Over the past several years, claims that a dog dewormer cures cancer have made the rounds on social media. The drug in question is fenbendazole, also known as Safe Guard, Panacur, and many other brand names. It’s used to treat parasitic worms, such as roundworms and hookworms.
Some researchers think that fenbendazole may help kill cancer cells. But that’s just speculation, and it hasn’t been confirmed in people. In fact, two federal agencies tell PolitiFact that there’s no research to back up the claim.
The fenbendazole-for-cancer theory first gained momentum after an anecdotal account by Joe Tippens, a man who says that his lung cancer went into remission after he started taking the drug along with CBD oil and turmeric. His regimen is now referred to as the “Joe Tippens protocol.”
In 2014, a researcher at MD Anderson found that fenbendazole stopped glioblastoma tumors from growing in some of his laboratory mice. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and other prestigious medical centers have since studied the possibility of using fenbendazole, or its human equivalent, menbendazole, as a treatment for cancer.
Fenbendazole and menbendazole work by stopping the proper growth of microtubules in cancer cells. They’re essential to the structure of all cells, but if cancerous ones have too many microtubules, they can grow out of control and block normal cell function. Fenbendazole and menbendazole also appear to stimulate immune cells to attack cancer. They can also reprogramme the tumor microenvironment, so that it favors the death of the cancer cells. dewormer for cancer