Anti-Worm drug, Fenbendazole, effective at killing cancer cells

Anti-Worm drug, Fenbendazole, effective at killing cancer cells

Research shows that Fenbendazole, commonly used as a canine deworming drug in veterinary practice, can block sugar uptake, cause apoptosis in cancer cells, reduce tumour size and even help overcome cancer drug resistance, making it another 'repurposed drug' that can be used to treat cancer.

Importantly, this review on Fenbendazole highlights different research studies on several cancers, the dose one might take, what other supplements might help and the frequency of usage; in fact everything you need to know about Fenbendazole as a human anti-cancer drug with minimal side-effects (Updated twice from an article by Chris Woollams, originally in 2016).

Fenbendazole inhibits tumour growth

Back in 2014, a team of researchers at top American Hospital Johns Hopkins was trying to grow tumours by injection in laboratory mice. Except with one group of mice, they failed. The reason they discovered, was that these mice had been de-wormed (1) with an anti-parasitic drug. They read more about the drug, only to find that anti-cancer activity had previously been reported (writes Gilly Bertram).

Fenbendazole comes from a class of drugs called benzimidazoles, which are commonly used in veterinary medicine for anti-worm and parasite treatments. They are used effectively to kill worms such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and some tapeworms as well as parasites. Parasitic worms are known as helminths and these drugs are also known as anthelminthic, or antihelminthic, drugs. Fenbendazole is branded under names like Panacur and Safe-Guard.

Research suggests that fenbendazole inhibits tumour growth by inducing apoptosis (cell death) of tumour cells. Researchers are also finding that fenbendazole could be useful for overcoming drug resistance which is a common setback in conventional cancer therapies.

In a 2018 paper published in Nature (2), the authors report that fenbendazole appears to act as a destabilising agent of tubulin in microtubules which are important structural proteins making up the cytoskeleton of cells and these proteins allow the microscopic organs inside our cells (called organelles) to move throughout the cell. These microtubules are present in worms, and also in cancer cells. The researchers conclude that there is evidence of cancer cell death by the modulation of multiple cellular pathways, which may lead to the effective elimination of cancer cells.

The use of anthelminthic drugs with cancer, however, is nothing new.

Scientific literature prior to the 2018 Nature paper demonstrated the effective use of fenbendazole for various types of cancer cells such as Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (3), Lymphoma (4) Metastatic prostate cancer cells (5) and Glioblastoma, or GBM (6).

In the early 90s, another antihelminthic drug called Levamizole was shown as a effective complementary treatment for colon cancer (CRC) and was shown to restore a depressed immune system.

In the 2018 Nature research, Fenbendazole showed an affinity for mammalian tubulin and exerted cytotoxicity to human cancer cells at micromolar concentrations. A further anti-cancer mechanism the researchers found with fenbendazole was that after oral feeding it blocked the uptake of glucose in cancer cells, by affecting p53, GLUT transporters and hexokinase, depriving cancer cells of their primary fuel. This discovery would support the use of fenbendazole as an complementary therapy to chemotherapy and radiotherapy as well as metabolic therapies and potentially a stand alone therapy.

A further study showed prostate cancer cells were killed where fenbendazole was used together with vitamin E succinate (8).

Fenbendazole anti-cancer protocol - amounts and support compounds

Perhaps the most famous anecdotal evidence comes from cancer patient, Joe Tippens, an avid researcher who was given three months to live, who decided to try Panacur with the agreement of his consultant (9). Joe took a combination of nutrients to support fenbendazole, while deciding not to change his diet with his NSCLC. It worked!

Joe Tippens' original protocol for Fenbendazole with lung cancer consts of:

  • 1 gram granules of canine drug ‘Panacur C’, these contain 222mg of fenbendazole; taken 3 days on, 4 days off
  • Vitamin E Succinate (800IU daily)
  • Curcumin (600mg daily)
  • CBD oil (25mg per day)

From our anti-cancer experience, we would suggest patients use ''total' complete vitamin E with all 4 tocopherols and all 4 tocotrienols, instead of the succinate version.

We suggest patients add both Berberine (3 x 500 mg) and Quercetin (2 x 500 mg) to enhance the anti-cancer, sugar reducing and antiinflammatory effects.

We suggest patients add in Retinoic Acid (concentrated vitamin A) - in the Accutane form, it was used by Prof Ben Williams to kill his brain cancer stem cells.

Febendazole toxicity and safety in humans

Although the original clinical approval for fenbendazole was for intestinal parasites and not for cancer, and it is approved for animal use, the drug has already gone through human clinical trials and so all of the clinical trial work related to toxicity has already been done and febendazole has been deemed safe for human consumption for many years. 

However, the label for the product approval talks of animals not humans. With animals, it is known that there is a likely interaction with salicylanilides like Niclosamide and Dibromsalan, so we suggest you avoid mixing it with either.

Fenbendazole, Mebendazole and Ivermectin

Fenbendazole appears to have more research on more cancers than Mebendazole does. Mebendazole is licensed for humans and doctors prescribing it won't be 'struck off' for prescribing it to human patients. Ivermectin is also licensed for animals, was said by the FDA to be the safest drug they'd ever tested, and has a somewhat different action. Some experts prescribe all three in conjunction, avoiding the need to take 'days off'.  Ivermectin has also been shown in research to attack cancer stem cells. Also used is Retinoic Acid, a concentrated vitamin A, with anti-cancer stem cell properties.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, "Fenbendazole is yet another example of a cheap, safe drug intended for a specific health condition, which can be repurposed to be used to treat cancer. There is no doubt it has strong properties but oncologists prefer to use Mebendazole for legal reasons, alongside Metformin and Atorvastatin."

Go to: Repurposed drugs as cancer treatments



  8. _growth_and_survival_of_prostate_cancer_cells
  9. _finding_yields_a_possible_tumor_fighting_drugI



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