5 Things You Need to Know About Cuba’s Lung Cancer Vaccine

A vaccine developed in Cuba that has the power to extend life in lung cancer sufferers is now making its way to the United States for further trials and research. Here’s what you need to know about this important advance in both medicine and Cuban relations.

1. What Does the Lung Cancer Vaccine Actually Do?

The vaccine, known as CimaVax EGF, is for small cell lung cancer and it works by targeting a protein known as epidermal growth factor or EGF. That’s the naturally occurring signal that tells cells in the body to grow and divide. Some cancers make the body produce large amounts of EGF, which then leads to cells dividing and growing uncontrollably. CimaVax introduces EGF into the body and then prompts the body to begin binding EGF, which in turn stops it from reaching the receptors on cancer cells. This effectively interrupts the signal that would have told the cancer cells to keep growing and dividing. For people who already have small cell lung cancer, there is evidence that it can slow the progress of the cancer which in turn could mean the difference between early stage localized cancer and a cancer that has spread.

2. What Stage is Research of the Lung Cancer Vaccine At?

Twenty-five years of research supports the vaccine, and a number of small trials with cancer patients have shown that vaccine has some modest but still significant results.

A trial published in 2008, for instance, showed that among 80 people, some of whom were given chemotherapy and then the vaccine and some who were just given chemotherapy, those who had the vaccine tended to live about four to six months longer. Perhaps even more important, they reported a better over-all quality of life, with reductions in symptoms like coughing and breathlessness.

There were some side-effects but these were mostly very mild, from sweating to chills, and feeling sick, though interestingly the trial seemed to show that the vaccine offered the most benefit to people under the age of 60.

So confident is Cuba about this vaccine, that it’s actually been available to cancer patients–for free–since 2011 and USA Today reports the vaccine has been used to treat some 5,000 patients across the world.

So that’s where the research is now, but what about in the future? It is hoped that the “groundbreaking” study at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., which comes about by way of a historic deal that was signed by Cuba’s Center for Molecular Immunology last month, will investigate not just the benefits that have already been established, but will be able to draw on new resources and insights to see if researchers can boost the affects and make this vaccine even more of a promising tool in the fight against lung cancer.

In particular, the researchers say they are interested in two key things: if the vaccine can be used to prevent lung cancer returning in those who have had cancerous masses removed, and if it may offer a preventative effect for those who are at high risk of developing lung cancer, for instance people who have lung cancer in the family and those who have a history of smoking.

This all begs the question though:

3. Why Haven’t We Been Able to Access the Vaccine Until Now?

Put simply, this is down to the U.S.’s decades long economic blockade on Cuba and the resulting lack of civil relations between the two countries.

When President Obama announced that those restrictions would be eased, much to the dismay of a segment of Republicans and a handful of Democratic lawmakers too, he opened the door for the U.S. to access Cuba’s medical innovations which, despite the challenges that Cuba might face, has been a priority for the country and has become somewhat of a national pride (and for good reason). This specific deal, though, is the result of a trade mission which was led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. In case you are wondering, as a trade-off Cuba will receive new medical technologies to update their own systems and machinery, which in turn will help them pursue new medical innovations.

4. Does This Mean the Vaccine Will Soon Be Available to Everyone in the U.S.?

The vaccine is being researched alongside two other vaccines that were developed within the United States, however the CimaVax vaccine has a considerable head-start on those other vaccines in terms of research supporting its safety and effectiveness. There will need to be trials to confirm those aspects of the vaccine, but it is hoped that roll out for patients can happen relatively quickly. The researchers will need to first win approval from the FDA for a phase 1 trial, but this seems like a formality rather than any kind of potential barrier.

5. Why is This Vaccine So Exciting?

Cuba, in terms of world economies at least, doesn’t have a lot of resources and so when it comes to its medical advances it has had to be creative, and the CimaVax vaccine is an example of that. By essentially starving the tumor of the EGF it needs to grow, this vaccine is innovative in a way that other cancer vaccines have not been, and there is hope that U.S. scientists might be able to use a similar approach to essentially starve other cancers that rely on EGF to proliferate, including some kinds of breast cancer.

This vaccine represents just one of the ways in which the Obama administration hopes to profit from good relations with Cuba, an exchange that will benefit both countries moving forward.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

97 comments

Tom C.
Tom C.6 days ago

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Alivia J.
Alivia J.6 days ago

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Alivia J.
Alivia J.6 days ago

So grateful for the miraculous healing that Dr Akuna did for me, since 7years ago i have been dealing with this dangerous disease called PROSTATE cancer, i have been taking several pills and medicines but none of the stuff i took work for me, i was surfing the internet one evening when i came across so many heart breaking testimonies of Dr Akuna so i decided to contact him through his given email address:drakunasolutiontemple@gmail.com and immediately he responded to me giving me instructions which i obeyed and he told me that he will prepared a powerful medicine that i will be using and after using it in 2 weeks i will be totally cured and never return back again,so he did prepared a cure for me and send over to me and indeed when i receive it and used it in 2 weeks, i was totally cured and today i am a free happy man. he can also cure other disease such as, HERPES, HIV/AIDS, HEPATITIS B, CHRONIC DISEASE, HSV 1 &2 ,ULCER, KIDNEY PAIN contact his Mobile number:+2348154625070 or his website:http://drakunasolutiontem.wix.com/dr-akuna

