Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Jul 1;17(13):4541-9. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-0253. Epub 2011 Jun 28.

Cancer patients treated with sunitinib or sorafenib have sufficient antibody and cellular immune responses to warrant influenza vaccination.

Author information

Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



The tyrosine kinase inhibitors sorafenib and sunitinib have efficacy in several types of cancer. Recent studies indicate that these agents affect the immune system. The way it affects the immune response to influenza vaccination is unknown. The aim of this study was to elucidate the specific immune response to seasonal flu vaccination in cancer patients treated with sunitinib or sorafenib.


Sunitinib- or sorafenib-treated cancer patients were vaccinated against seasonal influenza with an inactivated vaccine. Healthy controls and patients with metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) without systemic treatment (nontreated mRCC controls) were included for comparison. Antibody responses were measured at baseline, day 8, and day 22 by a standard hemagglutination inhibition assay and cellular T-cell responses at baseline and day 8 by proliferation assay and secretion of cytokines.


Forty subjects were enrolled: 16 patients treated with sunitinib, 6 patients with sorafenib, 7 nontreated mRCC controls, and 11 healthy controls. All patients treated with sunitinib and sorafenib developed seroprotection rates comparable with controls. Functional T-cell reactivity was observed in all groups, except for patients treated with sorafenib who showed a decreased proliferation rate and IFN-γ/IL-2 production and increased IL-10 compared with healthy controls.


We conclude that influenza vaccination should be recommended to cancer patients treated with sunitinib or sorafenib.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center