Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
Quoting a variety of sources such as Granma.cu, ACN, Prensa Latina and Ahora.cu
Cuba is broadening the use of a biological drug, produced locally, which has raised the survival rate of people who have undergone brain tumor surgery, especially children.
The cancer treatment drug Nimotuzumab or CIMAher was produced by Cuban scientists at the Molecular Immunology Center (CIM) in Cuba. It consists of a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the tumor growth and has been proved effective in the treatment of head and neck tumors, when applied in combination with chemotherapy.
It is currently used on children in the provinces of Pinar del Rio, City of Havana, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Holguin and Santiago de Cuba. Various articles state that this drug has been registered in Argentina, Colombia, China along with several countries in Latin America, Europe and Africa. It is reportedly patented in the United States but the Havana Journal was unable to confirm that claim.
CIMAher is considered to be an “orphan drug” by the European Medicines Agencies (EMEA) and the US Food and Drug Administration. The term orphan drug refers to a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition. CIMAher is a human monoclonal antibody against the receptor of the epidermic growth factor EGF-R which inhibits tumor development. It is designed for the treatment of gliomas, a type of cancer that starts in the brain, and pancreatic cancer.
Illustration courtesy of Kalbe.co.id
Research continues in Cuba to determine if the drug is equally efficient for the treatment of other solid tumors such as breast, prostate, pancreas and lung cancer.
Gliomas and astrocytomas tumors are treated in Camaguey at the Territorial Reference Center on Child Oncology in the children´s hospital called Eduardo Agramonte Pina.
In about one year, sixty seven percent of the patients increased their survival rate to six months according to Dr. Juan Carlos Arranz. He explained how an infant with Supratentorial Astrocytoma survived and how immunotherapy with CIMAher increases the global anti-tumor response.
Dr. Tania Crombet affirmed that CIMAHER acts against the recipient of the Epidermal Growth Factor and inhibits the growth of the malignant tumor. Combined with radiotherapy, its use produces a significant reduction of the size of the tumor in a high percentage of cases.
In spite of the fact that its availability is still insufficient to meet the demand, some 1,500 Cuban patients have been treated with this anti-tumor product applied by injection. CIMAHER is more tolerable since it doesn’t have the unwanted side effects of other forms of therapy.
Clinical trials with CIMAHER began in Japan in 2007 and a dossier for its registration was presented to the European Regulatory Agency. Altogether, 38 of the 52 clinical trials carried out with CIM products last year took place in Cuba, while 14 took place in other countries.
—————————————- Havana Journal Comments—————————————-
Havana Journal Inc. owns the Cuba medicine and Cuban medical school information site CubaMed.com and is always looking for related content so we can keep the world informed about Cuba’s medical industry.