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Roswell’s Cuban Collaboration Goes Prime Time With “NOVA” Episode Premiere

“Cuba’s Cancer Hope” documentary to air on WNED PBS, other PBS stations nationwide

  • Roswell Park featured on episode of award-winning documentary series “NOVA”
  • Hourlong documentary highlights collaboration with Cuban scientists
  • Center is first American institution to sponsor clinical trial with CIMAvax

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s collaboration with the Centro de Inmunología Molecular (CIM) in Havana, Cuba, will be the focus of an hourlong documentary premiering tonight, Wednesday, April 1, as PBS airs “NOVA: Cuba’s Cancer Hope” at 9 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CDT.

The episode focuses on how Cuba came to develop several important medical therapies, and how Roswell Park became the first American research center to sponsor a clinical trial with the Cuban-made drug CIMAvax-EGF — a historic collaboration between Cuban and American scientists.

The “NOVA” team came to Roswell Park in February 2019 to interview experts at Roswell Park, including Drs. Candace Johnson, Kunle Odunsi, Kelvin Lee, Mary Reid and Grace Dy, and also did extensive filming in Cuba.

“Science is going to move relationships forward,”  notes Dr. Lee, a medical oncologist and one of the key figures in this international collaboration in his role as the Jacobs Family Chair in Immunology and Senior Vice President of Basic Science at Roswell Park. “The promise of lifting the burden of cancer in all peoples is going to move the relationship forward.”

Roswell Park’s phase I/II clinical trial of CIMAvax-EGF as part of a combination treatment for some lung and head/neck cancers is underway.

“NOVA” is the most-watched prime-time science series on American television, reaching an average of five million viewers weekly. The episode will air locally on Buffalo Toronto Public Media’s WNED PBS and on PBS stations nationwide.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or

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Rebecca Vogt, Media Relations Specialist