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Dr. Doebele discusses patient travel to Cuba for unlicensed lung cancer vaccine

June 11, 2018

Robert Doebele, MD, PhD
​​George Keays is not a rogue kind of a man. A Colorado realtor and grandfather of three, the 65-year-old practices yoga and meditates regularly. But the US government, he says, has left him no choice but to break the law. If, that is, he intends to stay alive.

Keays has stage 4 lung cancer. As his treatment options appeared to be dwindling this fall, he went to Cuba for a vaccine treatment despite a federal law that prohibits Americans from going there for health care. Now, with President Donald Trump’s recent tightening of the regulations governing travel to Cuba, it has become much harder to travel there. But Keays needs more of the vaccine. This spring, he’s going back.

“I am not looking to break the law. But I am not looking to die, either,” Keays declared. “People with stage 4 cancer, like me, should be allowed to try whatever they want to stay alive, whatever they think will work. The last thing they need is the government on your neck over some archaic regulation saying just take what is available here and die.”​