Current Issues in Vaccines for Adult Patients With Hematologic Malignancies

Vaccination is an important strategy for preventing infections in patients with hematologic malignancies. Hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients have diminished immunity against vaccine-preventable diseases after transplantation. Optimal timing for initiating immunization in the context of hematologic malignancies and after HCT, however, is not well defined, and data on the magnitude and duration of immune response to vaccines in this population are lacking. Factors such as degree of immunosuppression, administration of monoclonal antibodies, time after HCT, and presence or absence of chronic graft-versus-host disease may influence the immune response to vaccines and may pose safety concerns for certain vaccines, such as live-attenuated immunogens. Patients who received certain monoclonal antibodies (eg, rituximab, alemtuzumab) less than 6 months before vaccination have poorer immune responses to vaccines. New advancements in vaccine development are warranted to improve safety and immunogenicity of vaccination in immunocompromised patients.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians and nurses involved in the management of patients with cancer.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the appropriate immunization strategies for patients with hematologic malignancies, including HCT recipients
  • Describe some important considerations regarding timing of administration, safety, and efficacy of currently available vaccines
Additional information
Supporters: 

No commercial support was received for this article.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Physician
Course opens: 
11/01/2012
Course expires: 
11/01/2013
Cost:
$0.00

Nicolas C. Issa, MD
Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Lindsey R. Baden, MD
Division of Infectious Diseases, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Massachusetts

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Physician

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
11/01/2012
Course expires: 
11/01/2013

Price

Cost:
$0.00
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