Robust Vaccine Responses in Adult and Pediatric Cord Blood Transplantation Recipients Treated for Hematologic Malignancies Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Bacterial Infections
  • Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Hematologic Neoplasms
  • Transplantation Conditioning
  • Vaccination
  • Virus Diseases


  • Because cord blood (CB) lacks memory T and B cells and recent decreases in herd immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases in many developed countries have been documented, vaccine responses in CB transplantation (CBT) survivors are of great interest. We analyzed vaccine responses in double-unit CBT recipients transplanted for hematologic malignancies. In 103 vaccine-eligible patients, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) most commonly precluded vaccination. Sixty-five patients (63%; engrafting units median HLA-allele match 5/8; range, 2 to 7/8) received protein conjugated vaccines, and 63 patients (median age, 34 years; range, .9 to 64) were evaluated for responses. Median vaccination time was 17 months (range, 7 to 45) post-CBT. GVHD (n = 42) and prior rituximab (n = 13) delayed vaccination. Responses to Prevnar 7 and/or 13 vaccines (serotypes 14, 19F, 23F) were seen in children and adults (60% versus 49%, P = .555). Responses to tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae, and polio were observed in children (86% to 100%) and adults (53% to 89%) even if patients had prior GVHD or rituximab. CD4(+)CD45RA(+) and CD19(+) cell recovery significantly influenced tetanus and polio responses. In a smaller cohort responses were seen to measles (65%), mumps (50%), and rubella (100%) vaccines. No vaccine side effects were identified, and all vaccinated patients survived (median follow-up, 57 months). Although GVHD and rituximab can delay vaccination, CBT recipients (including adults and those with prior GVHD) have similar vaccine response rates to adult donor allograft recipients supporting vaccination in CBT recipients.

publication date

  • January 2015



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4672874

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.08.010

PubMed ID

  • 26271191

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2160

end page

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