Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in a partnership with Cuban researchers, has FDA approval for a phase I clinical study of CIMAvax, a new vaccine for lung cancer. This is an historic first in the modern era for such a partnership between Cuba and an American institution.
In 2015, Gov. Cuomo brought a trade mission to Cuba that initiated this union. In late October, 2016, the Treasury Department authorized a joint business venture with Cuban researchers to pursue this promising and much anticipated vaccine. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the US. Estimates predict 158,040 Americans will die this year from lung cancer, more than all the combined deaths due to breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Exposure to asbestos is a major cause of lung cancer.
The CEO of Roswell, Dr. Candace Johnson, called this breakthrough “an incredibly innovative immunotherapy for lung cancer that was developed in Cuba and a significant first.” A clinical trial comprised of 60 to 90 patients will begin in about a month. Interested parties can find eligibility information at roswellpark.org/cancer-vaccine.