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In Cuba, as in the United States, lung cancer is a leading cause of death. But decades of economic and political isolation have starved the country of medical resources, leading Cuba’s biomedical researchers to invent their own immunotherapies. Among them are lung cancer vaccines that can help jumpstart the body’s immune response to cancer. Some U.S. patients are even defying their country’s trade embargo to travel to Cuba for treatment. NOVA explores the fascinating history of Cuban biomedical research and follows the journey of two cancer patients — one from the island and one from the U.S — receiving the new vaccines. As they prove effective in some patients, Cuban scientists are teaming up with a leading U.S. cancer institute to develop an even more effective treatment by combining the best of both countries’ research and medical technologies. But can they overcome the embargo?

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