When Joe Tippens was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in 2016, his doctors told him he had three months to live. They told him chemo and radiation might shrunk the tumors, but they wouldn’t cure him. So, in desperation, he turned to dog medicine. A veterinarian from British Columbia, who makes videos promoting alternative medicine for animals, prescribed fenbendazole, which is often sold as Panacur C in the United States. The regimen he devised has experts like a cancer researcher at McMaster University raising eyebrows.
The repurposing of anthelminthic benzimidazole carbamate (BZ) group drugs, which are commonly used as worm medicines, to treat other diseases is an emerging area of research and has sparked social controversy [1,2]. The drug fenbendazole, which was developed in the 1980s and has long been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use on humans, is a promising candidate for anticancer treatment because it is well-tolerated and effective against parasitic infections.
Fenbendazole works by cutting off the parasite’s supply of nutrition. It gets into the parasite’s gut and causes tubulin to collapse, essentially starving it to death. Researchers have also found that the antibiotic levamisole is capable of killing ovarian cancer cells, and the antifungal drug albendazole has shown promise in treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors.
Nonetheless, the fenbendazole-levamisole-albendazole combination is not yet available in the US and other countries, and its efficacy, side effects, and dosing as an anticancer agent have not been established in human clinical trials. Therefore, the repurposing of these drugs should be evaluated in further studies with strict control of dosages. dewormer for cancer