Conference Coverage

High efficacy, no safety signals for herpes zoster vaccine post-HSCT


Key clinical point: The adjuvanted herpes zoster vaccine met its efficacy endpoint in myeloma patients after transplant.

Major finding: Efficacy was 68.17% for preventing herpes zoster among HSCT recipients.

Study details: A randomized, observer blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study of 1,846 post-HSCT recipients.

Disclosures: The study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. de la Serna reported relationships with multiple pharmaceutical companies.

Source: de la Serna J et al. 2018 BMT Tandem Meetings, Abstract LBA2.



– A recently approved adjuvanted herpes zoster vaccine)(Shingrix) effectively and safely prevented herpes zoster in a population of patients with multiple myeloma and other hematologic malignancies who received autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

The use of recombinant varicella zoster virus glycoprotein E in combination with an adjuvant system gives immunosuppressed individuals who have received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) a safe option for prevention of herpes zoster (HZ), said Javier de la Serna, MD, PhD, speaking at the combined annual meetings of the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.

Dr. Javier de la Serna Kari Oakes/Frontline Medical News

Dr. Javier de la Serna

Previously, only a live-attenuated varicella zoster vaccine had been available, making prolonged acyclovir prophylaxis the only safe HZ prevention strategy in this population.

Presenting the findings at a late-breaking abstract session, Dr. de la Serna said that for the 1,721 participants in a placebo-controlled multicenter trial who received both doses of the vaccine, the incidence of HZ for vaccine recipients was 3.0%, compared with 9.4% of placebo recipients, for a vaccine efficacy of 68.2% (95% confidence interval, 55.6-77.5; P less than 0.0001). These results met the study’s primary objective.


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