Cuba approves drug treatment for lung cancer

Public health officials in Cuba recently announced that they have approved a new vaccine for use against lung cancer.

The drug, called Racotumomab, was developed by researchers at Cuba's Center for Molecular Immunology. Racotumomab is the second therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer recently created at the center. The first, called CimaVax-EGF, is intended for patients who showed no response to other forms of treatment, according to

Officials said that Racotumomab was approved last week by the Center for State Control of Medicine Quality and will be made available as soon as possible.

"The vaccine for the treatment of lung cancer, Racotumomab, was approved in Cuba, which will benefit patients with this illness," CIM announced, Yahoo reports. "Although the vaccine does not eliminate the disease, experience has shown that when the cancer does not extend over a long period, the patient remains in a stable stage with the disease and can live for a long time.

Lung cancer is the second most-common cancer in Cuba. CIM estimates that there are nearly 5,000 patients on the island nation in the advanced stages of the illness.

The two vaccines represent the culmination of 25 years of CIM research into diseases related to tobacco smoking. CIM researchers hope to apply the methods used in developing CimaVax-EGF and Racotumomab to treat other types of cancer.