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Anti-Covid vaccine useful against chronic lymphocytic leukemia – Medicine

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Anti-Covid vaccine useful against chronic lymphocytic leukemia – Medicine

(ANSA) – PERUGIA, DECEMBER 16 – A study shows the positive effects of the anti-Sars-Cov-2 vaccine in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia: it was carried out thanks to the synergy of various research teams from the Department of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Perugia led by professor Paolo Sportoletti, and by professors Antonella Mencacci, Francesca Fallarino and Emanuela Rosati. The contribution of Daniele Sorcini and Filomena De Falco – underlines the university – has allowed the results of the work to be published in the prestigious international scientific journal British Journal of Hematology.

The published data have significant repercussions for public health as they allow for a better understanding of the functioning mechanisms of the vaccine against Covid-19 and to demonstrate its effectiveness in protecting against serious forms or death even in an immunosuppressed population suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a blood cancer that exposes patients to a higher infectious risk and serious consequences in the event of Covid-19. The biological explanation is not fully known but it can be hypothesized that the virus is able to do more damage in “fragile” subjects who have an immune defense system weakened by the tumor itself or by anti-leukemic therapy.

After the introduction of mRNA vaccines – underlines the University of Perugia in a note – there has been a significant reduction in the incidence of hospitalization and mortality both in the general population and, surprisingly, in patients with hematological tumors such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The study sought to answer the question of how the anti-Sars-Cov-2 vaccine can protect a specific population of blood cancer patients in whom the immune system is severely compromised. The effectiveness of the immune response to a vaccine is generally evaluated by determining the amount of antibodies, which represent the weapons used by the body to defend itself against viruses.

The analysis of vaccinated patients followed up at the Hematology Department of Perugia showed a reduced ability to produce antibodies in subjects with chronic lymphocytic leukemia compared to data on the healthy population. However, in the same patients, the administration of the vaccine is able to stimulate the growth of T lymphocytes, highly specialized cells of the immune system responsible for recognizing and eliminating cells infected with the Sars-Cov-2 virus.

The study demonstrates that this immune response is not weakened by “smart” therapies against leukemia, which in some cases appear to instead help T lymphocytes in a more effective response against the virus. The consequence of these biological effects of the vaccine was documented in the study by clear clinical benefits. In fact, the need for hospitalization of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia during Sars-Cov-2 infection has halved and mortality from Covid-19 has dropped from 57% to 7.7% compared to the period in which vaccines they weren’t available. (HANDLE).

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