People with Hodgkin lymphoma and with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma can develop antibodies with a COVID-19 vaccine starting 6 months after treatment with anti-CD20-containing therapy, according to early data published in The Lancet Haematology.

Patients with lymphoma are less likely to develop a robust antibody response to COVID-19 because of immunosuppression. Interim data from the UK PROSECO study ( Identifier: NCT04858568), evaluated COVID-19 vaccine immune responses in 119 patients with lymphoid malignancies.

Patients were given either the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in this multicenter, prospective, observational study. Antibody titers from patients included in the study were compared to volunteers without disease. 

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The study excluded patients who had previous COVID-19 infection. A total of 44% of patients with lymphoma were on treatment at the time of the first vaccine dose. Patients who were on treatment had significantly lower anti-spike IgG antibodies than participants who had no treatment or had been treated more than 6 months before their first vaccine dose.

The authors did not observe differences in antibody concentrations between the 2 vaccines in study participants.

There were 3 patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma receiving chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells 11 to 23 months before vaccination who had no detectable antibodies after their first dose.

According to the study authors, patients should be revaccinated after chemotherapy completion if vaccinated while receiving systemic anti-lymphoma therapy, as they are unlikely to develop antibodies during treatment.

Disclosure: The study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Lim SH, Campbell N, Johnson M, et al. Antibody responses after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with lymphoma. Lancet Haematol. 2021;8(8):e542-e544. doi:10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00199-X