Cuba might have a big winner

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Cuba might have a big winner

#1  Postby Macdoc » Apr 20, 2017 4:38 pm

Why an American went to Cuba for cancer care
20 April 2017

Cuba has faced more than 50 years of US sanctions. Now, for the first time, a unique drug developed on the communist island is being tested in New York state. But some American cancer patients are already taking it - by defying the embargo and flying to Havana for treatment.
Judy Ingels and her family are in Cuba for just six days. They have time to go sightseeing and try out the local cuisine. Judy, a keen photographer, enjoys capturing the colonial architecture of Old Havana.
And while she is in the country, Ingels, 74, will have her first injections of Cimavax, a drug shown in Cuban trials to extend the lives of lung cancer patients by months, and sometimes years.
By travelling to Havana from her home in California, she is breaking the law.
The US embargo against Cuba has been in place for more than five decades, and though relations thawed under President Obama, seeking medical treatment in Cuba is still not allowed for US citizens.
"I'm not worried," Ingels says. "For the first time I have real hope."
She has stage four lung cancer and was diagnosed in December 2015. "My oncologist in the United States says I'm his best patient, but I have this deadly disease."
He does not know she is in Cuba. When she asked him about Cimavax, he had not heard of it.
"But we've done a lot of research - I've read good things," Ingels says. Since January, Cimavax has been tested on patients in Buffalo, New York state, but it isn't yet available in the US.
Ingels, her husband Bill and daughter Cindy are staying at the La Pradera International Health Centre, west of Havana. It treats mostly foreign, paying patients like Ingels, and with its pool complex, palm trees and open walkways, La Pradera feels more like a tropical hotel than a hospital.
Judy Ingels (centre) with husband Bill and daughter Cindy
This trip from their home in California, together with a supply of Cimavax to take back to the US, will cost the Ingels family more than $15,000 (£12,000).
Cimavax fights cancer by stimulating an immune response against a protein in the blood that triggers the growth of lung cancer. After an induction period, patients receive a monthly dose by injection.
It's a product of Cuba's biotechnology industry, nurtured by former President Fidel Castro since the early 1980s.

more

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39640165

necessity ....invention comes to mind :cheers:
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Re: Cuba might have a big winner

#2  Postby crank » Apr 20, 2017 4:50 pm

I can't help but continuing to be dumbstruck at the stupidity of US foreign policy.
“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”
-George Carlin, who died 2008. Ha, now we have human centipedes running the place
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Re: Cuba might have a big winner

#3  Postby proudfootz » Apr 21, 2017 7:48 pm

I was listening to a program on the radio late one night - on the BBC, perhaps - where they talked about this story and the irony that it was the US embargo that forced Cuba to rely on itself that sparked the sort of research that lead to this breakthrough.
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." - Mark Twain
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Re: Cuba might have a big winner

#4  Postby Macdoc » Apr 21, 2017 8:28 pm

Yes in a number of areas necessity is the mother of invention ...never so true as with CUBA
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Re: Cuba might have a big winner

#5  Postby Pebble » Apr 21, 2017 9:44 pm

Certainly looks interesting. Full text openaccess

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28348561
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