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With 36 research projects underway and 24 biotechnological products being trialed for the treatment of cancer, Cuba is actively developing immunotherapy against this disease, which is the second main cause of death in the country.

This was revealed by Agustín Lage Dávila, head of the Molecular Immunology Center (CIM), at the Havana 2009 Oncology Conference.

In statements to the press, according to a report by Prensa Latina news agency, Lage made reference to the new methods being used to treat cancer. He mentioned, for instance, the importance of considering cancer in an advance stage as a chronic disease, incurable but controlled.

He also spoke about new therapies based on biotechnological products –monoclonal antibodies and vaccines- which address specific needs, are suitable for long treatments, with low toxicity, can be used combined with other drugs and can be administrated to the elderly.   

He noted that clinical trials would measure survival and quality of life indices, and suitability for primary health care.

However, he also mentioned the importance of increasing preemptive strategies and awareness, for reducing risk factors and the prevalence of malignant tumors.

Just in Cuba, some 30,000 new cases are reported every year, and the number of deaths is about 20,000.

He added that the healing, survival and social incorporation rates in patients affected with malignant tumors is improving, as a result of scientific efforts.

Lage also recalled that last year, the country patented a therapeutic vaccine, the first of its kind in the world, for the treatment of lung cancer in its advanced  stages, and said that by the end of 2009, a new product would be presented for the treatment of breast neoplasia.

Source: Periodico26

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