Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cuba Announces Release of the World’s First Lung Cancer Vaccine

Cohibas Cuba is known for exporting cigars, but it might 
soon be known for exporting a lung cancer vaccine 
researchers say can turn advanced lung cancer into 
a manageable chronic illness. M Turner via Wikimedia

PopSci - From the island nation known for the quality of its cigars comes some pretty big news today: Xinhua reports that Cuban medical authorities have released the first therapeutic vaccine for lung cancer. CimaVax-EGF is the result of a 25-year research project at Havana’s Center for Molecular Immunology, and it could make a life or death difference for those facing late-stage lung cancers, researchers there say.

CimaVax-EGF isn’t a vaccine in the preventative sense–that is, it doesn’t prevent lung cancer from taking hold in new patients. It’s based on a protein related to uncontrolled cell proliferation–that is, it doesn’t prevent cancer from existing in the first place but attacks the mechanism by which it does harm.             More