A veterinarian’s TikTok and Facebook videos are claiming that the dog deworming drug fenbendazole cures cancer. While the drug shows promise in some preclinical studies, it isn’t proven to treat humans or prevent cancer recurrence. Moreover, there are several established treatments for most types of cancer that have been thoroughly tested in clinical trials.
A video posted to Facebook and TikTok by a Canadian veterinarian named Andrew Jones is making the rounds on social media, promoting the dog deworming drug fenbendazole as a treatment for human cancer. The video cites the case of Joe Tippens, who claimed in a press release that he was cured of his rare form of small-cell lung cancer by taking fenbendazole.
The video takes clips from a longer video posted on Jones’ YouTube channel in 2019, in which he discusses the case of Tippens and shares some of the research that has been done on fenbendazole’s potential as a cancer therapy. The video has been removed from the platform, but versions of it have been reposted on other platforms by people who have added titles such as “Fenbendazole Cure Cancer,” and “Joe Tippens Cancer Miracle.”
Jones’ claims are inaccurate, misleading, and could put patients at risk. He is not licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Canada and has been reprimanded by the College of Veterinarians in the past for promoting alternative remedies for animals. In addition to fenbendazole, Jones has promoted a number of supplements and other treatments not approved by the college, some of which have been shown to be unsafe for animals.
Researchers have found that fenbendazole blocks glucose uptake by cancer cells and that it causes these cells to die in the presence of oxygen. The finding was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study’s authors also looked at how fenbendazole affected radiation-induced cell death in colorectal cancer cells and patient-derived colon cancer organoids. They report that the drug does not significantly impact radiation-induced cytotoxicity in normal cells.
However, fenbendazole significantly increases the sensitivity of tumor cells to radiation, and this effect is enhanced in the presence of oxygen. It does so by a combination of mechanisms, including mitochondrial injury and caspase-3-poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase degradation pathways. Additionally, it reduces the expression of the autophagic protein GPX4 in these cells. This decrease in GPX4 activity augments the apoptosis caused by fenbendazole.
In a separate experiment, the researchers tested whether fenbendazole would inhibit the growth of EMT6 xenograft tumors in mice. The mice were treated with a three-injection fenbendazole regimen, followed by radiation and a tumor volume assay. The researchers found that the treatment slowed the growth of the tumors and prevented their spread. (Stanford ChEM-H, Jan. 22, 2022) fenbendazole cures cancer