Isaú | 01.06.13

Science and Technology

Cuba and Argentina develop vaccine for lung cancer

Product will be commercially available in July. Brazil is one of 25 countries that were interested in the manufacturing

Argentine and Cuban researchers develop vaccine to combat lung cancer.

Named after the Racotumomab, it has been tested in controlled clinical trials and tripled the rate of patients who were still alive two years after its implementation. It is indicated in cases of advanced lung cancer or metastases in patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy and are stable.

More than 90 experts including the Institute of Molecular Immunology Havana worked in the identification of an antigen (particle or molecule capable of initiating an immune response) and the development of a monoclonal antibody that "induce the body to react to this antigen, attacks the tumor and its metastases but not normal tissue, "according to information from the Argentine laboratory INSUD, one of the members of the project.

The vaccine reactivates the patient's immune system so that it can create antibodies against cancer cells. Not replace existing treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. But it helps to increase patient survival, said Dr. Daniel Alonso, one of the authors of the study in Argentina.

According Alonso, most patients find that only when the disease is lung cancer is in an advanced state. Because tumors are caused by body's own cells, mutated, the immune system does not detect a foreign body and thus do not react. Doctors use chemotherapy and radiation to kill cancer cells, but the two treatments also destroy other tissues.

The drug, a result of 18 years of research, begins to be marketed in Argentina in July. Laboratories from 25 countries, including Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay are interested in obtaining a manufacturing license.

Lung cancer is one of the most aggressive and kills 1.38 million people per year worldwide, according to World Health Organization (WHO). The vaccine was developed by a consortium of private and public sector, Argentina and Cuba.

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