Cancer patients have been largely excluded from COVID-19 vaccination trials, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology is asking drug manufacturers to change this in an effort to deduce whether safety and efficacy extend to these patients. often immunocompromised.
The request, published in a joint policy statement with the Friends of Cancer Research, also called on government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to create incentives for drug companies to to do.
“The problem is that by excluding cancer patients from the first generation of vaccination trials for COVID-19, we ended up in a challenging situation where some of the most vulnerable people had no evidence on which to base a decision to obtain. the vaccine, ”said ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford Hudis. “We end up with an information deficit, and it’s a shame because paradoxically, it’s a group of patients who are really the most vulnerable and who need to know.”
The groups also demand that public health agencies and other research institutions study real-world data on the effectiveness of vaccination for cancer patients, especially since studies have shown that they are at increased risk. of hospitalization and death if they contract COVID-19.
There are a number of reasons why people with cancer or other illnesses may be excluded from the trials, including that an adverse outcome may or may not be linked to the vaccine. In addition, there could be a greater risk of harm if a patient goes through treatment. But Hudis said patients should be included unless there is a specific and credible risk of harm.
Nearly 1.9 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021. Because there is a lack of research on the amount of immunity a vaccine will give a patient, ASCO recommends that even vaccinated people continue to carry it. a mask is a social distance.
“Patients with certain immune system tumors such as myeloma, or lymphoma, who have actually struggled at this time of vaccination for COVID-19 without knowing whether they are actually gaining protection or not,” Hudis said.