Dewormer for Cancer: What You Need to Know
A growing number of anecdotal stories about a dog deworming medication curing cancer in people have exploded on social media. The story centers around a man named Joe Tippens and the worming drug he took, called fenbendazole (also known by brand names Safe Guard, Pro Sense and Panacur). According to the accounts, Tippens used fenbendazole after his oncologist recommended it for his lung cancer. He took it along with CBD oil and vitamin E supplements, and says his PET scans have been clear since.
Despite the fact that fenbendazole is not FDA-approved for human use, and some peer-reviewed studies do not support the claim that it cures cancer in people, some medical professionals are still taking it seriously. Several major cancer treatment centers, including MD Anderson and the National Institutes of Health, have begun testing it for its potential as a cancer-fighting drug.
In one recent study, researchers found that a close cousin of fenbendazole stopped hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC, tumors from forming in liver tissue grafted into mice. The research was conducted by a team led by Dr. Chen Yu, a medical oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco. Chen’s research is important because HCC is the second leading cause of liver cancer, and is an almost universally lethal form of cancer in humans.
According to their study, fenbendazole works by blocking an enzyme in cancer cells that allows the cells to grow. It also stops a protein in the cell that helps it stay alive. The study’s authors say if the dewormer were combined with standard HCC treatments, the death rate could drop from two-thirds of patients to one-half.
A similar study in human patients is being planned by doctors at the Mayo Clinic. The researchers will test a combination of fenbendazole and an established anticancer drug, and they hope the treatment can increase survival rates in advanced colon cancer, the second leading killer. Currently, surgery and chemotherapy are the only approved methods to treat colon cancer, but even those can kill about half of all patients. The new study, which has already been given the go-ahead by an ethics committee, will begin enrolling patients in March 2021. As part of the study, doctors will monitor patients for adverse events and determine the appropriate dosage of fenbendazole. It is unclear how many patients will self-administer the drug, as TikTok posts recommending it have gained popularity. This is problematic because it can interfere with clinical trials and change the outcome of an experiment. It is also difficult for nonmedical professionals to accurately select and filter complex medical information from social networking sites. Moreover, patients who self-administer a veterinary dewormer might follow incorrect dosage regimens that can lead to serious medical complications. dewormer for cancer