Dr. Branagan on Vaccine to Better Protect Myeloma Patients From Flu

Andrew R. Branagan, MD, postdoctoral associate in Medicine (Hematology), Yale Cancer Center, discusses the significance of a vaccine developed to better protect patients with multiple myeloma from getting the flu.

Andrew R. Branagan, MD, postdoctoral associate in Medicine (Hematology), Yale Cancer Center, discusses the significance of a vaccine developed to better protect patients with multiple myeloma from getting the flu.

Researchers recently developed a vaccine strategy that reduces the risk of flu infections in patients with cancer who are at the highest risk. In a pilot study, patients with multiple myeloma received a high-dose flu vaccine followed by a second high-dose booster shot 1 month later. The regimen lowered the flu infection rate among patients from 20% to 6%, and improved protection against all flu strains covered by the vaccine in 66% of patients. If these results are confirmed in a randomized study, Branagan predicts it will have practice-changing implications and could change the dosing strategy in patients with plasma cell disorders.

Next steps, Branagan says, should include investigating the vaccine strategy in patients who have undergone transplantation.

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