Paxlovid: Getting Hold of It


As you all know, the WM community has many members who are immunocompromised.  This can be for several reasons: they are on, or have recently been on, chemotherapy treatment for the disease (especially Rituxin / Rituximab) they are on BTK inhibitors, which also have the effect of reducing our ability to manufacture antibodies in response to vaccines (as has been reported) the disease itself has resulted in lowering IgA, IgG, and other protective mechanisms, as the clonal B-cells proliferate; even without being in active treatment, WMers can be prone to pneumonia and other diseases These ways of being immunocompromised can mean [...]

Paxlovid: Getting Hold of It2022-04-25T18:09:30-04:00

Covid-19 Antiviral Treatments: Availability


Paxlovid is an oral anti-viral treatment, approved by Health Canada.  It is used only once one has contracted Covid-19, and usage must begin within 5 days of symptom onset. We know that some provinces, for example Ontario, have published a web page outlining how its limited quantities will be used, and who to contact if you think you are eligible.  Top of the list of eligible people are immunocompromised people over the age of 18. But we do not have information on Paxlovid availability in all provinces. Or the availability of other treatments, in all provinces. If you can help [...]

Covid-19 Antiviral Treatments: Availability2022-04-11T16:06:41-04:00

Help Researchers Understand the Impact of Covid-19 on Canadian Blood Cancer Patients


A group of Canadian researchers is carrying on where earlier COVID-19 vaccine trials left off.  They are specifically recruiting patients with blood cancers to learn more about how the various vaccines have triggered antibody responses (or not).  We have received a specific statement that people with WM are indeed eligible to participate in the study, as long as you are not currently on an anti-CD20 treatment (i.e., Rituximab / Rituxin). From their web site: People with blood cancers have weakened immune systems due to their disease and the treatments they receive.  They also have a higher risk of severe [...]

Help Researchers Understand the Impact of Covid-19 on Canadian Blood Cancer Patients2022-02-03T12:43:55-05:00

2021 American Society of Hematology Conference: WM and Covid-19, and more


Every year, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference is an opportunity for the latest research from around the world to be presented.  Although conference presentations do not go through peer review (unlike journal articles), they do provide an opportunity to look into what is coming down the research pipeline. Two presentations touched on Waldenstrom's and Covid-19. reported on an ongoing study from Greece.  It compared the antibody response of WM and MM patients vaccinated with either the Pfizer or the Astra-Zeneca vaccines against a similar population of healthy controls.  Key quote:  "Active treatment with either rituximab or Bruton's Tyrosine [...]

2021 American Society of Hematology Conference: WM and Covid-19, and more2022-02-02T16:56:37-05:00

A report on the risk of Covid-19 to the immunocompromised: Let’s check!


A recent report on the CTV web site  ( discussed the results of a peer-reviewed medical paper.  The paper was a retrospective study of the effects of Covid-19 on a population of 1.2 million people fully-vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine in the US. The CTV report included the following two paragraphs.  The second of them, especially, can be construed as alarming [your editor’s clarifications added in square brackets]: Of the cohort [of 1.2 million fully-vaccinated people], 17.7 per cent were identified as immunocompromised. Some of the immunocompromising conditions in the cohort included solid tumours, kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, organ transplants and [...]

A report on the risk of Covid-19 to the immunocompromised: Let’s check!2022-02-02T16:53:55-05:00

All Canadian Recommendations for 3rd Covid Vaccines for Lymphoma Patients


Lymphoma Canada has kindly put together a collection of all provincial and territorial recommendations regarding Covid vaccines, for Lymphoma patients. For your convenience, we reproduce their table of provincial links here.  But the Lymphoma Canada article goes further, with very valuable Q&As in the Canadian context.  It makes for recommended reading if you are concerned. Read their full article here Province Provincial Recommendations for the Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island New Brunswick This [...]

All Canadian Recommendations for 3rd Covid Vaccines for Lymphoma Patients2022-01-13T14:54:19-05:00

LLS Studies Covid Vaccination Response in Blood Cancers


The US Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) has been running a study specifically focused on US patients with Leukemia or Lymphomas, looking at how well the vaccines in use in the US are at creating antibodies in that population.  We've previously reported on their overall summary: "Get Vaccinated, Act Un-vaccinated".  (And in particular, see the last part of this summary for some excellent FAQs from vaccinated blood cancer patients.) The LLS has recently posted a video given by Dr. Larry Saltzman, the Executive Research Director of the LLS, providing more details behind their results.  There are many statistics of interest [...]

LLS Studies Covid Vaccination Response in Blood Cancers2021-09-21T11:22:05-04:00

How many antibodies does it take to keep a WMer safe from Covid-19?


This very frequently asked question was addressed, recently, on the IWMF Connect email list.  This particular answer deserves wide coverage, so for those of you who haven't seen it, it is copied here.  Unlike well-known and well-researched and stable diseases, such as, say, measles, there just has not been sufficient time to do the research into all of the many factors that go into human immunity to Covid-19. How many antibodies does it take to keep a WMer safe, and is there a test to count them? It's an impossibly hard question to answer: The more virulent a viral variant is, [...]

How many antibodies does it take to keep a WMer safe from Covid-19?2021-08-05T18:09:17-04:00

Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout: Every Province and Territory


Lymphoma Canada has done us a service by collecting together links to the rollout plans for Covid-19 vaccines, for all provinces and territories.  Obviously, these plans will change over time, so you will want to check back periodically to your province’s or territory’s plan. This table comes from a report that Lymphoma Canada has put together, answering important questions that lymphoma patients might have about the Covid-19 vaccines.  According to Lymphoma Canada: Lymphoma Canada, along with the help and support of our Scientific Advisory Board consisting of leading hematologists and oncologists from across Canada, have created a report addressing [...]

Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout: Every Province and Territory2021-01-30T20:39:14-05:00

Dr. Ansell on Key Knowledge Gaps for WM Research, and Covid Vaccines


The IWMF held a North America Support Group Leaders meeting on January 15, 2021 with Dr. Ansell of the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) as the guest speaker. We’ve posted here a few approximate timestamps for topics in the video, in case you are only interested in a particular item.  But they are all worthwhile – he is an excellent speaker and explainer!  The topics covered included: (From 4:40 to 24:30)  As chair of the IWMF Scientific Advisory Committee he discusses how the committee operates.  But this is not just a dry talk about committee structures – he spends the majority [...]

Dr. Ansell on Key Knowledge Gaps for WM Research, and Covid Vaccines2021-01-27T17:35:53-05:00
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