The medication fenbendazole is commonly used to treat parasites and worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and some tapeworms) in animals. But it’s also being touted as a cancer treatment, with some patients following a method called the Joe Tippens Protocol, which involves combining fenbendazole with various vitamins and supplements.
In this study, researchers treated human ‘non-small cell lung cancer cells’ with fenbendazole and found that it partially altered the microtubule network that holds chromosomes together during cell division. Drugs that interfere with these structures are known to trigger cell death, which is often referred to as apoptosis.
The fenbendazole in this study also induced oxidative stress and the cellular response to oxidative stress involves autophagy, ferroptosis, and caspase-8 activation. But a protein that regulates these processes, p53, was less active in the fenbendazole-treated cells, suggesting that it may be a less important factor in the anticancer effects of this drug.
The nonprofit organization Cancer Research UK told Full Fact that there’s insufficient evidence that fenbendazole can cure cancer, and the medication hasn’t been tested in humans during randomized clinical trials. But that hasn’t stopped Tippens from promoting his protocol. His online post claims that fenbendazole kills cancer cells “unlike your other NHS shit” and states that his protocol “can kill any type of cancer.” fenbendazole for cancer