Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) predominantly on active treatment are still able to mount an antibody response against SARS-CoV-2, according to research published in conjunction with the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Investigators reported findings from the ongoing SARS2 SeroPrevalence And Respiratory Tract Assessment (SPARTA) study, which is assessing immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after infection and/or vaccination.

The observational study compared patients aged 18 years and older having CML with participants who did not have cancer. Saliva and peripheral blood were obtained to measure antigen levels with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and levels of both secretory immunoglobulin G (IgG) and neutralizing antibodies.

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A total of 49 participants (23 patients with CML, 26 noncancer participants) were prospectively enrolled from October 1, 2021, until February 4, 2022. The CML group had a mean age of 56.39 years, 56.5% were male, and 87% self-identified as White. The control group had a mean age of 51.96 years, 61.5% were female, and 76.9% self-identified as White.

Among participants in the CML group, 11 (47.8%) had at least 1 comorbidity vs 13 (50%) of those in the control group. Also, 21 (91.3%) of the patients with CML were receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and 4 (18.2%) of the control individuals reported taking any medication.

Overall, the large majority of participants had received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (73.9% of the CML group vs 73.1% of the control group). A higher percentage of patients with CML were fully vaccinated (66.7%) compared with the control individuals (25%). The CML group had a lower percentage of patients who had a previous diagnosis of COVID-19 (8.8% vs 57.7%).

No significant difference was observed regarding the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen at the time of enrollment (0% in the CML group vs 4% in the control group). Most participants, regardless of cancer status, had detectable SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies (78.3% in the CML group and 88% in the noncancer group) and neutralizing antibodies (82.6% and 95.6%, respectively).

The CML and control groups also had comparable levels of IgG antibody (mean, 146.3 Ru/mL vs 148.9 Ru/mL, respectively) and neutralizing antibody (mean, 1329.1 ng/mL vs 1112 ng/mL, respectively).

“Our preliminary data comparing concomitant cohorts with similar socio-demographic characteristics and medical history indicate that a diagnosis of CML did not impact the development of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2,” conclude the investigators. “We are conducting continuous analysis of [antibody] levels over time to assess the evolution of antibody immunity and functional studies including cellular immunity assessments.”

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


Miranda M, Bradshaw D, Farmaha J, et al. Antibody seroprevalence against SARS-CoV-2 among chronic myeloid leukemia patients. J Clin Oncol. 2022;40(suppl 16). The American Society of Clinical Oncology abstract e19061. doi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.e19061