Evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 Serological Testing in Patients with Multiple Myeloma and Other Hematologic Malignancies on Monoclonal Antibody Therapies

This article was originally published on Multiple Myeloma Today


BACKGROUND: Patients with hematological malignancies (HM), including multiple myeloma (MM), frequently suffer from immune deficiency-associated infectious complications because of both the disease and the treatment. Alarming results from China and the UK confirm the vulnerability of HM patients to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection-driven coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Given that the immunoassay interference from the endogenous monoclonal immunoglobulin (M paraprotein) and treatment antibodies continually challenges the MM management, it is critical to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 serology tests for suspected interference/cross-reactivity.

METHODS: We compared the degree of interference in three SARS-CoV-2 serology assay platforms in HM patients with and without COVID-19 and on various therapeutic monoclonal antibody (t-mAb) treatments. Further, we confirmed the cross-reactivity in pooled samples from normal and COVID-19 + samples spiked with respective antibodies in vitro.

RESULTS: None of the 93 HM patient samples with or without t-MAbs showed cross-reactivity on any of the three serology platforms tested.

CONCLUSIONS: The tested three serologic assays for SARS-CoV-2 are specific and do not have cross-reactivity with M-components or t-MAbs indicating that they can be used safely in oncology practice and in research exploring the immunologic response to COVID-19 in patients with HM.