While cancer is a complex disease, there are several promising treatments in development. In the last few years, much of the buzz has focused on immunotherapy, where scientists teach immune cells to target and destroy cancer cells. Two examples of these types of immunotherapies, called checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T cells, have recently been approved to treat certain leukemias and lymphomas.
But before those therapies gained momentum, another approach to treating cancer was used on a dog. As part of an ongoing research effort at the Penn Vet Cancer Center, Dr. Mason has been using an Old English Sheepdog named Dexter for a clinical trial to see if the drug fenbendazole (also known as Panacur and Safe Guard) could reduce melanoma in dogs.
Fenbendazole is a medication commonly used in dogs to treat parasites and worms. It has also been studied in labs and in mice and shows potential to treat cancer by inhibiting the growth of microtubules, which provide structure to all living things. But no human studies have been done, and there’s no proof that fenbendazole will be effective in people.
The claim that fenbendazole cures cancer has been made in social media posts by Joe Tippens, an Oklahoma man who claims to have beaten lung cancer after pursuing treatment with fenbendazole and other supplements. His story was featured in a 2019 news segment on KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City. dog dewormer for cancer