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Effectiveness of 'Cancer Pill' Disproved in New Test

06/01/2016 - 12h12

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REINALDO JOSÉ LOPES
COLLABORATION FOR FOLHA

The hope in the therapeutic potential of phosphoethanolamine, the "cancer pill", suffered a new setback in tests sponsored by the federal government.

Mice and rats with cancer that received doses of the substance had no improvement - the tumors in the animals' organisms continued to grow.

Posted on the website of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC, in its Portuguese acronym), the results add to other evidence that "phospho", as it is called, may not have a good performance against cancer.

Until now, the only positive result was the indication that phosphoethanolamine would not be toxic even when ingested at relatively high concentrations.

The data have been challenged by researchers who work with the substance, led by chemist Gilberto Chierice, a retired professor at the University of São Paulo.

Chierice and colleagues as Durvanei Augusto Maria, of Butantan Institute, argued that the concentration of "phospho" used in the in vitro tests were much lower than those employed in their own studies, and that the individual's metabolism as a whole (and not single cells) would be necessary for the pill to work.

The team published some studies showing anti-tumor effects of "phospho", both in vitro and in vivo (in live animals), involving different types of tumor.

Folha tried to speak to the researchers that vouch for the benefits of phospho, but they did not answer until the conclusion of this edition.

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

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