MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

I just came across the most amazing cancer cure: it’s called VIDATOX 30C, and it is a true wonder.

Well, on second thought, I might take that this back.

Is it really true?

Or is it perhaps a most despicable health fraud?

The Vidatox website makes the following claims for VIDATOX:

  • it is based on 5 proteins from scorpion venom;
  • it is a 30C potency, which means that it is diluted by a factor of 1:1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
  • it selectively acts on diseased cells without harming healthy ones;
  • it is angiogenic;
  • it stimulates the immune system;
  • it attacks growing tumours;
  • it is anti-metastatic;
  • it blocks tumour angiogenesis;
  • it has anti-inflammatory effects;
  • it has prolonged analgesic effects;
  • it enhances the effects of chemo- and radiation therapies;
  • it reduces the side-effects of chemo- and radiation therapies;
  • it is not addictive;
  • it is a therapeutic alternative for human cancers;
  • it is in general use in oncology;
  • it has a powerful detoxification effect;
  • it has no side-effects;
  • it improves the well-being of patients;
  • its efficiency in tumour treatment is proven;
  • the medication ‘passed all the clinical trials’;
  • it increases survival;
  • it is a ‘certified product’;
  • it should be kept away from electromagnetic fields.

With all these claims and all ths splendid science mentioned on the website, one would expect to find plenty of papers on Vidatox. A Medline search resulted in 1 (one!) paper on the subject. Here is the abstract:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term used to describe many kinds of products, practices, and systems that are not part of conventional medicine. Cancer patients usually do everything they can to combat the disease, manage its symptoms, and cope with the side effects of treatment. Unfortunately, patients who use CAM underestimate the risk of interaction with cancer therapy or worse they omit conventional therapy thus reducing the possibility of cancer remission. Herein we analyzed the effects of Vidatox 30 CH (venom extracted from the Junceus Rhopalurus scorpion) on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. We found out that Vidatox increases HCC proliferation and invasion whereas it does not seem to interact with sorafenib, the orally active multikinase inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Our results suggest that the concentration of Vidatox used in the present study has not anti-neoplastic effects and care must be taken in hiring Vidatox in patients with HCC.

The authors of this paper also make the following comment:

According to Gonzalez, Vidatox was tested on more than 10,000 cancer patients with “positive results” ranging from an “improved quality of life” to a “slowing of tumor growth” (http://vidatoxromania.ro/en/what-is-vidatox/) (http://www.bt.com.bn/science-technology/2010/10/29/cuba-release-new-cancer-drug). There are no data from controlled clinical studies neither for Escozul nor for Vidatox 30-CH in refereed journals. The available information derived from interviews with patients involved or provided within the sites of alternative therapies. Essentially, scientific evidences about the biological activity of Vidatox in cancer cells are missing.

So, is Vidatox homeopathy’s answer to cancer or is it simply a disgusting fraud?

What do you think?

21 Responses to Vidatox, homeopathy’s answer to cancer or outright fraud?

  • You never should assume fraud if simple stupidity could explain what you see satisfactorily.

  • In the paper (Giovannini et al. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 21;7:44685. doi: 10.1038/srep44685), this information can be found: “Vidatox protein concentration, quantified by Lowry method, was 0.04 mg/ml”. How a 30C homeopathic product could have such protein concentration? Can anyone explain me? My conclusion: Vidatox can be anything but a homeopathic product!!!!

    • Vidatox is peddled as a cure for cancer. However it’s not easy to come by so homeopathic preparations are sold.

      Two ironies here. If Vidatox really were a treatment for cancer, homeopathic Vidatox would cause cancer (according to Hahnemann). This backwards rule is pretty common in homeopathy though. Arnica is a good example.

      The article you are citing is looking at real Vidatox without dilution. But the second irony is that it seems to have made the in vitro tumor cells proliferate! (I am not qualified to evaluate its status as an actual carcinogen though.) So now we have reason to believe that the homeopathic preparation would be indicated by the law of similars.

      • Dear Christine,
        The title of the article is “Vidatox 30 CH has tumor activating effect in hepatocellular carcinoma”. A corrigendum was published to indicate the product that was evaluated. Thus, I conclude that indeed a homeopathic product was used.

        “Scientific Reports 7: Article number: 44685; published online: 21 March 2017; updated: 22 December 2017.
        The original title of our paper was inaccurate in referring to ‘Venom from Cuban Blue Scorpion’ and did not accurately reflect that we investigated the effects of the commercially-available product Vidatox 30 CH on hepatocellular carcinoma.”

