In the Pipeline and Under Study

Dr. Dy investigates new lung cancer therapies that could improve prognosis for patients with advanced disease.

Lung cancer continues to be the number one cancer killer, claiming more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Outcomes for standard lung cancer treatment remain poor, making participation in clinical research studies a viable treatment choice.

The robust research program at Roswell Park — with more than 20 protocols underway for both high-risk individuals and lung cancer patients — provides our patients with more options to maximize their survival.

CimaVax: Exploring Cuba's Lung Cancer Vaccine

Dr. Lee explains the promising potential of CimaVax — Cuba's lung cancer vaccine that will soon undergo clinical testing in the U.S. at RPCI.

In 2015, representatives from Roswell Park and New York State reached an agreement with Havana's Center for Molecular Immunology to bring CimaVax, a game-changing lung cancer vaccine, to the United States for clinical trials and U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection.

CimaVax is intended for lung cancer patients and for those at high risk for the disease, including smokers and patients who may have had lung cancer removed surgically. Unlike other immunotherapies, CimaVax does not target cancer directly and it is not personalized. Rather, the vaccine targets a growth factor (EGF) necessary for the cancer to survive. By targeting and effectively depleting this growth factor, the cancer starves and its progress slows, prolonging patients’ lives.

Kelvin Lee, MD, spoke with RPCI Cancer Talk in detail about why researchers are excited about CimaVax and discussed the process behind bringing the vaccine to the U.S.

The CIMAvax study is not yet open. But if you are found to be eligible, you will be placed on a waiting list and notified when the study opens.

Pioneering New Cancer Treatments

How does photodynamic therapy combined with surgery improve outcomes for lung cancer patients? Dr. Nwogu explains.

Roswell Park maintains one of the first Clinical Research Centers in the nation that focuses specifically on the development of new cancer treatments. The Center provides more treatment options for patients through clinical research studies, and makes it possible to expand our phase I program, which represents the first step toward FDA approval. The Clinical Research Center provides the highest level of patient safety and quickly generates precise data on potential new treatments. Our physicians, surgeons and scientists continually strive for new and better ways to fight lung cancer. Some highlights of our lung research include the discovery and study of:

  • Agents for cancer prevention – Researchers have multiple ongoing studies for people at high risk for lung cancer, including new and existing agents that may prevent the progression of premalignant lesions to cancer.
  • New surgical tactics – Surgeons are exploring such methods as the use of laser-light therapy (photodynamic therapy) during surgery and lung suffusion, wherein anticancer drugs are delivered only to the lung, minimizing the exposure of the rest of the body to potential toxicity.
  • Novel radiation techniques – Targeting the tumor with unprecedented precision allows radiologists to deliver far higher and more effective radiation doses in fewer treatments and with decreased side effects.
  • Targeted therapies – Testing new target-specific drugs and exploring ways to combine these with existing drug treatment are some of the ongoing research efforts that aim to personalize medicine for each patient, to maximize anticancer effect and quality of life while minimizing side effects.

Clinical Trials For Patients at All Cancer Stages

Clinical research studies are available to patients with all stages of lung cancer. Our dedication to this research is a hallmark of our mission to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Find available clinical research studies for lung cancer or call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).