Fenben, also known as Panacur C or Safe-Guard, is a broad-spectrum anti-parasitic medication commonly used in animals to treat parasitic worms and tapeworms. It is currently being touted as a cancer treatment in a protocol known as the Joe Tippens Cancer Protocol by some online users and may have some potential to help fight certain types of cancer. Although anthelmintics have long been considered for their potential as cancer medications, no peer-reviewed study has shown they can cure cancer in humans.
However, one anecdotal report from a US cancer patient named Joe Tippens has gained significant traction on social media (Facebook and TikTok posts) after he claimed that taking fenben along with a variety of other supplements cured him of lung cancer. Tippens, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, says he took the deworming medication on a veterinarian’s recommendation. The anecdote has received millions of views on social media and led to some patients trying to replicate the same regimen at home.
In a series of focus group interviews conducted in 2020, a total of 21 lung cancer patients were interviewed on their perceptions about fenben for cancer. The participants were randomly selected from a large hospital and all were in the active stage of cancer treatment. The interviews were conducted by a trained moderator.
The participants were asked about their sources of information on fenbendazole for cancer and the ways in which they checked the accuracy of the information. They were also asked about their attitudes towards complementary and alternative medicine and fenbendazole for cancer.
Most of the interviewees acquired their information on fenbendazole and cancer from online communities and portal sites. Some of them actively searched for information on YouTube and cross-checked it through the original videos posted by Joe Tippens.
Researchers have found that fenbendazole inhibits the growth of cancer cells in cell cultures and in animal models, and can cause cancerous cells to undergo autophagy via beclin-1. In addition, the drug causes ferroptosis and reduces glucose uptake in cancerous cells by down regulating GLUT transporters. These effects of fenbendazole are independent of p53 and do not require the tumor suppressor protein. These results suggest that fenbendazole could be a potentially viable treatment for colorectal cancer, as it can activate the autophagic pathway in p53-mutant cells and prevents cancerous cells from escaping chemotherapeutic treatments. The findings of the study were published in Scientific Reports. This is the first time fenbendazole has been demonstrated to induce autophagy and ferroptosis in human cancer cells. It also shows that fenbendazole may be able to overcome the resistance of some chemotherapy agents to 5-fluorouracil. The study is encouraging but further research in the human population will be required to determine if this is an effective treatment for patients with advanced cancers. The authors recommend further studies to evaluate the role of fenbendazole in combination with other conventional cancer therapies. They also propose to investigate the mechanism behind this phenomenon. fenben for cancer