A study looking at the effect of Covid 19 vaccines for people with cancer (CAPTURE)

Cancer type:

All cancer types

Status:

Results

Phase:

Other

This study looked at what happens to the immune system of people with cancer when they have COVID-19 vaccinations.

The study was open for people at The Royal Marsden Hospital to join in 2020 and 2021. The team first published results in October 2021.

More about this trial

When this study was done, COVID-19 was a new illness. Nobody knew how it would affect people with cancer. Or how well the COVID-19 vaccines would work for people with cancer.

The research team wanted to find out more about the effect of the COVID-19 vaccines on the different cells of the immune system

Antibodies are proteins made by our immune system. They recognise and kill things that don’t belong in our bodies, such as viruses. We usually produce them when we are infected with a virus. Or when we have a vaccination against a virus. 

One thing the research team measured was neutralising antibodies in the blood samples of the people taking part. These are a specific type of antibody that can stop the virus entering cells and block the infection.

The main aim of this study was to find out if having cancer affects how the immune system responds to COVID-19 vaccines.

Summary of results

Study design
Some people in this study had cancer, and some didn’t. Likewise, some people had already had COVID-19, and some hadn’t. The team compared the results of the different groups.

The people taking part in this study completed questionnaires which asked them about things such as:

  • any COVID-19 symptoms they were having
  • their general quality of life
  • their medical history

They also:

  • gave blood samples
  • did a nose or throat swab
  • had a physical examination

The research team looked at a number of different immune system responses, including the levels of neutralising antibodies. 

They compared the results of people with different cancer types. And people who didn’t have cancer. Some people taking part had already had COVID-19.

A total of 585 people took part in the main study. About 1 out of 4 had a blood cancer. This includes myeloma, lymphoma and leukaemia. And about 3 out of 4 had a solid tumour Open a glossary item.

Results
Below is a summary for the results of this research so far. We cannot include all the details here, but we have added links to the medical journal articles if you’d like more information. 

Please note, these articles are not in plain English. They have been written for health care professionals and researchers. 

As far as we are aware, the links are active and the information is free and available to view.

Recent results

In January 2022, the research team published results for 199 people who’d had 3 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. In this analysis they looked antibodies levels for the omicron variant.

Just less than 4 out of 10 people (37%) with a solid tumour had antibodies to the omicron variant after 2 doses. This increased to 9 out of 10 people (90%) after 3 doses. 

And about 2 out of 10 people (19%) with a blood cancer had omicron antibodies after 2 doses. This increased to nearly 6 out of 10 people (56%) after 3 doses.

You can read more about this here:

Omicron neutralising antibodies after third COVID-19 vaccine dose in patients with cancer
A Fendler and others
The Lancet (2022). Volume 399, Issue 10328, Pages 905 - 907

Earlier results

Results after 3 doses of vaccine 
In December 2021, the team published results for 199 people who’d had 3 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. In this analysis they looked at antibodies for the delta variant.

Everyone who had antibodies after the first 2 doses had an increase in antibodies after the third dose. 

But 102 people didn’t have antibodies after the first 2 doses. Most people with a solid tumour (94%) and about half of people with a blood cancer (54%) did have antibodies after a third dose.

You can read more about these results here:

Immune responses following third COVID-19 vaccination are reduced in patients with hematological malignancies compared to patients with solid cancer
A Fendler and others
Cancer Cell (2022). Volume 40, Issue 2, Pages 114 – 116 (published online December 2021)

Results after 2 doses of vaccine
In October 2021, the research team published results about people who’d had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The team looked at the number of people who had neutralising antibodies against the original coronavirus, and the alpha, beta and delta variants. 

They looked at the number of people who had antibodies to the original virus. They found it was:

  • more than 8 out of 10 people with cancer (83%) 
  • nearly everyone who didn’t have cancer (99%) 

The number of people with cancer who had antibodies to the alpha, beta and delta variants was a lot lower. Between around 5 and 6 out of 10 people (53% to 61%).

You can read more about these results here:

Adaptive immunity and neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern following vaccination in patients with cancer: the CAPTURE study
A Fendler and others
Nature Cancer (2021). Volume 2, Pages 1305 – 1320

Functional antibody and T cell immunity following SARS-CoV-2 infection, including by variants of concern, in patients with cancer: the CAPTURE study
A Fendler and others
Nature Cancer (2021). Volume 2, Pages 1321 – 1337

Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Samra Turajlic

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Marsden Cancer Charity
RMH / ICR Biomedical Research Centre
The Francis Crick Institute
 

Other information

There is more detail about the covid vaccine for people with cancer on the following Cancer Research UK science blog post:

COVID-19 vaccine and cancer – latest updates

CAPTURE is a sub study of larger trial called TRACERx. The main study is looking at changes in genes and immune cells, and whether they affect how cancer grows.

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

17662

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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