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In 2007, the clinical trials phase is set to begin for the first Cuban therapeutic vaccine against cervical cancer, associated with the most common of the human papilloma virus (HPV-16), which has been developed by specialists at the Center for Genetical Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana.

This form of cancer is the second highest cause of cancer deaths amongst women throughout the world, although in some developing countries it is the first. In Cuba, there is a high incidence of the disease.

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually-transmitted disease and using condoms does not necessarily offer one hundred percent protection.

Isis Torrens, a doctor of biological science and head of the vaccines project against HPV at the CIGB, told Granma International that the trials will take place at the National Toxicology Center in conjunction with the cervix pathology clinic at the Clodomira Acosta gyno-obstetrics hospital in the capital and around 10 or 12 women aged between 18 and 60 years from all the Cuban provinces will take part.

The specialist was one of the speakers on the second day of the 2006 International Biotechnology Congress of Havana.

The project to develop the vaccine began in 2002 and three years later, at the end of the pre-clinical trials phase, results on animals (mice) show that the results have been powerful, eliminating already-established tumors, as well as demonstrating that to date it is an innocuous substance, explained Dr. Torrens.

There are other therapeutic vaccines against this type of cancer already in the clinical trials stage being processed around the world.

Source: Granma International

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