“Convalescent Plasma for Covid-19 – Making Sense of the Inconsistencies”, an editorial of Lise Estcourt (WP5) on the NEJM
“Convalescent Plasma for Covid-19 – Making Sense of the Inconsistencies”, a new editorial by Dr. Lise Estcourt and Dr Jeannie Callum is out now in the 5 May edition of New England Journal of Medicine. Lise Estcourt, from NHSBT, England, is a member of the SUPPORT-E consortium and is more specifically involved in Wp5. “We owe it to blood donors, blood centres, taxpayers, and our patients not to deploy unproven therapies until a consistent efficacy signal is observed”, wrote Dr. Estcourt in the editorial.
In her intervention, Dr. Estcourt also referred to the trial conducted by Dr. D.J. Sullivan et al whose results were published in the same issue of NEJM. Results that feed further hopes regarding the clinical use of Covid-19 Convalescent Plasma for a distinct selection of patients, mostly the unvaccinated ones. “The administration of convalescent plasma within 9 days after the onset of symptoms – wrote Dr. Sullivan’s team in its conclusions – reduced the risk of disease progression leading to hospitalization”.
Two ongoing trials
Dr. Estcourt also highlighted the importance of two ongoing clinical trials: COVIC-19 and REMAP-CAP. “The COVIC-19 plans to enroll 680 outpatients in two target groups (participants who are ≥70 years of age or who are <70 years of age with coexisting conditions, and participants with immunocompromise). In the immunoglobulin domain of the REMAP-CAP trial, the investigators plan to enroll hospitalized patients with immunocompromise”. And both trials plan to better evaluate the effect of higher-titer plasma on such patients.
“In the future – it is her conclusion – a prepandemic plan will be needed to ensure that we work collaboratively across countries to test the efficacy of convalescent plasma quickly and in a coordinated fashion during pandemics. It would be unfortunate if we came to the end of this pandemic and still lacked clarity on the efficacy of convalescent plasma and appropriate donor selection”.