Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2019 Aug 5. Epub 2019 Aug 5.
Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington; Department of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Hospital/University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington. Electronic address:
Until recently, measles exposures were relatively rare and so, consequently, were an afterthought for cancer patients and/or blood and marrow transplant recipients and their providers. Declines in measles herd immunity have reached critical levels in many communities throughout the United States due to increasing vaccine hesitancy, so that community-based outbreaks have occurred. The reemergence of measles as a clinical disease has raised serious concerns among immunocompromised patients and those who work within the cancer and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) community. Since live attenuated vaccines, such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), are contraindicated in immunocompromised patients, and with no approved antiviral therapies for measles, community exposures in these patients can lead to life-threatening infection. The lack of data regarding measles prevention in this population poses a number of clinical dilemmas. Herein specialists in Infectious Diseases and HCT/cellular therapy endorsed by the American Society of Transplant and Cellular Therapy address frequently asked questions about measles in these high-risk cancer patients and HCT recipients and provide expert opinions based on the limited available data.