Session: 627. Aggressive Lymphoma (Diffuse Large B-Cell and Other Aggressive B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas)—Results from Retrospective/Observational Studies: Poster II
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Coronaviruses, Follicular Lymphoma, Biological, antibodies, SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19, Diseases, Therapies, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, DLBCL, Lymphoid Malignancies
It has been proposed that patients with hematologic malignancy and autoimmune diseases receiving anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy are particularly at risk of severe Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) because the profound and long-lasting B-cell depletion induced by anti-CD20 mAb may impair virus clearance and may also contribute to reactivation of latent viruses, especially hepatitis B and JC viruses.
As of July 20, 2020, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported by the Italian authorities reached 245,000. The north of the country was mostly hit, and Milan and Brescia were among the Italian provinces that registered the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Consistent with this, a high number of COVID-19 patients affected with multiple types of hematological disorders (n. 137) and with multiple sclerosis (MS, n. 114) were referred to ASST Spedali Civili di Brescia. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed in 70 patients with hematological disease, and in few patients with MS. Among these, 10 patients (7 with hematologic disease and 3 with MS) had received treatment with rituximab or ocrelizumab, two anti-CD20 mAbs, within 3 months prior to COVID-19 onset. Clinical indication to CD20-depleting treatment for patients with hematological disorders included Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) or Follicular Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).
Anti-spike protein (anti-S) and anti-nucleocapsid (anti-N) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed during the acute phase of infection and up to 3 months since the onset of symptoms by quantitative measurements of plasma or serum antibodies with luciferase immune precipitation assay systems (LIPS). With this technique, production of anti-S and anti-N antibodies has been demonstrated between day 8 and day 14 after onset of symptoms in immunocompetent individuals, whereas specific antibody production was delayed by few days in immunocompromised patients (Burbelo PD et al, medRxiv. 2020 Apr 24:2020.04.20.20071423).
All 10 patients remained seronegative to SARS-CoV-2 for the first 20 days since onset of symptoms. One patient with DLBCL secondary to Follicular NHL had detectable anti-S and anti-N antibodies at day +25, and one patient with MS developed anti-N antibodies by day +23. Two patients, one with DLBCL secondary to Follicular NHL and one with Follicular NHL were still seronegative for both anti-S and anti-N antibodies at 133 and 74 days since onset of symptoms. Two MS patients were seronegative at the last examination, and one other MS patient was anti-S seronegative at day +74.
Three of the 10 patients have died; all three were SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR+ and seronegative at the time of death.
While it has been reported that SARS-CoV-2 is cleared without significant problems by the majority of people with MS or other autoimmune diseases on immunotherapy, these data indicate that treatment with anti-CD20 mAb may significantly alter humoral responses to the virus. Until a vaccine to SARS-CoV-2 is available, the risk-benefit ratio of anti-CD20 mAb therapy in areas with high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection should be carefully weighed. Moreover, for patients with B-cell malignancies or autoimmune diseases, transient discontinuation of this therapy, or use of alternative therapeutic approaches, should be considered once an efficacious vaccine becomes available.
This study was performed according to protocol NP-4000 (Comitato Etico Provinciale), and supported by Regione Lombardia and by the Division of Intramural Research, NIAID.
Disclosures: Imberti: Biogen: Honoraria; Genzyme-Sanofi: Honoraria; Meck-Serono: Honoraria; Novartis: Honoraria; Biogen: Other: Advisory board; FISM (Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla): Research Funding; Regione Lombardia: Research Funding. Capra: Biogen: Other: travel grants, Speakers Bureau; Roche: Other: travel grants, Speakers Bureau; Celgene: Other: travel grants, Speakers Bureau; Merck: Other: travel grants, Speakers Bureau; Novartis: Other: travel grants, Speakers Bureau. Rossi: Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Amgen: Honoraria; Pfizer: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Sanofi: Honoraria; Abbvie: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Jazz: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Alexion: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Other: Advisory board; Daiichi Sankyo: Consultancy, Honoraria; Takeda: Honoraria, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Astellas: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Janssen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Notarangelo: NIAID, NIH: Research Funding. Cohen: NIAID, NIH: Research Funding.
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