in hematological patients, which are complementary to treatment-related factors and may help tailoring possible vaccine boosters.

CITATION  Blood Cancer J. 2021 Dec 14;11(12):202. doi: 10.1038/s41408-021-00594-1