Cuba develops vaccine against lung cancer

Medical research is in the communist island Cuba at a high level. Therefore it is not surprising that of all Cuban researchers CimaVax-EGF, the first vaccine ever developed against lung cancer. The vaccine is now used clinically for the first time and will also be sold abroad.

Gisela Gonzalez shows the first vaccine against cancer in the world.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are very expensive. A poor country like Cuba can not afford expensive Western treatment. Cuban scientists are also not paid by the pharmaceutical industry, as in the West, but by the state. Therefore, in Cuba a lot research into low-cost, effective treatments for diseases like cancer. That incentive is in countries like the Netherlands and other capitalist countries, unfortunately. Hence the cost of health care here and in Cuba's archenemy, the U.S., explode.

The CimaVax-EGF vaccine is a result of 25 years research on diseases related to tobacco abuse, a serious problem on this island known for its Havana cigars. Researchers and scientists at the Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Havana made the discovery. According to Gisela Gonzalez, research leader, is the main ingredient of the vaccine is a protein produced by metastasizing cancers are produced: the epidermal growth factor (EGF).

The body of the patient in this way makes antibodies against this protein. The vaccine changes so cancer into a chronic, manageable disease, by the human afweersysteeem can be kept under control.

The immunogenic vaccine is suitable for patients with advanced lung cancer in the third and fourth stage that nothing else responds. "It is impossible to prevent the disease, but patients in critical condition considerably from snap on."

According to her CimaVax-EGF clinically tested in over 1000 patients over the island and is now distributed free in all hospitals in the country. Gonzalez wants to apply this principle in treating other cancers such as prostate, cervical and breast cancer.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. The disease kills around 5 million people per year. This number is expected to increase to eight million by 2030 unless the world radically changing smoking habits. In Cuba, lung cancer takes 20 000 people per year of life, ten thousand in the Netherlands: relatively three times as much. Lung cancer in twelve of the fifteen Cuban provinces the leading cause of death.