Lung Cancer Medical Program
Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers worldwide mainly due to the fact that in most cases, cancer has already metastasized (spread) and is at an advanced state before it is detected. Lung cancer is the abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth in one or both lungs. It is usually divided into two main groups: non-small cell lung cancer (85% – 90% of all cases) and small cell lung cancer (10% – 15% of all cases) the main difference being is on the size of the cancer cells and the speed of spreading consequently different treatment is prescribed to each lung cancer group. Due to the aggressive nature of small cell lung cancer, surgery is often not a recommended procedure. Nevertheless, it is considered as an option if the cancer is a single lung tumor and has not spread to the lymph nodes and/or other organs.
As with all cancers, Lung cancer medical program depends on the size of cancer, how far it has spread and on the overall health of the patient.
The following are treatment programs offered:
Resection Medical Program:
Pneumonectomy: This Lung Cancer Medical Program involves a major surgical procedure for the removal of a lung in its entirety to extract tumorous lung tissue. This is usually performed if the tumtum or too close to the center of the chest or if smaller portions of the cancer cannot be removed. A pneumonectomy is an open chest technique. Lobectomy: The surgical removal of one lobe (section) of the lung that has cancerous cells in non-small cell lung cancer. It is the most common and most effective surgery for this type of lung cancer. Pancoast Tumour Resection: The removal of cancer tumour found on the top of the lung. 95% of pancoast tumours are part of the non-small cell lung cancer.
Thorax medical programs: The thorax is the chest area between the neck and the diaphragm and contains all major respiratory and circulatory organs.
The following programs are offered:
- Diagnostic Thoracoscopy: the insertion of a tube (an endoscope) with a small camera attached through a small cut in the chest wall to diagnose and examine the thorax area.
- Thoracoscopy for Lung metastasectomy: a thoracoscopic surgery for the removal of secondary cancers that had spread to the lung(s) from another part of the body.
- Thoracoscopy for resection of Lung Bullae (Bullectomy): a thoracoscopic surgery for the removal of air pocket(s) in the lung as a result of lung cancer or other lung diseases.
Mediastinum medical programs:
The mediastinum is the partition separating the two lungs. The heart and its vessels, thymus gland, the esophagus, the lymph nodes of the central chest, cardiac nerves and the tracheae are included in the mediastinum. The lungs are not included in the mediastinum.
Mediastinal Tumour Resection:
The surgical removal of tumours in the mediastinum in order to stop the cancer from spreading and to stop tumours from compressing organs in the area such as the heart or lungs.
Non- Small Cell (Large Cell) Lung Cancer Medical Program:
CimaVax EGF is the result of a 25 years research program developed by the Center for Molecular Immunology and the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Cuba. It is the world’s first stage 3 and stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer vaccine and is usually administered after chemotherapy and radiotherapy have already been given. CimaVax EGF works by targeting epidermal growth factor (EGF) which is a protein found naturally in the body. In a healthy body, EGF gives signals to cells to grow and divide by attaching to the receptors on the cell’s surface. In certain types of cancers such as with non-small cell lung cancer, the body produces too much EGF forcing the cells to grow and divide uncontrollably. In order for cancer cells to grow to an extent as to be able to deceive the immune system, it has to be able to overcome the immune response. For a vaccine to have any effect it must be able to produce an immune response that did not take place naturally. CimaVax EGF stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that are specifically targeted for EGF and bind with it. Since the EGF no longer attaches itself to the receptors on cancer cells, the signal to grow and divide is no longer received thus slowing down the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. CimaVax EGF does not prevent cancer from developing, rather it sets in motion a mechanism whereby the uncontrolled growth and division of cancer cells are more restrained transforming a late-stage aggressive lung cancer into a chronic disease.The CimaVax Vaccine Lung Cancer Medical Program includes the following:
- Initial evaluation/ Medical History Issuance of Medical Certificates
- Diagnostic tests:
Full correlogram Alkaline Phosphatase Blood (Serum) Glutamic-Oxaloacetic
Transaminase (SGOT) Test
Blood (Serum) Glutamate Pyruvate Transaminase (SGPT) Test Urea
Uric acid test
- The induction phase 2 months’ supply of CimaVax, corresponding to the application of 16 pairs of vials (4 vials x 4 vaccine applications). The first dose will be given in our health centers and you can continue the treatment in Cuba or in your country of your own choosing.
- Cyclophosphamide and saline solutions
Racotumomab (Vaxira®) vaccines have long been in use to stimulate the immune system’s ability to protect and help the body against foreign agents, mostly viral or bacterial, that cause infections and diseases. The idea of vaccines for cancer treatment stems from the understanding that just as the immune system works in protecting the body from viral and bacterial infections it also protects the body from cancer by detecting the cancerous cells and in many cases, destroying them. Unfortunately, at the time the cancerous cells suppress the immune system or hide from it and at other times cancerous cells overwhelm the immune system due to their large number. Cancer vaccines work in similar fashion to other vaccines by having the immune system recognize and take action against different types of cancers.
One such vaccine is Racotumomab (Vaxira®) which works by inducing a cellular and humoral immune response against NeuGc GM3 ganglioside found in several tumors tissues by blocking the tumor growth, slowing down its development and hence increasing patients’ life expectancy and improving the quality of life. Unlike traditional treatments for cancer with chemotherapy and radiation whereby healthy cells are attacked alongside cancerous ones, racotumomab is a well-tolerated Lung Cancer Medical Program with the most common side effect is burning in the arm and slight pain in the injection area as well as a possibility of asthenia (physical weakness or lack of energy).
Racotumomab is the second vaccine for non-small cell lung cancer developed in Cuba after CimaVax EGF.