Cuban Dr. Migdalia Perez speaks with 6-year-old cancer patient Noemi Bernardez and her mother Elizabeth Navarro. AFP / ADALBERTO ROQUE
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HAVANA: Diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States may be strained but the two countries are standing shoulder to shoulder to fight a common enemy: cancer. The first biotechnical collaboration between the two countries is aiming to test the effectiveness of a Cuban treatment for lung cancer to see whether it could be used for patients in the U.S.According to Orestes Santos, who is a researcher at Havana's molecular immunology center, rather than a vaccination, the treatment involves the "active immunology" of the so-called EGF or epidermal growth factor protein that stimulates cell growth."It's an extra weapon in the fight against cancer, which combines with other therapeutic weapons like chemotherapy," Santos added.Interested by their work, the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, formed a partnership with the Cuban center during a U.S. business mission to the island nation in 2015 . The aim is to have the treatment registered by American health authorities so it can be used on patients in the country.
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