Lung cancer accounts for one in four cancer deaths in the country. But a new inexpensive treatment developed in Cuba could soon be on its way to the U.S.
Lung cancer is the number one killer in the U.S. Until now, treatment options have been limited. But researchers are studying a revolutionary treatment for cancer patients and those at high risk, like smokers, even if they are not yet showing signs of the disease.
Susan Roney is a successful attorney and a partner in her law firm. She also has a loving family. But seven years ago her life was forever changed.
"I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in January 2009. I thought I had bronchitis so it was an enormous shock," said Roney.
Roney says she didn't have any of the risk factors for lung cancer.
"I was otherwise healthy. I was a non-smoker. I was 50 years old," said Roney.
Now a revolutionary lung cancer vaccine may have the potential to significantly help people like Roney.
The vaccine, called Cimivax, was developed in Cuba, where it is already in use. Dr. Kelvin Lee, Chair of Immunology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, says the vaccine has already been shown to be effective.
"Instead of going after the cancer directly it goes after the growth factor and prevents the cancer from growing with the idea of turning the cancer into a chronic disease," said Dr. Lee. "The vaccine is inexpensive. It's easy to give. It's given as a shot once a month. It has very little toxicity. Patients really do very well with it."
As for Susan Roney, the lung cancer metastasized to her brain in the summer of 2015, but she is responding well to treatment. She's encouraged by news of the potential vaccine.
"The one thing you need when you're diagnosed with cancer is hope because hope keeps you going," said Roney.
The vaccine has also been approved for use in Paraguay and Peru and is expected to be approved soon in Colombia. Meanwhile, phase one clinical trials at Roswell Park in New York City could get underway by the end of this year.
If you would like more information, check out medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.
Lung cancer vaccine could come to US from Cuba
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