An Update on the Shingles Vaccine for CLL Patients

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Topics include: Treatments and Understanding

Should chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients get a shingles vaccine? Is it safe to get during treatment? From the 2018 CLL Live Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada, noted CLL expert Dr. Nicole Lamanna, from Columbia University Medical Center, explains what type of vaccine is recommended for patients, how it works and when it’s appropriate to get. Dr. Lamanna also shares what is available for CLL patients who have already had shingles. Watch now to find out more.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

What are you telling both patients who have CLL but have not been treated or, like me, I'm taking acyclovir because I have been treated to prevent shingles that I don't want to have. What do we do?  

It was not tested on patients with immunosuppressed conditions or CLL per se, so we don't know—we don't have a lot of data on our patient population.  However, just like the flu shot and pneumonia shot, again, if—we hope that it would either, if somebody got shingles either shorten their duration or prevent them from getting shingles as something we would recommend. So, absolutely, I would recommend it. 

When we talk about people who are on treatment, and this is a little bit of a—there is not a consensus about this—certainly if patients have had a history of shingles will this vaccine help those individuals?  Will they make antibodies to prevent or be on prophylactics, as you said that you're on now? I still recommend prophylaxis for my patients who are—who have a history of shingles and are receiving therapies to prevent reactivation because I know they've had it before until I have more definitive data that this vaccine will also help in that patient population as well. 

But if they got it, probably no harm, you know, so I don't think it makes a difference.  It's just that I might try to persuade those individuals just don't take prophylaxis if they had a bad case of shingles.  We'll just have to wait and see.  

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on August 8, 2018