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About the Author

Marianne Diaz
Writer, Lawyer, Activist (Valencia, Venezuela)

Venezuelan lawyer and fiction writer. Blogger for Amnesty International on Human Rights issues. Author for Global Voices Advocacy. Interested in gender, poverty and work issues, and freedom of speech and information.


Venezuela: Dr. Jacinto Convit develops a vaccine against cancer of breast, colon and stomach.

Published 23rd June 2010 - 22 comments - 57459 views -

A specialist in inmunology, Dr. Jacinto Convit, who works for the Institute of Biomedicine in Caracas, Venezuela, has announced significative progress in the development of what he calls an autogenous vaccine, for the treatment of cancer of breast, colon and stomach.

The inoculation is made up of three basic elements: BCG, formaliter and dead cancer cells . "Due to the use of this last ingredient, the autogenous vaccine can not be produced in series, but it is completely personalized."

According to the press release signed by the Institute itself, in order to clarify doubts and confussions due to the enthusiasm generated by this new,


"Over the past three years, the Institute of Biomedicine has been evaluating a small group of 23 cancer patients, mostly from breast cancer and isolated cases of colon cancer, stomach and brain. With the informed consent form signed by each of these patients, an experimental model of immunotherapy has been applied to them, which has yielded encouraging results and effectively, is free to the patient."

Within this group of patients we found two types: 1) A group who underwent chemotherapy by their treating oncologists (a sample of the tumor removed and then subjected to chemotherapy) 2) Those who refused to be treated with chemotherapy. In both cases, these patients have been referred by their oncologists, who have been duly informed. Similarly, several of the most important Venezuelan institutions accredited in this area have been notified about this immunotherapy model, proposed by a group of researchers from the Institute of Biomedicine.

This vaccine, is characterized for being an autogenous vaccine, since it is made from the patient's own tumor cells. In orden to prepare it, it is required 1 gram of tumor cells, which are combined with the product known as BCG, which has been widely used in the fight against tuberculosis and leprosy, for several decades, with very good results and has also been used in bladder cancer and as adjuvant in the immunotherapy of leishmaniasis."


Dr. Convit, who is 97 years old, is famous worldwide for discovering the vaccine against leprosy, which earned a nomination for the Nobel prize in 1988 (in that year, the Nobel in Medicine was won by Gertrude Elion and George Hitchings, for their work on the treatment of disease and organ transplantation.)

During the interview in which he revealed his progress, Convit said his only interest now is to lead to the Institute of Biomedicine enough patients in need of this vaccine, to move from experimental to massive application. To this end, the patient must have a medical report from his treating oncologist, who endorses the application of the autogenous vaccine. This document will be received at the Institute of Biomedicine for analysis, and thus select who will be treated. This vaccine is free.
Despite Convit not being interested in obtaining recognition for their work, the Venezuelan community has expressed enthusiasm in getting Convit to be nominated again to the Nobel that escaped from his hands in 1988.

Source: Institute of Biomedicine (ES)

El Tiempo: Jacinto Convit seeks new treatment against cancer (ES).

Source of the featured image:

B0006421 Breast cancer cells
Credit: Annie Cavanagh. Wellcome Images
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
A cluster of breast cancer cells showing visual evidence of programmed cell death (apoptosis).
Scanning electron micrograph
2006 Published: -

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons by-nc-nd 2.0 UK, see

Category: Health | Tags:


  • Sylwia Presley on 24th June 2010:

    Really good news for many of the affected people, as well as NGO’s - well, at least for some of them;)

  • Juan-Pedro Torres on 25th June 2010:

    When Dr. Jacinto Convit discovered his vaccine against leprosy several years ago, his results and merits were not originay recognized by the european scientific community, specialy the british who vehemently and selfishly refused to accept Dr. Convit´s discoveries and tried for some time to impose, against all logic, truth and reason, one of theirs as the vaccine creator. Such a behavior was a its time copy of the one followed when Dr. Carlos Finlay, a Cuban, discovered all of the relevants aspects concerning malaria and yellow fever.
    I know ahead of time that this opinion will be contested; however it is pure truth. Eurocentrism, i.e. arrogancy, has not admitted and does not feel like admitting that anyone different to them can achieve superior goals in science, technology, arts, literature, etc.

    Congratulations Dr. Jacinto Convit. I do wish God gives you 97 more years and his eternal blessings.

  • José Miguel Parrella on 25th June 2010:

    Juan Pedro et al., Convit is not even mentioned on international references, say, for example, Wikipedia’s article on Leprosy!

  • Luan Galani on 01st July 2010:

    Marianne, thanks a lot for this! I do not know very much on this issue, but, if things really are how you are painting, guys, then it is outrageous. Definitely…

  • Luan Galani on 14th July 2010:

    Thanks for the tips, Richard. Very useful…

  • Luan Galani on 18th July 2010:

    @Santiago, don’t you think this you said is quite extremist? Strongly I believe we may not generalise such behaviours. I think we can not be that regionalists, separating Europeans and South-Americans, for instance. This regionalism is the same weapon Chávez makes use of. Let’s be a bit more careful.

    I understand that much of history is implied in what you pointed out, but that is not enough to say such things, is it?

  • Bart Knols on 25th July 2010:

    @Juan-Pedro: Your statements ref Carlos Finlay are incorrect. Although Finlay experimented with yellow fever and played a significant role in the elucidation of the transmission of this disease, the discovery of the life-cycle of malaria parasites goes entirely to the Brits (Ross) and the Italians (Grassi).

    Beyond that I entirely agree with Luan’s statement above.

  • Hussam Hussein on 26th July 2010:

    Richiard, thanks for teh link… quite a strong discussion…

  • Helena Goldon on 03rd August 2010:

    Hi Marianne, very successful post as I see it smile
    I would say it is due to many factors, but - most importantly:
    1. It is very well written
    2. It shows a very positive image of developing countries (something rarely found in the press) and their incredible contribution to the developing work
    3. The problem of cancer affects the whole world - our families and friends and we feel an urge to do something about it.
    Well done!

  • Bart Knols on 03rd August 2010:

    @ Helena - don’t forget the success of Facebook, 56 mentions! That’s a great way to collect views…

    Marianne, where is the image you make reference to?

  • Marianne Diaz on 04th August 2010:

    Hi all! I’m sorry I’ve been away from the discussion, I haven’t had internet connection for a while. I’m very touched by everyone’s interest in this topic and for the exchange of ideas that this article has promoted.
    Bart, the image is a picture from breast cancer cells, I only uploaded it for the main page and not for the article (my mistake), but it can be seen here:
    Thanks again to everyone for your interest!

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