Assessment of Humoral Immunity to Hepatitis B, Measles, Rubella, and Mumps in Children After Chemotherapy

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Abstract

Background:

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.

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