But itâs important for us to understand the long-term complications.â. If you are immunocompromised, the best … Â. Predictably, the level of lymphocytes, which included various types of NK (or natural killer cells), T cells and B cells, dropped significantly after chemo, but the impact was short-term. Researchers found that the type of chemo used did seem to make a difference in the recovery of patientsâ immune systems. Let’s face it, many cancer treatments are physically difficult. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, your blood wor… How long are you immunocompromised after chemo? Factors in how radiation therapy affects the immune system… She also suggested that while the study showed the immune system was impacted by chemo, the study didnât prove that patients were more at risk for infection. âItâs really important to protect your family members when theyâre at the highest risk for major infectious complications,â he said. Sometimes we recommend they stay home, sometimes proceed to a designated location for testing, and in serious cases, proceed to the Emergency Room after we call to let them know the patient is coming. Radiation therapy can also cause low white blood cell counts, which increases the risk for infections. If you smoke, try to quit. Even during treatment, exercise is beneficial if patients are able. What other recommendations do you have for people who are currently receiving chemotherapy or who recently received it? When it came to certain types of NK, T and B cells, however, the researchers found chemo had a long-term effect. For instance, lymphocyte levels in patients treated with certain anthracycline-based regimens (in this case, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide) followed by the taxane docetaxel (also known as taxotere) âremained significantly depressed,â measuring at 64 percent of pre-chemo levels. I am worried about my chemotherapy patients during the COVID-19 crisis, but as of today, March 18, 2020, I am making the same recommendations for them as I am for healthy individuals. What may be a minor issue could turn into something bigger. Cancer survivors and patients should be treated similarly to other high-risk groups since an overreaction from the immune system can lead to cancer progression if infected with the new … Diane Mapes is a staff writer at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Patients are most at risk right after theyâve received chemo. A month or two after chemo ends, however, most people assume their immune system has returned to normal. ... it also knocks out part of my immune system. The immune system can help to fight cancer. He also noted that the decreased immune function observed by researchers might not make that much of a difference to breast cancer patientsâ health. Chemotherapy drugs use powerful chemicals to kill cancer cells and inhibit them from reproducing and spreading throughout the body. The downside is that they can also damage healthy white blood cells, which are normally the backbone of your immune system and are constantly replenished. For a .pdf of this document, click here. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and cancer drugs may take a toll on the body that result in serious side effects.These treatments and side effects may also compromise or exhaust the immune system … Survivors of Hodgkin ly… Well thank you for requesting my answer but I am not a doctor, and this is a question that really has to be answered by the oncologist that’s treating the patient because it depends upon the chemotherapy … Now, new research suggests that the effects of chemotherapy can compromise part of the immune system for up to nine months after treatment, leaving patients vulnerable to infections â at least when it comes to early-stage breast cancer patients whoâve been treated with a certain type of chemotherapy. On March 18, 2020, we began to ask patients to call if they have fever and respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, congestion, etc.). Itâs really well documented that they have a delayed immune recovery after that process. Dr. Steve Pergam, an infectious disease researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and director of infection control at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, said the study results were ânot totally surprising.â, âI think many of us who look at infections do see that there are late infections that occur in patients and we donât always understand why they occur,â he said. However, it should diminish … âTheyâre decreased, but the question is, are they decreased enough to affect clinical risk for infection?â he said. Dr. Julie GralowÂ â a breast cancer oncologist at SCCA, Fred Hutch's treatment arm âÂ said she thought patients would be very interested in the study, but she felt the âclinical implications of the finding remain to be seen,â noting that the study looked at chemo agents that may not be commonly used in the U.S. At the SCCA, for example, âWe donât use epirubicin as the anthracycline, we use doxorubicin,â she said. There are medicines we commonly use to help the immune system recover quickly from chemotherapy. He also offered the following chemo recovery tips: Join the conversation. “Immune-boosting” foods and supplements are promoted all over the Internet, however unfortunately there is very little evidence that these do any good. During that time, you would be considered to be immunocompromised — not as able to fight infection. âThose things never hurt immune response or your recovery,â said Pergam. Destroying the immune system is done only in preparation for stem cell transplants, and is a planned occurrence. âThis study has demonstrated that the adaptive immune system is altered following chemotherapy for at least nine months post-therapy,â the authors wrote in theirÂ study, published Tuesday in the journal Breast Cancer Research. Maintaining a Healthy Diet Visit with a registered dietitian for recommendations. Chemotherapy treatment is usually the most common reason for reduced immunity. 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