COVID treatment for cancer patients

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Cancer patients who are severely immuno-compromised got a cutting-edge treatment today at Rochester General Hospital to protect them from COVID.

Some patients undergoing chemotherapy who get the COVID vaccine may not naturally produce enough COVID antibodies to keep them from getting dangerously sick with COVID.

This treatment injects COVID antibodies directly into the patient. It’s vitally important for patients with blood cancers, as well as others receiving some types of chemotherapy.

The drug is called Evusheld, and it recently got emergency use authorization from the FDA.

“For this select immune-compromised group, they’ve done everything they can to protect themselves from COVID, yet they’re still more vulnerable than the general population, so it gives them added protection. It’s a very, very exciting therapy,” said Dr. S. Shahzad Mustafa, a lead immunology physician at RGH.

“As these things come along, there’s got to be somebody who’s willing to try them because there’s a lot of people like me without an immune system. Until it happened to me, I had no idea that it was even a large-scale thing, so there’s a lot of people who could potentially benefit from this,” said Mark Brooks, a blood cancer patient.

There is a very limited supply of the drug in the U.S., so doctors are reserving this treatment for those patients at the highest risk.