I’ve blogged on this one before, but it looks like now, some interesting Cuban research into scorpion venom as a cancer treatment is starting to pay off big-time:
Translation mine.Michael Moore may want to consider a second Sicko movie, at this rate. Maybe a group of cancer-stricken first responders from 9-11 will want to try this treatment, too.
A Cuban pharmaceutical laboratory has been overrun by hundreds of foreign patients, Italians above all, who have flown to Havana to be treated with a natural medicine against cancer made from scorpion venom.The director-general of Labiofam, Pavel Pizart, explained that the avalanche began in the beginning of October, after an Italian journalist filed a report, complete with hidden camera and interviews of several patients who had been treated with the antitumor product, named Vidatox.“On the 4th 350 Italians arrived, on the 5th more than 250, and the number has remained above 200 a day from Monday to Friday,” said Pizart in a press conference, adding that the company has had to build facilities to tend to the visitors, since it did not have the proper installations.“You can imagine what it’s like in a company which was not designed for that, which doesn’t have infrastructure, with 350 people waiting outside. It was a problem, we didn’t have anyplace to put them. 12 specialists for 350 people was complicated, but to this minute, no one has left the place without the product in hand,” Pizart said.According to Pizart, the Cuban embassy in Italy has also been overwhelmed by visa applications, and charter flights have been booked since commercial airlines did not have enough seats.The diplomatic installation in Rome placed a notice on its website that said “For now, unfortunately, it will not be possible to respond positively to the thousands of requests pouring in to Labiofam, since its production is still very limited.”The company’s director of research and development, Isbel González, said that Vidatox is a homeopathic preparation made from five protein peptides of low molecular weight extracted from the venom of the scorpion, and which has demonstrated an “analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effect in more than 15 different cancer cell lines.”According to González, Vidatox has been tested on more than 10,000 cancer patients, some 3,500 of them foreigners, and has shown “positive results”, ranging from “improved quality of life” to “slowed tumor growth”. The medication is the result of 15 years of research, and Labiofam says that its homeopathic version should be registered in the coming days and could be commercially produced immediately. González added that the company would continue research to produce synthetic or biotechnological versions of the compound.The medication was produced from over 5,000 scorpions of the Rhopalurus junceus variety, native to eastern Cuba. According to the company, it has no contraindications and is compatible with any other oncological treatment.Pavel Pizart says that for the time being, since it has not been registered yet, Vidatox is being given out for free to persons from all over the world who have been coming to the laboratory in search of the product, but once registered, they will charge a fee for it. The intent is to produce more than a million units before the end of the year.“If we find an Italian company that wants to sell the product in Italy, we’ll sell it to them. And if that’s not possible, in a few days we’ll be selling it here in Cuba to anyone who comes,” said Pizart, adding that Vidatox could be exported to any countries asking for it under normal trade treaties.Labiofam has a history of half a century, and employs more than 3,500 workers in Cuba. The company presented the results of its Vidatox research in its first international congress in late September in Havana before some 500 delegates from all parts of the world.