Raymond W.
Raymond W.25 days ago

I hope this will be of immerse benefit to someone living or just diagnosed
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when I was browsing on my computer and i saw lot of testimonies and post
from people making reference to a traditional doctor on how he used his
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system from any virus or disease. Some testimonies was centered on;
*HIV (with a very low cd4 count)
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*HERPES,
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*CANCER,
*DIABETIC,
*STAPHYLOCOCCUS...
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but i was in a way convinced with the sort of amazing testimonies i saw
online i decided to contact him, with the response he gave, He promised to
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after i placed an order, I got the medicine and he instructed me to drink
the medicine for two weeks ( only evenings before bed) after which, I
should go back to the hospital for a Re-Test. I followed his instructions
and i discovered that my urine became yellowish for good two weeks so
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I decided to promote him because he cured me from my disease, there's no
disease he can't cure with his medicine. Please also spread the good news
to others so that those with same illness can be cured.

 .
.2 months ago

I never knew cannabis oil was indeed wonderful and very effective in the treatment of cancer "if not by the government and so called rules to regulate cannabis dad would still have been alive. Thanks to the new policy of legalizing cannabis in my state and have even lost my wife's kidney cancer, and it was really shocked and surprised when I see a lot of documentary on how the cannabis oil had helped many people to whom His family thought they never could do next undergoing several "Chemo" from the department of my heart, and I have to say a word of appreciation to Dr. Rick for timely intervention in the lives of my wife suffering from kidney cancer. As I write this testimony in this blog my wife is so strong and healthy even though you have not completed the total dosage "for cannabis and medical consultation opportunity and get in touch with him if you are a cancer patient through their email:phoenixtears44@gmail.com) so you can lit more details
Treatment Regine:
I have a pretty big tolerance for marijuana, so I started off with a full grain of rice sized amount of oil instead of a half grain. I gradually increased the dosage every night until I reached a full gram each night. The standard protocol for Rick Simpson Oil is ingesting a total of 60 grams over the course of 2-3 months, but I had 70 grams in
total for safe measure. I used the excess as a topical skin care treatment, attacking the visible brown spots on my face and neck.
3 months later, my cancer was in full

Anderson S.
Anderson S.2 months ago

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Mac B.
Mac B.3 months ago

hello.......
I'm Mac Brown, I was diagnosed of Emphysema and Herpes in 2012, I was told by my doctor that there's no possible cure. I started taking medication ..i was just researching online I saw a lot of testimonials about DR Mapipa on how he uses herbal medicine to cure so many deadly disease such as ALS,MND,EPILEPSY,LEUKEMIA,ASTHMA,CANCER,GONORRHEA,HERPES,EMPHYSEMA,GENITAL WARTS,ETC .... I contacted him via his email;drmapipaherbalmedicinehome@gmail.com and told him my problems, then he said i will be totally cured within 18days,my thought was so negative,i just had faith and believe,then i purchased the herbal medicine and sent him my details such as NAME,HOME ADDRESS,PHONE NUMBER ,Then DR Mapipa sent me the herbal medicine to me through courier service and I used the herbal medicine for good 18 days, then I went for check-up and my family Doctor confirmed that am totally cured . The medicine has NO SIDE EFFECT, there's no special diet when taking the medicine.then i ordered another herbal medicine for my Mother,who was suffering from Cancer for 6 years ,and my two brother diagnosed of Herpes and Hepatitis b for 3 years, Then DR Mapipa sent the herbal medicine ,after 14day of usage ,my mother was totally cured of Cancer ,my two brothers was totally cured of Herpes and Hepatitis b,Now my family are so happy ,living free life ,we went to church for wonderful thanks giving ,viewer there is nothing impossible in life ,just keep pushing ,i can never believe that on

Anderson S.
Anderson S.3 months ago

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Novoa Mendez L.
Past Member 4 months ago

Dear Rick,I cannot describe what I feel! This is absolutely astounding and great! Thank you: thank you so much. I don’t know what to say: It's another year and i'm still cancer free after some years I think I’ll have to let this fantastic news “sink in” in my brain a little: I’ll keep on thanking you again and again.It's like Magic i am CANCER FREE I have never been more amazed and happy in my life! Contact him directly at his email: ricksimpsoncancerresearchcure@gmail.com for your own oil.
May GOD Bless you all! Yours truly,
Novoa Mendez

Rick S.
Rick S.5 months ago

Hello:
I gave a copy of your testimony to a lady who had one breast removed and was given a grim diagnosis that the cancer had spread and that within a year she would likely be back to remove the other one. She had received all the chemo and radiation she could take. The surgeon basically sent her home because there was nothing else they could do. She told me that she had no energy and that she had to give up all her activities. She believed that there was no hope and that it was just a matter of time.

She started using the high quality CBD oil she got online from: cancercurericksimpson@gmail.com . For the first few days she felt more tired than ever. The fourth day she began to feel a surge of energy. She continued to feel stronger and stronger. Within a couple of weeks she felt so good that she re-joined all the clubs and activities that she had to abandon before. She went on a trip to Eastern Canada that involved a lot of walking and said that she had no problems at all.

Two weeks ago she had an appointment with the surgeon and found that the other breast was fine and that she had no sign of problems. He told her to come back in a year for another check-up.

She phoned me yesterday to thank me again for the info that gave her life back. According to her, she was already taking vitamin supplements and good eating habits but it was the CBD oil that made this miraculous difference. She said that she would continue to take the 3 tablespoons of CBD oil in yogurt.Emai