Intended for healthcare professionals


Di Bella's method of curing cancer is becoming popular in Italy

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 01 August 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:352
  1. Rinaldo Pellegrini, Consultant in clinical pharmacology.
  1. Piazzale Marengo 6, 20121 Milan, Italy

    EDITOR—Abbasi has summarised wellthe situation concerning “Di Bella's method” for cancer.1 This situation is more serious, however, than it seemed at the meeting in London that Abbasi attended, and it might rapidly contaminate other countries, even those more cold blooded than Italy. It is a clear case of wholesale insanity despite the repeated warnings of oncologists and pharmacologists. There are three newproofs of this.

    • The Italian constitutional court has recently decreed that the health service shouldreimburse the cost of Di Bella's cocktail to all the patients who cannot afford it (more than £20 a day); the health ministry has gone further, allowing it free to practically everybody.2

    • A political party, heir of the former Fascist party, has embraced the cause, organising on a national scale protest marches and television talk shows, with Di Bella attending, sometimes with his supporters displaying banners saying, for example, “Free choice of treatment” and “Chemotherapy means death.”

    • Rotary International is a worldwide organisation of business and professional leaders—supposedly wise people. But a Rotary club in Rome and another in Milan have, with press publicity, made Di Bella a Paul Harris fellow in recognition of “decades of studies and researches in oncotherapy”; even worse is the lack of official reaction from the Rotary district governors expected to supervise the club activities.

    A Medline search shows that from 1966 to 1997 Di Bella has published 21 papers, but none dealing with oncology.3 It would be logical to assume that the clinical trials now in progress will give a final and decisive judgment on Di Bella'smethod, but this is unlikely; in fact, Di Bella has already said that these trials are void since they are not in accordance with the protocol agreed between him and the National Oncology Commission. One example of his complaints, reported by a member of this commission, is that his cocktail was lacking in vitamin C dissolved in mineral water.4

    The problem, involving not only Italy, is how to restore order and prevent further expansion of this crazy situation.


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