COVID-19 vaccines elicit strong cellular immunity and robust clinical protection in CLL

B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is the most common subtype of adult leukaemia and is associated with profound secondary immunodeficiency. SARS-CoV-2 infection has been a significant cause of morbidity and mortality (Mato et al., 2020; Pagano et al., 2021) and immunological responses against SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are impaired (Fendler et al., 2021) in patients with CLL. In particular, reduced rates of seroconversion and antibody titre have been reported (Parry et al., 2021; Greenberger et al., 2021; Herishanu et al., 2022) and associate with reduced serum immunoglobulin level or use of medication such as Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors or anti-CD20 antibodies (Parry et al., 2021; Herishanu et al., 2022). However, questions regarding optimal immune protection remain unresolved including the potential for additional vaccine doses to increase seroconversion rate, potential humoral and cellular immune protection against Omicron, and the impact of vaccine delivery on breakthrough infection rate and clinical outcome.

Author list



  1. Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  2. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham B15 2GW, UK
  3. Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  4. Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
  5. MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK


Helen Parry1,2, Rachel Bruton1, Thomas Roberts1, Graham McIlroy2,3, Sarah Damery4, Panagiota Sylla1, Alexander C. Dowell1, Gokhan Tut1, Tara Lancaster1, David Bone1, Brian Willett5, Nicola Logan5, Sam Scott5, Sam Hulme1, Azar Jadir1, Umayr Amin1, Sam Nicol1, Christine Stephens1, Sian Faustini1, Saly Al-Taei1, Alex Richter1,2, Daniel Blakeway1, Kriti Verma1, Sandra Margielewska-Davies1, Hayden Pearce1, Guy Pratt2, Jianmin Zuo1, Shankara Paneesha2, Paul Moss1,2

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2


Cancer Cell