  • If an allopathic CON-MED company came out with some fraudulant drug like say, Vioxx, would you have a headline “Conventional Medicine’s answer to arthritis or outright fraud?” tarring the entire system of medicine? Because a single company puts something on the market that is diluted in the manner that homeopathic remedies are diluted, it doesnt mean that all “homeopathy” and all homeopaths approve of it or use it. Homeopathy is a process, not a product. If someone follows the homeopathic process and chooses a remedy based on matching the patient’s symptomology to the homeopathic materia medica, that is homeopathy otherwise not. You cant accuse all homeopathy of fraud based on one product by one company. If a proving done of this Vidatox and a materia medica for it is created, and a homeopath uses it for a patient whose symptomology matches, then it is not fraud. Have you done a proving of this remedy to see if it causes any symptoms? I think not.

    • Vioxx is not a fraudulent drug. It is a COX-2 specific NSAID and like all NSAIDs carries some increased risk of cardiovascular events. It was withdrawn from the market but a very similar drug – etoricoxib – is available on prescription in the UK

      • Fingermoving

        “It is a COX-2 specific NSAID and like all NSAIDs carries some increased risk of cardiovascular events.”

        There are 60,000 deaths attributed to Vioxx (more than the amount of the military personal that died on behalf of the US in the Vietnam war).
        The far reaching effects of Vioxx are beyond measure, it is likely the number of paitients effected by Vioxx are much larger than reported. Patients like me (a near miss) that experienced heart attack but survived would not be included in the data. The same for others that died of heart attack from Vioxx, but the death was not traced back to Vioxx.

        Simply put, this many ill effects can not be explained away as “some increased risk”
        https://www.forbes.com/2005/08/19/merck-vioxx-graham_cx_mh_0819graham.html#319822e5698e

        Merck took the product off market because they knew the drug was an issue.

    • Explain, Roger, what was fraudulent about Vioxx.

      • Vioxx can be interpreted as an example of EMB working: problems that did not showup in clinical trials [because they are always small] showed up on post-marketing surveillance (PMS). consequently regulation kicked in and the drug had to be marked under restrictions.
        NO PMS exists in SCAM!!!

        • The other thing with Vioxx is that it was a BRILLIANT painkiller. Patients loved it and it was, hence, prescribed massively. At which point the problems with it became evident.

          We used to keep it at work and the girls who work for me used to keep using it for their period pains. They were most upset when it was taken off the market.

          • The other thing with Vioxx is that it was a BRILLIANT painkiller.

            From my own experience I can certainly agree with that.

          • You guys are crazy.

            Vioxx is not taken like most pain relievers, it takes about 4 days to become fully effective.

            The cost was 10x. It was only more effective on some ailments, less effective on others. So in most cases, Motrin was just as reliable, less expensive, and could take as needed for pain or inflammation.
            In my experience, it was no more effective.

            If there was a wonder drug, it is Motrin, the problem being the long term side effects.

          • RG,

            It is unwise to extrapolate from your own experience of painkillers. Painkillers work differently in different people and for different kinds of pain. They work differently in men and women and possibly (along with many other drugs) both the desired effect and the toxicity can vary with the time of day. NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen, sold as Brufen, Nurofen, Motrin and many other brands) and COX2 inhibitors (such as rofecoxib – Vioxx) all take several days to become fully effective but in most situations they nevertheless have a useful analgesic effect with a single dose.

            There is no reason to suppose that ibuprofen is any safer than rofecoxib with regard to cardiovascular effects – it is such a long-established drug that it has never been specifically assessed for this in the way that rofecoxib has. Quite possibly all NSAIDs and COX2 inhibitors carry such as risk, though it does seem to be lower in the case of naproxen, probably due to its specific effects on blood clotting (indeed Merck tried to claim that the increased risk of acute cardiovascular events in a trial comparing Vioxx with naproxen were due to the cardioprotective effect of the former, although in fact this effect was not large enough to account for more than about a third of the difference). This is in addition to the well-recognised toxicities of all of these tpes of drugs including fluid retention, congestive cardiac failure and kidney damage.

            I don’t know how your figure of 150,000 estimated deaths from Vioxx was arrived at. There seem to be a number of reports in the non-medical press where the journalists clearly do not distinguishe between cardiovascular events and cardiovascular deaths, although most cardiovascuar events are not fatal, and even the most pessimistic estimate I can find is about 70 – 80,000 events. Various prospective studies (including a cancer prevention study) showed an increase in cardiovascular events but not deaths; other studies were retrospective and therefore subject to the limitations that cannot be avoided with this type of study design. I am not denying that Merck behaved very badly or that the decision to withdraw Vioxx was the correct one, but if you are accusing Merck of putting a misleading spin on the figures then it is unhelpful to do the same yourself.

