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First Author:  Louisa Hempel 

Journal/preprint name: research square  

DOI: 10.21203/ 

Tags:  SARS-CoV-2 antibody, cancer  


The authors examined 77 oncological patients (median age of 66 years) who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPRC for the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. They suggest that only 6/77 patients showed measurable antibodlevels. No correlation was detected between different types of cancers or anti-tumour treatments and the development of antibodies. 

Research Highlights  

  1. 6 out of 77 patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-qPRC developed antibodies detectable around 30 days after RT-qPCR 

  1. Of these 6 patients 3 developed mild symptoms, 2 experiencesevere disease and 1 developed pneumonia 

  1. Patients who were negative for antibodies at the first test did also not develop antibodies at later timepoints 

Impact for COVID-19 research:  

Low for clinical application 

High for the general public as a lack of antibody development means no protection after primary infection with SARS-CoV-2 

High for vaccine development, understanding why SARS-CoV-2 does not trigger antibody responses in some people will be important  


  • Cohort study 

Key Techniques: testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies: Roche (Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay) 


  • It is unclear from the paper whether antibodies detected in the 6 patients would be protective against reinfection 

  • It would be interesting to know whether the 71 patients that did not develop antibodies were asymptomatic or experienced mild/severe disease 

  • One single test was used to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies 

  • The cohort is very specific, cancer patients have previously reported to have a both lower and incidence of COVID-19 compared to the general population depending on the study