A Dominican Republic-based company is making the claim that its scorpion venom drug can help fight cancer
(NEW YORK) — A Dominican Republic-based company is making the controversial claim that its scorpion venom drug can help fight cancer, but some oncologists in the United States warn it may provide nothing more than a stiff dose of false hope.
Russian émigré Dr. Arthur Mikaelian and his company, Medolife, produce a drug called Escozine, whose sole active ingredient is blue scorpion venom. Medolife said Escozine is an effective cancer treatment because a peptide in the venom called chlorotoxin — the same chemical that paralyzes prey — also happens to target and kill cancer cells.
Despite the fact that the unproven drug is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, thousands of desperate Americans are betting their lives on it.
Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the deputy medical director of the American Cancer Society, is skeptical of the cancer-curing properties of Escozine and cautioned against patients substituting alternative medicines for traditional cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
“There’s no reasonable scientific evidence to show that this drug works in treating patients with cancer,” Lichtenfeld said.
He said he has seen too many claims about alternative medicines, such as scorpion venom, that turn out not to work and leave patients in despair.
“Cancer patients have enough to deal with,” he said. “To have to deal with unverified, undocumented hope is a burden that no one should have to bear.”
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Category: DR News |