Luigi di Bella

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Luigi di Bella (July 18, 1912 in Linguaglossa – July 1, 2003 in Modena) 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 his "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]

The January 28, 2014 the court of Lecce order the reimbursement by the town ASL (National Health Service), of 25,000 euro to a woman suffering from cancer who sustained a treatment with the Di Bella method; the court declared that "emerges a clinical situation in which, alongside a progressive disease, are obvious reductions and even the disappearance of some injury, an improvement compared to the pre-treatment period ' dozens of cases confirmed by the courts throughout Italy are giving reason to DiBella method.

By 2013, there were dozens and dozens of court cases that the courts have ordered the full reimbursement of care incurred by patients as the patients in question found absolute benefit and healing, which however did not occur with the "traditional" medicine.

Experimentation of Di Bella's method is vitiated by serious irregularities. Worse, some of the 386 cancer patients who experienced the "multidrug" (MDB) of the physician in Modena would be used as guinea pigs treated with "breakdowns and imperfect" drugs, it is not known what effects on health. And higher institute of Health, even knowing this, would not warned 50 of the 51 hospitals d 'Italy who experienced the protocols. These are the conclusions of the long and meticulous investigation opened two years ago by the prosecutor of Turin Raffaele Guariniello, following a number of complaints, on trial in the 4 "reference centers" in Turin (Molinette, San Giovanni old seat, Mauritian and Sant 'Anna) and 4 of the province (the Chivasso hospital, Orbassano, Chieri and Cirè). A 'survey which does not enter into the merits of the' effectiveness or otherwise of the treatment, but only analyzes the regularity of the trial. Four defendants, all leaders of 'National Institute of Health (ISS): Roberto Donato Raschetti and Greek, the trial coordinators of 1998, Stefania Spila Alegiani, responsible for galenicals, and Elena Ciranni, who took care of the relations with the various clinical centers . Grave 's offense: "drug delivery failures or imperfect" (punishable, according to' Article 443 of the Criminal Code, with imprisonment up to three years). The director Giuseppe Benagiano, at the time under investigation, was then filed. No responsibility for the 'former health minister Rosy Bindi, heard as a witness in secret, in Rome, to' start of 'years. The four suspects have received the notice of closure investigation. " A sort of indictment announcement, but then that has not arrived: thanks to the law Carotti, the defendants requested and obtained from the Pg of the Supreme Court Nino Abbate transfer of 'investigation in Florence. With the curious grounds that the "implicated" drugs produces them the 'Florentine military Pharmacological Institute. Needless l 'opposition Guariniello who, judgments of the Supreme Court to hand, countered that the 443 does not punish the production or possession, but the administration of medication faults (which occurred precisely in Turin). So it will be up to the prosecutor of Florence - that 'last year had already filed an' other inquiry on Di Bella protocols - draw conclusions: bringing to judgment or ask the 'storage. Everything will depend on the 'interpretation of irregularities emerged in Turin: errors in good faith, or fraudulent conduct? For Guariniello, proof of intent would in a letter sent in the '98 in a Roman hospital, asking guidance on the conservation and the composition of the "solutions to retinoids" planned for Protocols 1 and 9. In the letter of' Iss STATED executives that those substances have a "validity" of only 3 months, after which "expire" and be thrown. Too bad the same directive has not branched to the other 50 hospitals who experienced the cure. And that in fact continued, unaware of all, to administer those widely expired solutions (even old 4, 5, 9 months) and "impaired." Not only a serious technical error would have halved the amount of a component, an active ingredient, essential for the 'effectiveness of those solutions: l' "Axeroftol palmitate". In practice, for the two protocols, one experienced was not the multitherapy Di Bella, but a "variation on the theme" undeclared. So com 'it had emerged in the' 98 for another two protocols, hastily withdrawn after Guariniello had discovered there some missing and some other substances (such as tamoxifen Professor Umberto Veronesi) added by a mysterious hand. But that chapter is still open. In Turin.


  • 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.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

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