Could This Vaccine Help People With Lung Cancer?

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You know vaccines can protect you from things like the flu, mumps, and measles. But did you know that researchers are testing out a vaccine for lung cancer? The drug is called CimaVax, and scientists in Havana, Cuba, created it. Here's the twist though: It's different from a vaccine you would take to avoid getting a disease. CimaVax is a monthly shot that might help people who have lung cancer live longer. Now how does that do that? It may help their immune system slow the cancer from getting worse.

Now, even though the vaccine is showing promise, it could be years before most Americans with lung cancer can use it. The FDA needs to make sure it's safe and it works well, first. To do that, the agency might soon let a cancer center in New York start giving the drug to patients in studies called clinical trials. In the meantime, treatments available now are helping people fight lung cancer and improve their quality of life.

For WebMD, I'm Dr. Michael Smith.