Patients with cancer frequently receive immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), which may modulate immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines. Recently, cytokine release syndrome (CRS) was observed in a patient with cancer who received BTN162b2 vaccination under ICI treatment. Here, we analyzed adverse events and serum cytokines in patients with 23 different tumors undergoing (n = 64) or not undergoing (n = 26) COVID-19 vaccination under ICI therapy in a prospectively planned German single-center cohort study (n = 220). We did not observe clinically relevant CRS (≥grade 2) after vaccination (95% CI 0–5.6%; Common Terminology of Adverse Events v.5.0) in this small cohort. Within 4 weeks after vaccination, serious adverse events occurred in eight patients (12.5% 95% CI 5.6–23%), six patients were hospitalized and two patients died. Despite absence of CRS symptoms, a set of pairwise-correlated CRS-associated cytokines, including CXCL8 and interleukin-6 was >1.5-fold upregulated in 40% (95% CI 23.9–57.9%) of patients after vaccination. Hence, elevated cytokine levels are common and not sufficient to establish CRS diagnosis.

Fuente: Nature Cancer

Published: 17 June 2022