Cimavax, a new lung cancer vaccine made in Cuba, is making waves in the fight against lung cancer. Not only are the results significant, but the lung cancer vaccine is so inexpensive to create that it’s been offered to cancer patients in Cuba for free since 2011.
Though the lung cancer vaccine is not yet available in the United States, BGR reports the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York has worked with the Center for Molecular Immunology in Cuba in reaching an agreement that will allow Roswell Park to develop the lung cancer vaccine and begin trials.
Thomas Rothstein, a biologist with Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, has worked with the Cuban Center for Molecular Immunology on another vaccine for lung cancer. Rothstein is impressed with the advances the country has made in cancer treatment.
“Investigators from around the world are trying to crack the nut of cancer. The Cubans are thinking in ways that are novel and clever.”
Calling Cimavax a vaccine is a bit misleading in that it is not a preventive medication. However, it is making strides in existing cancer patients by preventing the growth and metastasizing of lung tumors, prolonging life for four to six months longer than patients who did not take the vaccine.
According to Popular Science, the vaccine can make a life or death difference in patients with advanced lung cancer.
“As such it can turn aggressive later-stage lung cancer into a manageable chronic disease by creating antibodies that do battle with the proteins that cause uncontrolled cell proliferation, researchers say. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are still recommended as a primary means of destroying cancerous tissue, but for those showing no improvement the new vaccine could be a literal lifesaver.”
— Nicole Brady (@nicolebradykob) May 12, 2015
Drug companies in the United States charge enormous fees for life saving medication, especially those that have just been released on the market. Since it is widely known that this lung cancer vaccine is so inexpensive to create, perhaps that will curb the greediness of pharmacies. If Cimavax can be made so cheaply in Cuba that the government gives it out for free, then the U.S. can follow suit and and do the same. After all, the health of the patient should be the top priority.
What do you think about the introduction of the lung cancer vaccine? How do you think the United States will handle its distribution?
[Image via Medical Observer]