Research group looking to bring Cuba's lung cancer vaccine to the United States

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As relations between the United States and Cuba normalize, groundbreaking lung cancer research and a vaccine may be early imports from the island nation.

A group that included from Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s (RPCI) president and CEO and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met in face-to-face meetings with representatives and researchers from Cuba’s Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) in which they finalized an agreement to bring CimaVax, the CIM’s lung cancer vaccine, to the United States.

CimaVax targets a growth factor (EGF) necessary for lung cancer to survive. By depleting the growth factor, the vaccine starves the cancer and slows its progression, prolonging patients’ lives.

Expansive clinical trials with published data show the vaccine effectively prolonged life, especially among patients younger than 60 years, compared with standard care, with minimal vaccine-related toxicity. The vaccine is administered as an injection in the shoulder once per month.

RPCI is preparing the paperwork for the FDA, and is hoping the FDA can begin its inspection within the next 2 to 3 months.

In addition, extensive safety data is currently available and may enable investigators to skip straight to a phase II study in patients. The researchers estimate the clinical trials, FDA approval, and other regulatory requirements would take 5 years to complete.

CimaVax is the first of several other potential collaborations between RPCI and CIM. Additional collaborations include potential use of CimaVax on colon, head and neck, prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancers, and a second vaccine that targets blood cancers.

HPV vaccine may be effective with just one dose, not three
As relations between the United States and Cuba normalize, groundbreaking lung cancer research and a vaccine may be early imports.
Amid a historic normalizing of relations between the United States and Cuba, a potentially game-changing step was recently taken in the field of lung cancer research. When thinking about cutting-edge scientific innovation, Cuba may not immediately come to mind.
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