Cimavax EGF its one of those creations that made Cuba a world leader in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. The first vaccine against lung cancer in the history of medicine was developed completely in Cuba, to bring hope for people diagnosed with that disease.
While this medicine does not cure lung cancer, it turns the disease into a chronic pathology. Most therapies attack cancer cells, but this vaccine provokes an immune response against EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), the particles in blood responsible for the growing and developing of cancer cells.
"It is a treatment with durability; and is administered to patient as long as their bodies allows it. At the end of the first cycles is observed a better general condition, which let patients go back into their social activities without significant adverse reactions“, says Cuban pulmonologist Manuel Díaz Toledo.
A patient must be evaluated by specialists and go into imaging and hemochemical analysis to apply for this treatment. The medication is applied, and the immediate clinical response is observed, although the vaccine has low toxicity and there is a minimal occurrence of adverse effects.
Then, the patient is periodically evaluated in consult to determine if the cancer has progressed or is stable. The treatment adjusts to each patient's body response.
After 25 years of studies, Cimavax EGF is still going thru clinical trials, but was registered in Cuba as a medicine in 2008 and included in the basic table since 2012. Other countries that have already registered it are Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and United States gave it a license to conduct clinical trials.
The future is promising, and the research continues: an assay in almost 200 Cuban patients measures the basal concentrations of EGF to obtain more precise data on the factors that stimulate the growth of tumors. Pedro Pablo Guerra, manager of the National Center for Clinical Trials Coordination, believes that this test will contribute to increasing the effectiveness of the medication, and therefore, the benefits for patients.