When Joe Tippens was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in 2016, he was told that he had just months to live. But the Oklahoma man wasn’t ready to give up. He combed the web for approaches outside of traditional medicine. He tried the spice curcumin. He took mega doses of vitamin E. He even started taking a dog dewormer.
That dewormer, fenbendazole, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to rid animals of intestinal parasites. It is not approved to treat human cancer, and the FDA has no research that supports the claim that it can cure it. But he says it saved his life, and many others are using his “Joe Tippens Cancer Protocol” to fight their own diseases.
Some preclinical studies suggest that a class of drugs including fenbendazole might help treat cancer in humans, but more study is needed and the federal cancer agency has no evidence to support the claims. The wormer’s official warning on the label notes that it is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease in humans, and it cautions that anyone who believes they have cancer should seek medical treatment from a doctor.
Despite the skepticism, Tippens says he is happy to share his story and help other cancer patients find hope. He says the wormer is only one component of his regime, which also includes CBD oil, vitamin E, and a variety of other supplements. He also says he has been cleared of cancer after just three months on his regimen.
But the skepticism is real. “I don’t think this guy is telling the truth,” Sheila Singh, a professor of cancer biology at McMaster University in Canada, tells AFP. “I have seen people who are dying of cancer, and they are going to try anything.” She adds that if a wormer really did cure Tippens’ glioblastoma, he would be an international hero.
Tyson’s work is part of a growing field called comparative oncology. Researchers at UC Davis’ Center for Companion Animal Health and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center work together to better understand how cancer develops in both humans and dogs.
“A lot of the same genetic mutations can cause cancer in both species, and so by looking at how cancer develops in our pets we can learn a lot about how it can be treated in people,” says Dr. Michael Kent, director of the center.
A partnership like this can be especially valuable for cancer researchers, who need volunteers to participate in clinical trials. The UC Davis center is working to address that problem by encouraging pet owners to take their sick dogs into the clinic so they can be a part of the effort to save more lives. This is just the beginning of a long road to a cure for cancer, but it is a step in the right direction. And that is what we need to remember as we fight the good fight against this terrible disease. dog dewormer cancer