Britons to take part in Cuban lung cancer vaccine trial

PHOTO: Britons to take part in Cuban lung cancer vaccine trial

HAVANA - British patients will soon take part in a trial of a Cuban-designed therapeutic lung cancer vaccine, the first of its kind, a company executive announced Thursday.

"A new clinical study of the therapeutic lung cancer vaccine (called Cimavaz-EFG)" will begin "in a matter of days with a group of patients in the United Kingdom," said Erik D'Hondt, scientific director for the Malaysian drug company Bioven, who is in charge of European distribution of the drug.

D'Hondt did not say how many patients were taking part in the study.

The vaccine was developed by scientists at the Molecular Immunological Center (CIM) in Havana.

Its tests in Cuba found promising results in more than 1,000 patients.

CIM researcher Zoraida Acosta said scientists are encouraged because the drug has shown benefits in terms of extending life span and improving quality of life even in late-stage lung cancer patient.

They say their goal is for the cancer to become an illness that does not progress even if it cannot be cured. The vaccine's potential also is being looked at for treatment of uterine, breast and prostate cancers, Cuban officials said.