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Timing isn't everything: Influenza vaccination in cancer patients

Authors

  • Daniel E. Dulek MD,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
    2. Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee
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  • Natasha B. Halasa MD, MPH

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
    2. Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee
    • Corresponding author: Natasha B. Halasa, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1121 21st Avenue South, D-7235 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232-2581; Fax: 615-343-9723; natasha.halasa@vanderbilt.edu

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Abstract

Influenza vaccination is a critical intervention for improving the health of cancer patients with yearly influenza immunization recommended by the CDC. Influenza vaccine studies in cancer patients generally demonstrate impaired influenza vaccine responses in comparison with age-matched, healthy controls. The present study by Keam et al. defined the effect of vaccine timing with respect to cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens on immunogenicity and adverse events after influenza vaccination in cancer patients with solid malignancies. No significant differences in post-vaccination serologic response or adverse event frequencies were found between patients vaccinated concurrent with cytotoxic chemotherapy administration and patients vaccinated during the cytopenic period post-chemotherapy administration. Further study is warranted to better define optimal timing and interventions to improve influenza vaccine immunogenicity in this at-risk population.See also pages.

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