NHS launches survey to evaluate COVID antibody levels in people with cancer
Tuesday 21 September 2021
The NHS has launched a national COVID Cancer Antibody Survey to assess antibody responses to the COVID-19 vaccines among cancer patients and is calling on people to sign up now.
Vaccination is an important strategy to protect society from the effects of COVID-19, but there is emerging evidence that a small number of cancer patients may have lower levels of antibody response than the general population. We don’t yet fully understand what lower levels of antibodies mean in terms of outcomes, but it may mean some people with cancer are not as protected from COVID-19.
The COVID Cancer Antibody Survey is one of the first surveys of its kind that will help us understand what protection people with cancer develop following COVID-19 infection and/or vaccination. It will also help us understand whether and how antibody response differs between different cancer types and whether any particular treatments affect response to vaccination.
The survey is open to people aged 18 or over living in England who have either been diagnosed with cancer in the last year or are currently receiving cancer treatment. Participants will be sent a finger-prick blood test that looks for antibodies against COVID-19 in the blood. It will be sent in the post and comes with everything needed to complete and return the test.
By signing up for this survey, you can help to develop our understanding of what antibody levels mean for people with cancer and help us to provide the best treatment, care and support for patients, as well as finding out about your own antibody levels.
You’ll fill in a short form with your details before being automatically redirected through to the NHS Test & Trace antibody test booking page where you’ll be able to book your free test. There are a limited number of 10,000 places on the survey which will be issued on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
We are aware that, once you have completed registration on covidcancersurvey.uk and have been directed onto the gov.uk antibody test booking service, one of the questions that website asks you is to confirm your employment status. Please ignore the text underneath this question, which asks you not to continue if you are not working – you do qualify for an antibody test, regardless of your employment status. Simply answer this question and click ‘continue’ – you will still be able to book your test. We’re assured that the website is being updated imminently, when this message will be removed.
For more information, please use the ‘contact us’ section of the survey website: https://covidcancersurvey.uk/contact/