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      Unilateral Axillary Lymphadenopathy in Cancer Patients Post-COVID-19 Vaccination: Review and Case Series

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          Abstract

          Novel coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) variants continue to spread worldwide with the development of highly transmissible strains. Several guidelines addressing management of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic have been published, primarily based upon expert opinion. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of breast cancer care including screening, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term follow-up. Recent reports indicate that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can provoke lymphadenopathy in both cancer patients and healthy individuals. Unilateral axillary lymphadenopathy (UAL) post-COVID-19 vaccination is a challenging presentation for cancer patients because of the potential for misinterpretation as malignancy. The World Health Organization’s target to vaccinate 70% of the world’s population by mid-2023 is likely to increase the incidence of post-COVID-19 vaccination UAL. In this article, we review the published evidence regarding UAL post-COVID-19 vaccination and present diverse cases of breast cancer patients where false-positive UAL post-COVID-19 vaccination proved to be a therapeutic challenge. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) vaccination program is well ahead of other countries in the world, having accomplished the target of 100% vaccination of the population with at least one dose. Therefore, an increasing number of recently vaccinated patients are likely to present with UAL, detected by surveillance imaging, post-vaccination. We have therefore made recommendations regarding the management of cancer patients with UAL post-COVID-19 vaccination in order to avoid misdiagnosis and unnecessary imaging or invasive biopsy procedures.

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          Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

          Abstract Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have afflicted tens of millions of people in a worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccines are needed urgently. Methods In an ongoing multinational, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, pivotal efficacy trial, we randomly assigned persons 16 years of age or older in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses, 21 days apart, of either placebo or the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate (30 μg per dose). BNT162b2 is a lipid nanoparticle–formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine that encodes a prefusion stabilized, membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein. The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety. Results A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups. Conclusions A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.)
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            Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

            Abstract Background Vaccines are needed to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and to protect persons who are at high risk for complications. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is a lipid nanoparticle–encapsulated mRNA-based vaccine that encodes the prefusion stabilized full-length spike protein of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Covid-19. Methods This phase 3 randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 99 centers across the United States. Persons at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection or its complications were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two intramuscular injections of mRNA-1273 (100 μg) or placebo 28 days apart. The primary end point was prevention of Covid-19 illness with onset at least 14 days after the second injection in participants who had not previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2. Results The trial enrolled 30,420 volunteers who were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either vaccine or placebo (15,210 participants in each group). More than 96% of participants received both injections, and 2.2% had evidence (serologic, virologic, or both) of SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline. Symptomatic Covid-19 illness was confirmed in 185 participants in the placebo group (56.5 per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval [CI], 48.7 to 65.3) and in 11 participants in the mRNA-1273 group (3.3 per 1000 person-years; 95% CI, 1.7 to 6.0); vaccine efficacy was 94.1% (95% CI, 89.3 to 96.8%; P<0.001). Efficacy was similar across key secondary analyses, including assessment 14 days after the first dose, analyses that included participants who had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection at baseline, and analyses in participants 65 years of age or older. Severe Covid-19 occurred in 30 participants, with one fatality; all 30 were in the placebo group. Moderate, transient reactogenicity after vaccination occurred more frequently in the mRNA-1273 group. Serious adverse events were rare, and the incidence was similar in the two groups. Conclusions The mRNA-1273 vaccine showed 94.1% efficacy at preventing Covid-19 illness, including severe disease. Aside from transient local and systemic reactions, no safety concerns were identified. (Funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; COVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04470427.)
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              Safety and Immunogenicity of Two RNA-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates

              Abstract Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and the resulting disease, coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), have spread to millions of persons worldwide. Multiple vaccine candidates are under development, but no vaccine is currently available. Interim safety and immunogenicity data about the vaccine candidate BNT162b1 in younger adults have been reported previously from trials in Germany and the United States. Methods In an ongoing, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, dose-escalation, phase 1 trial conducted in the United States, we randomly assigned healthy adults 18 to 55 years of age and those 65 to 85 years of age to receive either placebo or one of two lipid nanoparticle–formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine candidates: BNT162b1, which encodes a secreted trimerized SARS-CoV-2 receptor–binding domain; or BNT162b2, which encodes a membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike, stabilized in the prefusion conformation. The primary outcome was safety (e.g., local and systemic reactions and adverse events); immunogenicity was a secondary outcome. Trial groups were defined according to vaccine candidate, age of the participants, and vaccine dose level (10 μg, 20 μg, 30 μg, and 100 μg). In all groups but one, participants received two doses, with a 21-day interval between doses; in one group (100 μg of BNT162b1), participants received one dose. Results A total of 195 participants underwent randomization. In each of 13 groups of 15 participants, 12 participants received vaccine and 3 received placebo. BNT162b2 was associated with a lower incidence and severity of systemic reactions than BNT162b1, particularly in older adults. In both younger and older adults, the two vaccine candidates elicited similar dose-dependent SARS-CoV-2–neutralizing geometric mean titers, which were similar to or higher than the geometric mean titer of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 convalescent serum samples. Conclusions The safety and immunogenicity data from this U.S. phase 1 trial of two vaccine candidates in younger and older adults, added to earlier interim safety and immunogenicity data regarding BNT162b1 in younger adults from trials in Germany and the United States, support the selection of BNT162b2 for advancement to a pivotal phase 2–3 safety and efficacy evaluation. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Case Rep Oncol
                Case Rep Oncol
                CRO
                CRO
                Case Reports in Oncology
                S. Karger AG (Basel, Switzerland )
                1662-6575
                6 April 2023
                Jan-Dec 2023
                6 April 2023
                : 16
                : 1
                : 188-203
                Affiliations
                [a ]Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE
                [b ]Zayed Center of Health Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE
                [c ]Department of Oncology, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, UAE
                [d ]Department of Breast Surgery, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, UAE
                [e ]Department of Radiology, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, UAE
                [f ]Department of Nuclear Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE
                [g ]Union 71 Pathology, Abu Dhabi, UAE
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Jawaher Ansari, jak.ansari@ 123456gmail.com

                Sumaya Zoughbor and Zakeya AlRasbi contributed equally to this work.

                Article
                529913
                10.1159/000529913
                10080460
                37033700
                b4297ee5-4bb5-4dca-9b58-5f630a5a15b3
                © 2023 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC) ( http://www.karger.com/Services/OpenAccessLicense). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes requires written permission.

                History
                : 16 September 2022
                : 17 February 2023
                : 2023
                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 50, Pages: 16
                Funding
                No external funding to declare.
                Categories
                Case Report

                Oncology & Radiotherapy
                coronavirus,covid-19,vaccine,lymphadenopathy,unilateral axillary lymphadenopathy,breast cancer,screening,pandemic,positron emission tomography-computed tomography

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