If you need a reason to put an end to an ongoing embargo between two nations, than a cancer vaccine just might be the perfect pretext to start things up. The Cuban lung cancer vaccine is something that President Obama wants to get his hands on, regardless of the embargo.
The Cuban vaccine is called Cimavax and works as a therapeutic method, not as a preventative measure, as you might be accustomed from vaccines. What is does is intervene in the patient’s secretion of antibodies for the epidermal growth factor. This affects the growth of the tumors and the onset of metastatic tumors.
The medicine has been available to the Cuban population for free since 2011 and its results consist of prolonging the lives of lung cancer patients with four to six months. While this is far from being the cure for cancer, it is extremely important to the patients to be able to extend their lives even for a few months.
Unfortunately, before the medicine can reach American patients, it must receive FDA approval and this implies an excruciatingly long series of tests and clinical trials. It will most likely take a few years before Cimavax will be used in US hospitals.
For now, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute from New York has an agreement with the Center for Molecular Immunology from Cuba that ensures the arrival of the vaccine in the US. From there on, it will embark on its extensive journey to Oncology clinics nationwide via the FDA.
It was quite the surprise that Cuban scientists have managed to achieve such an important success in the battle with cancer, since it was precisely because of the commercial embargo with the US that they have had to undergo numerous hardships.
In order to work on these mattes, extensive sanctions have been applies to the national budget, but health remained a priority all throughout the development of this process. Both Fidel and Raul Castro have worked hard to ensure that the population has access to free high quality healthcare.
Cuba actually behaved exemplary after their fight with Dengue fever back in 1981 that claimed the lives of 350,000 Cubans. They created the Biological Front, that was to focus on research, so that Cubans be safer in the future.
Among the brilliant discoveries made by the scientists of this institution, the most significant one is definitely the production of interferon. Since then, they have worked on numerous other projects, but Cimavax is the most promising one to date.
While the American scientific community is eager to work with their Cuban colleagues, there are future measures that need to be taken. President Obama has managed life the ban on medical products and some scientific equipment, but there is a long way to go until the embargo with Cuba is neutralized by Congress.
Hopefully, bringing the Cuban lung cancer vaccine to the US will be a path opener for future collaboration. Furthermore, future research conducted by both Cuban and American scientists would constitute higher chances for medical advancement.
Image Source: theredphoenix
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