Italy is a country of big "professional" cheaters.
Prof. Di Bella is a old poor researcher who, after failing in a whole life to reach an association in Physiology with his studies on somatostatine and melanotonine in rats, after retiring, without following any of the scientific criteria (we are far from levels of evidence, his assumptions lack any level of common sense) decided he was able to treat ANY type of cancer with a cocktail of melanotonine, somatostatine, vitamins and low-dosage chemotherapy. He had never practiced oncology before and never studied tumors on rats!
He refuses any scientific analysis on his data and failed to indicate any but a few dozens of patient treated by his cocktail to the Ministry of Health.
He was very lucky. His allucinations became well known during a war between the Ministry of Health and the opposition to the Government. Since the boss of opposition, Mr. Berlusconi, owns a big part of information channels (TV, newspapers, magazines) he was supported heavily, against any evidence, with anecdotical cases, against the Ministry who, supposedly, "refused to win the war against cancer to benefit the pharmaceutical industries and the chemotherapy lobbies". The newspaper of Mr. Berlusconi's brother decided that "chemotherapy is leftist and evil, Di Bella is righteous and saint". Since the treatment was expensive and not reimbursed by the national health system a war was declared against the rules and soon some judges declared that reimbursment was due.
The Ministry, against most of the medical community, for political reasons, accepted a ceasefire and started something that looks like a multicentric trial (see LANCET, I don't remember the number but it is easy to look for Di Bella on the index of the site) and to reimburse the drugs.
Di Bella soon declared the trials not responding to his feelings, that he was sure the data could be manipulater against him and that he guarantees for the results.
That is news history.
Since everything in this story is anedoctical I want to put my two cents. I knew poor patients with failed operations, failed chemotherapies, often young, who happened to fall in the nets of Di Bella and his entourage. They all died the same way of other people do, after spending a lot of money for nothing since Di Bella and Co. were giving the drugs (somatostatine was previously unavailable outside hospital) for 400 $ a day.
Particularly I remember a 33 old m worker, living not far from my place and friend of one of our nurses, with metastatic pancreatic exocrine cancer. He was father of a 3 y child and he destroyed the economic future of his family (20000 $ were a lot of money for him) and died after 2 months of treatment.
Reading the forum and, at the same time, reading the italian newspapers (now everything has almost disappeared from the press and TV) was difficult. The confrontation between evidence based medicine and stupidity based medicine is hard and nobody could explain people that they were chated.
In Naples they say that "the mother of fools is always pregnant", please leave italian people alone, and keep away from Di Bella. In Italy some parents refused chemotherapy for their children with leukemia to start Di Bella treatment.