A Miracle Cure Mirage

Malarial therapy was first touted by Henry Heimlich—of the choking maneuver fame—who injected AIDS and Lyme disease patients with parasites to stimulate the immune system.

After the CDC discredited the procedure in the 1990s, Heimlich moved clinical trials to Mexico and China.
Now Heimlich’s protégé, biologist Chen Xiaoping, has resurrected immunotherapy with Plasmodium vivax in self-financed trials, registering hundreds of terminal cancer patients hoping for a “miracle cure.”

Experts say the trials are based on flimsy science and lack rigorous ethical oversight, putting patients at risk. They’re also concerned that the procedure may threaten China’s burgeoning chances of eliminating malaria.

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