A new study has launched in the UK aimed at assessing COVID-19 vaccine responses in individuals with compromised immune systems.
“Patients with significant underlying diseases were generally excluded from COVID-19 vaccine studies to date – it is now important to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccines work well in such conditions,” said Prof Pam Kearns, of the University of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit.
The OCTAVE trial will enroll up to 5,000 people, and will compare immune responses to COVID-19 vaccination in those with cancer, inflammatory arthritis, liver or kidney diseases, or who have undergone a stem cell transplant with a control group of individuals without these conditions.
The results will be based on blood test-based measures of immune response taken before and after vaccination. “Current evidence shows that people with these medical conditions may not obtain optimal protection from established vaccines,” Prof Kearns said.
Recruitment to the OCTAVE trial has already begun; it is a collaborative effort involving teams at the Universities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Oxford, Liverpool, Imperial College London, and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
“We urgently need to understand if patient populations with chronic conditions such as cancer, inflammatory arthritis and kidney and liver disease are likely to be well-protected by current COVID-19 vaccines,” said Prof Iain McInnes, of the University of Glasgow, who is heading up the new trial. “The OCTAVE study will give us invaluable new data to help us answer questions of this kind from our patients and their families.”