Researchers discover how to make flu vaccine more effective for high-risk cancer patients

Researchers from the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Conn., have developed a new vaccine strategy to reduce the risk of flu infections in high-risk myeloma cancer patients, according to a Forbes report.

According to the research, led by senior study author Madhav Dhodapkar, MBBS, giving myeloma cancer patients two doses of a flu vaccine can reduce their risk of getting sick.

Typically, myeloma cancer patients are roughly 10 times more likely to catch influenza than noncancer patients, but Dr. Dhodapkar found only 4 percent of 51 patients with plasma cell disorders developed lab-confirmed influenza during a season when they received two doses a month apart.

"To us, this is interesting because it's a relatively simple intervention which could have a major impact on patients," Dr. Dhodapkar told Forbes. "We give flu vaccines all the time to our patients every year and we tell them we recommend it because it's what recommended by every health organization, but we also warn them that this doesn't mean you won't get the flu."

Receiving a double dose of a flu vaccine does not guarantee protection from the flu, but it does seem to considerably reduce the chances, according to the report.



More articles on vaccines:
NFID, Childhood Influenza Immunization Coalition educate parents on vaccines
CDC turns to Twitter selfies, Google, email for National Influenza Vaccination Week
Study suggests much of online HPV vaccine information is misleading

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