Donor Support is Fueling a Historic Clinical Trial at Roswell Park

“This could be a game-changer,” said Kelvin Lee, MD, Chair, Department of Immunology at Roswell Park. “It could impact hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States, and potentially millions of individuals worldwide.”

Dr. Lee is talking about CIMAvax-EGF, a treatment for lung cancer developed by the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) in Cuba. In 2016, Roswell Park announced a partnership with the CIM to bring this groundbreaking lung cancer treatment to the United States for the first time.

The immunotherapy works by targeting a growth factor in the blood that is necessary for cancer to survive. By depleting this growth factor, the cancer starves and its progress slows, prolonging patients’ lives.

“The bottom line is that we know from previous studies that it works for many patients, and the ease of administration — an injection once per month — combined with its inexpensive cost makes it a very promising treatment,” said Dr. Lee. “There is nothing like it, certainly not in the lung cancer field.”

Scientists at Roswell Park are conducting the early phase clinical trials to test the treatment in combination with standard therapy. These studies are required before CIMAvax can be made widely available in the United States.

And the pace of these initial trials is being fueled by generous donor support, with donations to Roswell Park covering the majority of the cost.

“Research really all comes down to funding. The more funding you have, the faster you can do the trials,” said Dr. Lee. “The less funding, the longer it takes.”

The other exciting thing about CIMAvax is that it could potentially be used in the treatment of many other types of cancer — such as colon, head and neck, prostate, breast and pancreatic cancers.

Research dollars raised through the Herd of Hope will be used to fuel the most promising research projects at Roswell Park, and your company can play a part by sponsoring a Herd of Hope buffalo today.


© 2018 Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center