When Joe Tippens was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, he was given three months to live. But he wasn’t going to give up. He had a lot to live for: his first grandchild was born, he was planning on moving across the country and, most importantly, he was determined to fight back.
After chemo and radiation at MD Anderson in Houston, the Edmond, Oklahoma man was told the tumor in his lung had grown again. He was referred to a clinical trial that wouldn’t save him, but would at least give him another year. And it might help him meet his grandson.
In the trial, a doctor injected patients with modified listeria bacteria that targeted certain proteins on osteosarcoma cells. This activated the patients’ immune systems, triggering killer cells to patrol the body and destroy cancerous tissue. Sandy, a 9-year-old golden retriever, was one of the dogs in the trial. Her front leg was amputated because of osteosarcoma, but she survived the disease thanks to her immune system.
When a clip of this story aired on local television, the internet went wild. Many people claimed a dog dewormer (fenbendazole) that is commonly used to treat worms in dogs, including Panacur and Safe Guard, was the cure for their cancer. Some peer-reviewed studies suggest that fenbendazole could be an effective human cancer treatment, but the federal cancer agency says more research is needed. Regardless, some skeptics still say it’s an intriguing case. dog dewormer cancer