New advances in cancer immunotherapy presented in world forum

Renowned experts from 15 countries, including Nobel Prize winners for Physics, Biochemistry and Mathematics, will present the latest advances in cancer immunotherapy research, during an event which will take place in the capital November 10-15.

Speaking exclusively to AIN, Sonia Ponce de León, communication specialist at the Molecular Immunology Center (CIM), an entity affiliated with the BioCubaFarma group, stated that the institution organizes the International Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop every two years.

She reported that scientists from the CIM will impart the latest advances in caner immunotherapy therapy, which since 2012 has been the principle cause of death in Cuba.

The institution develops therapeutic vaccines and monoclonal antibodies which are used to treat different areas and levels of pain, with good results, according to Cuban and foreign experts.

Dr. Yicel Saurez, CIM’s commercial medicine manager, emphasized that during the event the most advanced technology in the world will be presented, in addition to research strategies.

She emphasized that the entire scientific community and many clinical oncologists recognize the contribution that Cuban science and medicines can make to treatment of the illness.

This center has a portfolio of some 20 products, including medicines which have been fully developed and can be used by patients.

She stated that in regards to research, these pharmaceuticals are grouped into three categories: recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer or autoimmune diseases.

Saurez highlighted CIM exports to more than 30 countries, and the more than 70 Cuban patents registered.

On previous occasions, Dr. Agustín Lage Dávila, director of the CIM, commented on changes in the clinical cancer treatment paradigm, emphasizing the need to consider advanced cancer as a chronic, incurable but controllable illness.

He also stated that new therapies based on biotechnological products – monoclonal antibodies and vaccines – are focused on combating specific elements of the cancer, extended duration, reduced toxicity, combined use, and the ability to be used on elderly people.

Likewise, he emphasized that clinical trials must consider rates of survival and quality of life, and be directed toward primary health care.

Digital Granma Internacional, November 10, 2014

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