MONDAY, Aug. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of ambulatory patients with cancer lack protective antibodies for measles and mumps, according to a study published online July 28 in JAMA Network Open.

Sara R. Marquis, M.P.H., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues identified point prevalence estimates of protective measles and mumps antibodies in ambulatory cancer patients. Residual clinical plasma samples were obtained from 959 consecutive patients with cancer. The samples were tested for measles and mumps immunoglobulin G.

The researchers found that 60 percent of the patients had a malignant solid tumor and 40 percent had a hematologic malignant neoplasm; 15 percent had a history of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT). The overall seroprevalence of measles and mumps antibodies was 0.75 and 0.62, respectively. Seroprevalence rates for measles and mumps were lowest for patients with a hematologic malignant neoplasm (0.63 and 0.48, respectively), those with a history of HCT (0.46 and 0.29, respectively), and those aged 30 to 59 years (0.49 to 0.63 and 0.41 to 0.58, respectively).

“These findings underscore these patients’ high risk during measles and mumps outbreaks and the need to increase herd immunity in the community,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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