Roswell Park pushing for Cuban lung cancer vaccine

cimavax-11Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s The Ride for Roswell is one of the largest single-day cycling fundraisers, and this year some of the proceeds with go towards a lung cancer vaccine. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s ride will go to bringing CimaVax—a vaccine currently used in Cuba. Roswell Park hopes to bring it to patients in the United States once it receives FDA approval. 

Doctors from Roswell Park have been to Cuba and they now want to bring the vaccine here. They are hoping for FDA approval this year so they can begin clinical trials which will cost about $1.2 million.

CimaVax is a drug that would help stop the tumors growth. The vaccine is manmade and it generates immune responses to a factor that circulates in the bloodstream. Dr. Mary Reid says, “what the vaccine does in the blood is it actually sequesters this protein and prevents it from making it to the tumor and so we are actually starving the tumor.”

In Cuba, CimaVax has been successful. The vaccine has extended the life of advanced lung cancer patients.

Lung cancer rates are higher here than the national average. The majority of lung cancer rate cases are diagnosed in the late stages. Officials at Roswell Park hope that by bringing the vaccine to the U.S. they could help many of the people who are diagnosed.

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