Assessment of Humoral Immunity to Hepatitis B, Measles, Rubella, and Mumps in Children After Chemotherapy
Cancer survival rates and longevity of patients after therapy have significantly improved during the last few decades. Therefore, lasting protection against infections should be provided.Procedure:
A total of 162 children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, solid tumors, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma were enrolled in the study. Antibody levels against hepatitis B virus was assessed both at the time of diagnosis and within 6 months after completion of chemotherapy. However, measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) antibodies levels were measured just within 6 months after completion of chemotherapy.Results:
Anti-HBs antibody titers had decreased below the protective level after treatment in 25 of 96 patients having protective antibody levels for hepatitis B virus before therapy. In 66 patients without pretreatment protective levels of antibody, in spite of the immunization during chemotherapy, only 6 of them were found to be anti-HBS positive after treatment. In 153 patients previously vaccinated with MMR, 19 had protective antibody titers after treatment. MMR seropositivities were negatively correlated to age as expected.Conclusions:
Our data demonstrate that a significant number of children lose preexisting humoral immunity against MMR and hepatitis B after completion of chemotherapy.