Colombia’s First Ever Science Minister Faces Calls to Resign Over Fungi-Based Cancer Treatment

February 5, 2020

(Science) – The storm began on 10 January, 1 day before Torres took office, when the newspaper El Espectador published a story raising questions about her research record. The story reported a claim Torres made, during a broadcast interview in August 2019, that she had essentially run an informal, uncontrolled clinical trial with cancer patients. Torres said she had given a brew made from a fungus she was studying to patients with cervical, breast, and brain cancer, and that their health had improved. She didn’t seek formal ethical, safety, and efficacy reviews prior to starting the work because it would have taken too long, and because she believed the fungus posed no threat to human health, she told the same paper the next day.