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BACKGROUND: Children receiving immunosuppressive treatment for cancer are at high risk for invasive pneumococcal disease. The 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) can prevent pneumococcal disease in healthy children; however, there is an absence of literature regarding the benefit of PCV13 in immunocompromised children with cancer. METHODS: A prospective, open-label cohort study recruited children between ages 1 and 18 years who were receiving active immunosuppressive therapy (AIT) or were within 12 months after completing immunosuppressive therapy (CIT). Blood samples were taken before and 4 weeks after the administration of single-dose PCV13. Serotype-specific immunoglobulin G antibody titers were measured, and titers ≥0.35 μg/mL were considered protective. Solicited side effects were recorded in a 7-day diary after vaccination. RESULTS: Eighty-five children were recruited. At baseline, ≤50% had protective antibody titers against Streptococcus pneumoniae for 10 serotypes in the AIT group and for 8 serotypes in the CIT group. Postvaccination, ≥70% had protective antibody titers for 9 and 11 serotypes in the AIT and CIT groups, respectively. Both groups had comparable responses to PCV7 serotypes, whereas a significantly higher proportion in the CIT group achieved protective antibody titers to PCV13 serotypes. There was a low rate of serious adverse events (3.5%). CONCLUSIONS: A single-dose of PCV13 is safe and immunogenic in children diagnosed with cancer. All children who are receiving therapy for cancer should receive a single dose of PCV13 as soon as possible after diagnosis, regardless of prior PCV exposure. The current data support the recommendation for an additional dose of PCV13 after the completion of immunosuppressive therapy to provide additional protection against invasive pneumococcal disease. © 2017 American Cancer Society
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