First-of-its-Kind Study Follows Cancer Patients Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID vaccine

This Moffitt study will determine how effective the COVID-19 vaccine is for patients on active cancer treatment as cancer patients were not included in the clinical trials for the vaccines. Additionally, the study aims to better understand the side effects that cancer patients experience following vaccination.

Building off our TCC protocol, clinicians and researchers are looking at the immune response in cancer patients receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. We do this by comparing the amount of virus-fighting antibodies in a person’s blood before getting the vaccine to that after receiving the second dose of the vaccine. Patients are getting blood drawn prior to each dose of the vaccine, as well as a third blood draw around 28 days after completing the vaccination series.

"After you have had a COVID-19 infection or received the vaccine, your body makes antibodies. These antibodies are your immune system’s way of remembering the threat and how to eliminate it. So, our blood draws for this study will be measuring COVID-19 antibodies in the patients’ blood and if they are long-lasting in the body," said Dr. Anna Giuliano, founding director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer at Moffitt.

True to Moffitt culture, many research and clinical teams came together to develop and implement studies quickly in response to the pandemic. Two operational leaders who are helping this research study succeed are Genesis Blanco, who supervises the research coordinators and Natasha Francis, who supervises the lab coordinators.

"This collaboration would not have been possible without the amazing work all of our departments and team members put in.  All of us coming together for the benefit of our patients truly exemplifies the belief in our mission."

- Genesis

"It has been an amazing honor to partner during this challenging time, to help understand the response to the vaccine in cancer patients…It has been wonderful to see the way our teams pulled together to support each other!"

- Natasha