As U.S. relations with Cuba thaw, one unexpected byproduct could be the introduction of a Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine in the U.S. Called Cimavax, an innovative vaccine that was developed to help treat lung cancer patients in Cuba, where lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death.
The immunotherapy treatment could be coming to the U.S. thanks in part to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, which is working with Cuba’s Center for Molecular Immunology to bring the treatment to the U.S.
ABC News spoke to Dr. Kelvin Lee, the chairman of the Department of Immunology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, to learn more about the new medication.
What is Cimavax?
Cimavax is a vaccine designed by Cuba’s Center for Molecular Immunology to help lung cancer patients by targeting a specific hormone that can encourage tumors to grow. The vaccine works by creating a protein in the body that primes the immune system to attack a hormone called epidermal growth factor (EGF), a naturally occurring hormone in the body.