CHILDREN WITH acute leukemia should be protected against measles, as this disease represents a grave threat to them.1,2 Prophylactic γ-globulin, even when given at the time of exposure, may not prevent morbidity or mortality.2 Immunization with live attenuated measles vaccine is contraindicated because of the occurrence of fatal giant-cell pneumonia following vaccination.1 Accordingly, inactivated measles vaccine was evaluated in children with acute leukemia and other hematologic illnesses requiring immunosuppressive drug therapy. Their serologic response was compared with previously reported data from normal children immunized with the same vaccine. Immune globulin levels were also determined to further evaluate their immunologic status.
The 17 patients with acute leukemia, reticulo-endotheliosis, aplastic anemia, and neuroblastoma who were studied were attending the Hematology Clinic at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center. A summary of their ages, diagnoses, and treatment is presented in Table 1.Three inactivated (killed) measles immunizations* of
STIEHM ER, ABLIN A, KUSHNER JH, ZOGER S. Measles Vaccination in Patients on Immunosuppressive Drugs: Immune Response of Certain Hematologic Patients to Inactivated Measles Vaccine. Am J Dis Child. 1966;111(2):191–194. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090050123010
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