Parasite killer Ivermectin stops cancer drug resistance

Parasite killer Ivermectin stops cancer drug resistance

A widely available insecticide, Ivermectin, has been shown to make drug-resistant tumours and leukaemia immediately responsive to the drugs; this is not the first time anti-cancer activity has been shown, with previous research on breast, ovarian, lymphoma and TNBC, plus studies showing improved response to Adriamycin and Taxol.

At the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology in Beijing, scientists injected Ivermectin into the bodies of mice with solid tumours or leukaemia. The cancer cells, which previously had been highly drug-resistant, immediately threw in the towel (1).

To confirm the types of cancers that might succumb, Professor Wu Yijun and his colleagues then took human breast cancers cells and others with Ivermectin and produced the same results.

Ivermectin treatment in humans ‘astonishingly safe’

The chemical which kills lice, worms, nematodes and mites, is produced normally by the bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis, kills parasites by disrupting the fluid exchange through the insect's cell membrane. The FDA approved the anti-helminthic drug in 2015, finding it ‘astonishingly safe’.

Ivermectin and cancer - ovarian, breast, TNBC and lymphoma

As long ago as 2009, Dr Hisashi Hashimto and a team of scientists showed that Ivermectin could block the PAK1 pathway in ovarian cancer (2).

In 2015, a team of researchers from City of Hope, Duarte California showed that P2X7 receptor presence correlated with the ability to grow and that ivermectin could attack this pathway causing apoptosis (cancer cell death).  Ivermectin thus induced autophagy but also released ATP and HMGB1, key mediators of inflammation (3) and could boost the immune system preventing further cancer growth. Research was also conducted with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). Further work (before the Chinese ‘discovery’) was done with the drugs Taxol and Adriamycin, in each case heightening response.

Ivermectin and cancer stem cells

Alice Melotti and a team from the University of Geneva showed Ivermectin could block the WNT-TCF pathway in human cancer. This has a huge importance because it means that Ivermectin can kill cancer stem cells (4) and this has been shown in breast cancer and lymphoma.

Side-effects of Ivermectin

Ivermectin is normally used to treat Pinworm, Whipworm, Thread worm, River Blindness and even Rosacea amongst others. It is sold under the names Heartgard, Stromectol and Sklice, although other names are used around the world.

It can be used in ruminants, dogs and humans. A possible concern is neurotoxicity and central nervous system depression.

Go to: Build an off-label drugs for cancer protocol

Go to Ivermectin and cancer; a Review

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  1. Ivermectin reverses the drug resistance in cancer cells through EGFR/ERK/Akt/NF-κB pathway; 18 June 2019; Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research,
  2. Ivermectin inactivates the kinase PAK1 and blocks the PAK1- dependent growth of human ovarian cancer and NF2 tumor cell lines; Hisashi Hashimoto et al; Drug Discov Ther. 2009; 3(6):243-246
  3. Modulation of P2X4/P2X7/Pannexin-1 sensitivity to extracellular ATP via Ivermectin induces a non-apoptotic and inflammatory form of cancer cell death; Sci Rep; 2015; 5: 16222; Dobrin Draganov et al; 
  4. The river blindness drug Ivermectin and related macrocyclic lactones inhibit WNT-TCF pathway responses in human cancer; EMBO Molecular Medicine; Alice Melotti et al; 
2019 Research
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