CIM Vaccine – Scientists at the Centro de Immunologia Molecular, the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), have created a vaccine to treat lung cancer. This has caught the attention of several countries around the world, including the US. Pictured, researcher Camilo Rodriguez with vials of the vaccine.
CIM Vaccine – Fidel Castro founded the CIM due to the American embargo on Cuba that meant the country could not access American medical treatments. Instead, they made their own.
CIM Vaccine – The vaccine is called CIMAvax, and clinical trials have shown it can prolong life by an average of 11 months in lung cancer patients.
CIM vaccine – The vaccine being developed does not prevent disease, but instead keeps diagnosed tumors in check by inhibiting their growth. It is a form of immunotherapy, harnessing the body's own immune system to fight the cancer.
Among men in Cuba, lung and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer reported. Cancer in any form is the second leading cause of death in the country. Pictured, a scan showing the lung of a patient with lung cancer.
Lung cancer is prevalent in Cuba in large part thanks to one of the country's staples -- tobacco.
Cuba's tobacco industry resulted in another staple the country is known for -- cigars. Pictured, a box of the world's most expensive cigars, Cuban Cohiba Behike cigar.
Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean, has a state-run health system. Much of the focus is on prevention as it is cheaper to prevent disease than treat it. The care, including vaccines, is free.
CIM Vaccine – Cubans have a slightly longer lifespan, on average, than the United States at 80 years versus 79 years, respectively. The island nation are thriving in the field biotechnology, which led to development of the vaccine.