Joe Tippens had late-stage lung cancer and was told he had three months to live. He didn’t accept his death sentence and instead started scouring the internet for approaches outside of mainstream medicine. He took the spice curcumin, CBD oil and mega doses of vitamin E. But it was a tip he got from a veterinarian that ultimately saved his life. Tippens began taking a dog dewormer.
It turns out that a class of drugs that’s used to treat parasitic worms—fenbendazole (FZ) and its close cousin menbendazole (MEN)—may also be useful in treating human cancer. These “anthelminthic pleiotropic benzimidazole carbamate” drugs target a number of genes that are involved in tumor progression and can reverse disease-causing mutations.
In experiments, fenbendazole has been shown to inhibit the growth of microtubules in cancer cells. These microtubules are critical for cell structure, so when fenbendazole blocks their formation, the cancer cells can no longer function properly and die. The drug is not yet approved as a cancer treatment, but it has already shown promise in preclinical studies.
Researchers at MD Anderson and Johns Hopkins are now investigating fenbendazole and its human counterpart as possible glioblastoma treatments, after discovering that the drugs stopped cancerous brain tumors from growing in lab mice. But even if these early trials are successful, it will take years and large-scale clinical trials to prove whether the drugs can actually cure humans.
Some people are repurposing these drugs for themselves, following dosage regimens recommended by other self-cured patients. But doing so can be dangerous, particularly if patients are in an existing clinical trial and receive the wrong dosages or mix the drugs together. This can also skew the results of a trial and lead to false positives, which could have significant consequences for future research.
This is why it’s important to talk to your physician before starting any new supplements or medications. While it may seem odd to hear about a dewormer for cancer, the truth is that we still don’t know what will work as a cure, and it’s never too late to try something new. You just might be surprised by what you discover. dewormer for cancer