Many people believe that fenbendazole cures cancer, but there is no evidence to support this claim. The medication is currently used in veterinary medicine and is not approved for use in humans. However, research into this class of drugs is ongoing.
Fenbendazole is a broad-spectrum benzimidazole carbamate anthelmintic, which has been used in veterinary medicine for six decades. It is effective against intestinal parasites such as giardia, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, the tapeworm genus Taenia (but not Dipylidium caninum, a common dog tapeworm), pinworms, and a number of nematodes such as lungworms and flukes. It is also used as a prophylactic against heartworm in dogs.
The anthelmintic is most commonly administered via pill. It can be given to dogs of all ages, although it is most often prescribed in puppies. It may cause side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs. It should not be given to pregnant or nursing dogs. Fenbendazole can be administered alongside other medications. However, it is important to let your veterinarian know about any other medications your dog is taking in order to ensure that the correct dosage is administered.
Scientists have discovered that anthelmintic drugs can kill cancer cells in a way similar to the way they kill parasites. This has led to speculation that these medicines could become valuable anticancer agents. While research into this hypothesis is continuing, so far no peer-reviewed studies have shown that fenbendazole cures disease in animals or in humans.
Most cancer treatments rely on chemotherapy. This involves flooding the body with toxins that destroy fast-growing cells. This is effective against cancerous cells, but it can damage healthy cells as well. The goal is to give the patient just enough chemo to kill the cancer, but not so much that it destroys normal blood cells and causes serious side effects.
Researchers have discovered that fenbendazole can kill cancerous cells in a way similar to the way it kills parasites. This has led to speculation by some that this medication could be useful in treating cancer.
The authors of a 2020 study found that anthelmintic drugs have some anti-cancer properties, but they do not yet have the strength to prove that fenbendazole cures a disease in humans or other animals. These results have been disputed by others.
In cell culture experiments, fenbendazole was found to be toxic to EMT6 tumor cells. This toxicity increased with incubation time and under conditions of severe hypoxia. However, fenbendazole did not alter the growth of EMT6 tumors or increase the antineoplastic effects of radiation or docetaxel when given in maximally-intensive regimens.
In a separate set of experiments, BALB/c mice were injected with tumors and then randomly assigned to groups that received either three daily i.p. injections of fenbendazole, 10 Gy of x-rays, or a combination of both drugs. Tumor volume was recorded weekly until the tumor reached a size of 1000 mm3. The growth rate of untreated tumors and those treated with fenbendazole alone was not altered by the addition of x-rays.