Efficacy of a third BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose in patients with CLL who failed standard 2-dose vaccination

Yair Herishanu*, Galia Rahav, Shai Levi, Andrei Braester, Gilad Itchaki, Osnat Bairey, Najib Dally, Lev Shvidel, Tomer Ziv-Baran, Aaron Polliack, Tamar Tadmor, Ohad Benjamini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) have an impaired antibody response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination. Here, we evaluated the antibody response to a third BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine in patients with CLL/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) who failed to achieve a humoral response after standard 2-dose vaccination regimen. Anti–severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies were measured 3 weeks after administration of the third dose. In 172 patients with CLL, the antibody response rate was 23.8%. Response rate among actively treated patients (12.0%; n = 12/100) was lower compared with treatment-naïve patients (40.0%; n = 16/40; OR = 4.9, 95% CI 1.9-12.9; P < .001) and patients off-therapy (40.6%; n = 13/32; OR = 5.0, 95% CI 1.8-14.1; P < .001), (P < .001). In patients actively treated with Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors or venetoclax ± anti-CD20 antibody, response rates were extremely low (15.3%, n = 9/59, and 7.7%, n = 3/39, respectively). Only 1 of the 28 patients (3.6%) treated with anti-CD20 antibodies <12 months prior to vaccination responded. In a multivariate analysis, the independent variables that were associated with response included lack of active therapy (OR = 5.6, 95% CI 2.3-13.8; P < .001) and serum immunoglobulin A levels ≥80 mg/dL (OR = 5.8, 95% CI 2.1-15.9; P < .001). In patients with CLL/SLL who failed to achieve a humoral response after standard 2-dose BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination regimen, close to a quarter responded to the third dose of vaccine. The antibody response rates were lower during active treatment and in patients with a recent exposure (<12 months prior to vaccination) to anti-CD20 therapy. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT04862806.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
JournalBlood
Volume139
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Feb 2022

Funding

FundersFunder number
Chaim Sheba medical centers
Janssen PharmaceuticalsEV00261620

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