Patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are likely to have a sufficient antibody response to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, according to research presented at the International Kidney Cancer Symposium (IKCS) 2021.1 

Previous studies have shown that patients with solid tumors can have high seroconversion rates after COVID-19 vaccination.2 However, there have been a limited number of RCC patients in these studies.

Therefore, researchers set out to evaluate the biological effects of COVID-19 vaccines in patients with RCC. The team presented their findings in a poster at IKCS 2021.

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Data from 38 patients were presented. The patients’ median age was 63 years (range, 57-70 years), 68.4% were men, 81.6% were White, and 63.1% had a cardiovascular comorbidity.

For anticancer treatment, patients received immunotherapy (57.9%), targeted therapy (34.2%), and chemotherapy (2.6%).

For COVID-19 vaccination, patients received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (65.8%) or the Moderna vaccine (34.2%).

The researchers collected blood samples prior to vaccination and at 2 months after the first vaccine dose. Sample collection at 6 months and 12 months is ongoing. Patients who were receiving systemic treatments provided additional blood samples at 3 consecutive treatment cycles.

The seroconversion rate was 92%. There was no significant difference in immune status ratios (ISRs) between the 2 vaccines (P =.72), and there was no significant difference in ISRs between patients who received immunotherapy and those who did not (P =.11).

There were 3 patients with negative antibody titers 2 months after vaccination. All had metastatic disease. Two were receiving active immunotherapy (nivolumab monotherapy and nivolumab plus cabozantinib). The third patient was receiving methotrexate and methylprednisolone.

“Specimen collection is ongoing to assess for any changes in ISR values at 6 and 12 months, as well as following administration of the booster dose,” the researchers wrote in their poster. “Further analysis will be conducted to identify vaccine-induced clonotypes through T-cell receptor sequencing.”

Disclosures: No disclosures were reported.


  1. Malhotra J, Salgia S, Zengin Z, et al. Characterizing the immune response in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following COVID- 19 vaccination. Presented at IKCS 2021; November 5-6, 2021. Abstract E42.
  2. Becerril-Gaitan A, Vaca-Cartagena BF, Ferrigno AS et al. Immunogenicity and risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection after COVID-19 vaccination in patients with cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Cancer. Published online October 26, 2021.

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor