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Researchers defeat cancer once again

09-19-2018 09:13 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Havana, September 17, 2018. The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) is pleased to announce positive outcomes of an innovative medicine developed by CIGB's researchers intended to inhibit growth of tumor cell lines representative of basal-cell carcinoma of the skin, and malignant gliomas. This new medicine, designed as a synergic combination of recombinant human interferons alpha 2b and gamma, has been approved for commercialization in Cuba, and registered with the trademark HeberFERON (J. Cancer Res. Ther. 2013, 1 (10): 235-243).

The new has shown consistent results in clinical trials after extensive pre-clinical investigations. In several clinical trials (Open prospective trial, phase II double-blind randomized studies, retrospective study and ongoing phase IV) more than 200 patients with histological diagnostic of non-melanoma skin cancer were recruited to be treated with the medicine in Cuban institutions at primary, secondary or tertiary health care levels. The open-label prospective study showed 46.7% complete response in locally advanced basal-cell carcinoma of the skin after application of the treatment. Patients with periocular basal-cell carcinoma or squamous cell skin carcinomas received benefits from treatment (71.4% objective response). The medicine has been administered to patients with non-melanoma skin cancer obtaining a 65% of histological complete response together with an excellent safety profile (BMC Cancer 2009, 9:262; Aust. Med. J. 2017, 10 (6): 509-515; J. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 2015, 6: 5).

A national program for extending the use of HeberFERON has successfully been implemented in Cuba from 2016 with intensive participation of CIGB’s researchers, 430 medical doctors (241 dermatologists, 57 maxillofacial surgeon, 23 ophthalmologists, 37 oncologists, 10 aesthetic surgeon, 4 MGI), 36 nurses, and 22 students of medicine all over the country. A total of 182 mutilations were avoided (52.4%). 90 patients were saved from nose mutilations, 37 from ear mutilations, 35 eyelid mutilations, and 20 from other mutilations. In 2017, a total of 590 patients were treated with this therapy to obtain an objective response of 86.4%. This year, 830 patients have been treated until now to obtain an objective response of 94.7%.

Written by: José A. Buxadó and Nayades Beltrán
Photo: Yutdelis Roben Aguiar.

The CIGB was founded in 1986. This institution is devoted to work in the field of life science developing, manufacturing, and commercializing products derived from the recombinant DNA technology.

Osvaldo Reyes Acosta, Eng., MSc.
Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB)
Ave 31 e/ 158 y 190, Playa, P.O.
Box 6162, Habana 10600, Cuba
Tel: 72504644
e-mail: osvaldo.reyes@cigb.edu.cu.

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