Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine To Begin Tests In The U.S.

Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine To Begin Tests In The U.S. [Video]

Lung cancer has long been a major cause of death for American citizens. But now that President Obama has lifted the embargo against Cuba and eased economic restrictions from the tiny island nation, the United States as a whole is about to benefit from it with more than just cigars.

In a report by The Buffalo News, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute has been given the go ahead by the Food and Drug Administration to begin testing the Cuban vaccine that treats lung cancer, potentially making a major advancement in the fight against the disease and possibly bringing modern medicine and technology one step closer to eradicating the deadly and debilitating condition.

The Cuban vaccine is known as CIMAvax-EGF and has been proven to be somewhat effective with patients around the world. The modest results have given cancer patients and their families hope, but it is still early in the process to determine if the drug can eliminate the disease altogether.

Currently, the CIMAvax-EGF vaccine has shown to be effective by extending the lives of people afflicted with lung cancer. But as more research gets underway in the U.S., those results could potentially be amplified. Through modern research and studies, the CIMAvax-EGF drug could potentially be engineered to be more effective and that is a major step in the world of medicine.

Chemotherapy and radiation for people with lung cancer has seen some successes. But most people diagnosed with lung cancer have seen a morbidly high mortality rate, thus making the disease all that more of a public health crisis over the past century.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Wednesday and announced the commencement of the trials.

“This groundbreaking trial at Roswell Park is the result of our historic partnership with Cuba, and is a testament to New York’s storied legacy as a national leader in progress and innovation,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement released to The Buffalo News.

President and chief executive officer of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Candace Johnson, also seemed to echo the enthusiasm of the Governor and shared her expectations with the press on the lung cancer treatment that is expected to be the first of a thriving relationship between the U.S. and Cuba in regards to medical advancements.

“With this landmark clinical trial, Roswell Park, America’s first cancer center, becomes the first American institution to give CIMAvax to patients,” Johnson said. “We’re the first center to get permission to sponsor the U.S. testing of any Cuban medical therapy to bring Cuban science to the United States.”

To make this matter even more effective for Americans that suffer from lung cancer, the paired operation between Roswell Park and Cuba has been authorized by the Treasury Department to establish this joint business venture. This proves that Americans and Cubans are ready to let the past stay in the past and work together for a brighter future for all people.

The CIMAvax lung cancer treatment is something that is quite different than that of chemotherapy. Rather than attempting to kill the cancer cells directly, it seeks out a protein in the human body that signals cell growth. In effect, this process jump starts the human immune system and allows it to do the same thing, just in a more natural way, directly targeting cancer cells and thus preventing the rapid growth of those cancer cells to other organs.

To help get some perspective on lung cancer, the average survival rate is 17 percent, which accounts for all types of lung cancer. But once it spreads, that survival rate gets cut down quite dramatically. This Cuban vaccine seeks to stop that spread and allow for more time to combat the cancer in an isolated area of the body.

[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]