        • Vidatox is a complete fraud. It was first saled as a non-homeopatic antitumoral called Escozul, consisting of venom of Rophalorus junceus, the blue scorpion. The history is long. A biologist interested natural products used by peasent in easter Cuba, heard from them about the medical use of this venom, including some argued antitumoral effect. He tried to investigate on the product, but with very limted means. However he began to harvest the venom from a collony of scorpions in captivity an to deliver the product to persons asking for it. He tried to call the attention of oncologists on the product unsuccesfully, and there was a debate on regulatory offices that attempted to ban the venom until serious research confirmed its alleged potentials. Labiofam, a producer of veterinary products commited to carry out the research and was entitled to do so. In collaboration with a university in Mexico they isolate peptides from the crude venom, which proven to have apoptotic effects on tumoral cell cultures (never tested in non-tumoral cells); and that was all. Labiofam received patients from all over Latinamerica and after a brief medical exam deliver the product to the requester for free. How many patients came to use it, no one knows exactly, possibly thousands. This was not a double blinded clinical assay, it was not even an assay. There was absolutely no control of the outcome, so the fate of the user was never assesed. Propaganda on Escozul only mention thousands of users, and some testimonials on its web site. But farming and collecting venom from scopions is an expensive and low rendering endeavor, so one of the staff members, a vet med named Fabio Linares come to the brilliant idea of turning Escozul (the pure venom) into a highly diluted, allegedly homeopathic 30 C Vidatox. A comment below refers to the contradiction to the very Law of Similars, if Vidatox cures cancer, Escozul should induce cancer, or viceversa. Currently, they can not announce the product as antitumoral, by restriction of the regulatory office, that is why the propaganda mention only analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The promised clinical trials never ocurred. There is one record in the clinical trials public record of a open study which should have begun in 2013, but have not yet started.

      • Lenny,

        Explain, Roger, what was fraudulent about Vioxx.

        I can’t remember all the details, though this has been discussed previously in another thread. I think it has been established that Merck (the manufacturers of Vioxx) suspected on the basis of early pre-clinical studies that the drug may have had adverse cardiac effects and designed their pre-marketing safety studies in such a way as to minimise the chance of these effects showing. Post-marketing surveillance eventually raised the question and further studies showed that Vioxx increased the risk of coronary heart disease, though (if I remember rightly) not of cardiac deaths. On that basis the drug was withdrawn. I think the whole story was published in the BMJ or the Lancet or some such but I don’t have the reference to hand. In any case, Merck came off very badly.

        Having said that, I don’t think there is any reason to suppose that Vioxx (rofecoxib) is any different in this regard from other COX2 inhibitors, some of which (e.g. celecoxib) are still regularly in use, at least in the UK. It is interesting to see that a number of NSAID’s (which COX2 inhibitors were supposed to replace because of reduced gastrointestinal toxicity) have also been shown to increase the risk of cardiac events (diclofenac is an example that readily comes to mind). It would not surprise me if all of them turn out to be fairly similar here.

        All of these drugs are known to cause fluid retention, to upset sodium metabolism, to worsen (or trigger) congestive cardiac failure and to be toxic to the kidneys, together with a wide range of other toxic effects which need to be taken into account when prescribing them, and which necessitate regular monitoring. This is the case with any substance which has a physiological or pharmacological effect on the body, however. Where a treatment is claimed to be completely safe it is either completely ineffective or the claims are untrue. And when the effect of a treatment seems to depend entirely on the intent of the practitioner I am inclined not to take it very seriously.

      • What was fraudulent about Vioxx? The marketing of it as “safe and effective”, the usual allopathic mantra untethered from reality, whereas Merck knew otherwise. I have seen estimates that it killed as many as 150,000 in the USA although Merck wil only admit to something like 50k.

        • It was effective, Roger. Very effective. And therein lay the problem.

          The 150,000 deaths was a Worldwide figure.

          Remind us who uncovered the risks. Was it Mike Adams? Homeopaths? AltMed bloggers?

          No. It was medics. Statisticians. Epidemiologists. Scientists.

          You seem to be very happy to quote their work when it suits you, Roger. But somehow these people become part of the Evil Big Pharma cabal when their statistics contradict the tripe you spout on everything else. Double standards at work? Cognitive dissonance? Surely not.

  • Homeopathy is a fraud.

    I like the fact it is angiogenic and anti-angiogenic at the same time. Of course they have to get detox in there. And the part about keeping it away from electromagnetic fields is hilarious.

  • It seems that the only study has been in hepatocellular carcinoma. While HCC is the leading cause of death worldwide, this is largely in developing countries where hepatitis B infection is widespread (it is one of the causes of HCC). In those more prosperous parts of the world where there might be a potential market for Vidatox 30C, this type of cancer is comparatively rare.

  • Should be kept away from electromagnetic fields and radiation…?? What about earth’s not so insignificant electromagnetic field and the omnipresent background radiation?

    This is one of the most disgusting cases of science-babble marketing I’ve seen. I am sure these people know exactly what theyare doing. They are definitely criminal fraudsters, out for the money

    • Should be kept away from electromagnetic fields and radiation

      I once bought a bottle of wine which said on the label (among other things) that it should not be exposed to loud noises. Unfortunately it tasted as though it had been stored in a disco.

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