Luigi di Bella

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Luigi di Bella (Linguaglossa, July 18, 1912 – Modena, July 1, 2003) was an Italian medical doctor and physiology professor. In the late 1980s, he created a purported treatment for cancer that precipitated an international controversy.


Di Bella graduated in medicine at Bari University, and worked as an army doctor in Greece (1941-1943). In 1948, he became a professor of physiology at the University of Modena, where he had been working since 1939.


In 1963 Di Bella began his studies about some types of blood cancer. During the late 1980s, Di Bella developed a cocktail of drugs, vitamins and hormones (Melatonin, ACTH and Somatostatin) which he argued would be useful in fighting cancer. Following national exposure in 1997 and 1998, several cancer patients from around Italy traveled to his clinic seeking access to a "miracle cure". In 1998 Italian medical authorities (Ministero della salute), declared his treatment to be without scientific merit.[1] The final rejection of Di Bella's method was expressed in a letter (written on 30 December 2005) by the Chairman of the Board of Health, Mario Condorelli, to Health Minister Francesco Storace: "The working group of the Board of Health considers that it has no evidence of the effectiveness of "multitherapy Di Bella" and therefore does not recommend a new clinical trial; this could be not only ineffective but also harmful to the patients by denying them (or procrastinating) access to anti-cancer drugs of proven effectiveness.".[2]

According to the American Cancer Society: "Available scientific evidence does not support claims that Di Bella therapy is effective in treating cancer. It can cause serious and harmful side effects. ... [These] may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased blood sugar levels, low blood pressure, sleepiness, and neurological symptoms."[3]


  • Di Bella L., Gualano L., Key Aspects of Melatonin Physiology: Thirty Years of Research. Neuro Endocrinol. Lett. 2006; 27(4):425–432
  • Luciano Gualano, Homage to Professor Di Bella (2007), Neuroendocrinology Letters; 28(3):219–220
  • The Di Bella Method, Di Bella G., Neuroendocrinology letters, 2010
  • Di Bella G., "The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer.", Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2011;32(6):751-62.
  • Alternative Cancer Cures: "Unproven" or "Disproven"?
  • Philip Willan, Obituary – Luigi di Bella, The Guardian, 8 July 2003, p. 25.
  • Müllner M., "Bella's therapy: the last word? The evidence would be stronger if the researchers had randomised their studies", BMJ. 1999 Jan 23;318(7178):208-9.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Evaluation of an unconventional cancer treatment (the Di Bella multitherapy): results of phase II trials in Italy". BMJ 318 (7178): 224–228. 1999. doi:10.1136/bmj.318.7178.224. ISSN 0959-8138. 
  2. ^ Mario Riccio, Gianna Milano, Storia di una morte opportuna. Il diario del medico che ha fatto la volontà di Welby, Sironi Editore, Milano, 2008, ISBN 88-518-0106-1, ISBN 978-88-518-0106-9
  3. ^ "Di Bella Therapy". American Cancer Society. Retrieved August 2013. 

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