Dr. Jeff Henderson authors a new study that shows that such plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can dramatically increase the likelihood of survival for blood cancer patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
A large, retrospective, multicenter study involving Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis indicates that convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can dramatically improve likelihood of survival among blood cancer patients hospitalized with the virus.
The therapy involves transfusing plasma — the pale yellow liquid in blood that is rich in antibodies — from people who have recovered from COVID-19 into patients who have leukemia, lymphoma or other blood cancers and are hospitalized with the viral infection. The goal is to accelerate their disease-fighting response. Cancer patients may be at a higher risk of death related to COVID-19 because of their weakened immune systems.
“These results suggest that convalescent plasma may not only help COVID-19 patients with blood cancers whose immune systems are compromised, it may also help patients with other illnesses who have weakened antibody responses to this virus or to the vaccines,” said Jeffrey P. Henderson, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology at Washington University. “The data also emphasize the value of an antibody therapy such as convalescent plasma as a virus-directed treatment option for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”
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