South Journal, HAVANA—Cuba registered the first therapeutic vaccine in the world against advanced lung cancer. Over 1 000 patients have been administered the vaccine known as CIMAVAX-EGF.
Specialist Gisela Gonzalez, leader of the project at the Havana-based Molecular Immunology Center, said that the vaccine turns advanced cancer into a controllable chronic disease.
The CIMAVAX-EGF is the result of over 15 years of research work and it aims at the tumor-associated system, while it does not have any severe collateral effects, the specialist pointed out.
“It is based on a protein we all have in our body: the epidermal growth factor, which is related to cellular proliferation processes that get out of control in the presence of cancer,” she said and explained that since the human body tolerates “what it contains” and reacts against “what is foreign to it” they had to find the way to produce antibodies against this protein.”
The therapeutic vaccine is administered after the patient concludes radiotherapy treatment or chemotherapy and cancer considered “terminal” with no therapeutic alternatives, because it helps “control the growth of the tumor without any associated toxicity, the expert explained.
The vaccine can be used as a treatment that increases the patient’s quality and expectancy of life, said the researcher who noted that after being registered in Cuba, the vaccine is making its way in other countries as it is being tested on as prostate, uterus and breast cancer.