Dr. Luigi Di Bella, 90, the Italian physician known for his controversial, unsuccessful attempts to cure cancer, died Tuesday in Modena, Italy, of respiratory problems.
Although not trained in cancer research, Di Bella began experimenting with melatonin, generally considered a sleep aid, to treat cancer in the 1960s. Over the years, he developed Di Bella Multitherapy, a drug cocktail of up to 100 chemicals including melatonin, beta-carotene, Vitamin D and shark cartilage.
He claimed that the treatment, which cost up to $5,000 a month, was 100% effective against all cancers. The Italian government paid for Di Bella Multitherapy until 1998, when a national study debunked his claims.