While it's been widely vilified, studies have repeatedly demonstrated its usefulness against COVID-19. This latest study shows antitumor effects against a broad range of cancers, but will it be disparaged as well?
Is Ivermectin a Cancer Solution?
Ivermectin has notable antitumor effects, which include inhibiting proliferation, metastasis and angiogenic activity in cancer cells
Ivermectin may target cancer in multiple ways, including inducing apoptosis and autophagy while also inhibiting tumor stem cells and reversing multidrug resistance
Along with direct cytotoxic effects, it’s believed that ivermectin regulates the tumor microenvironment, mediating immunogenic cell death
The development of an injectable form of ivermectin, or liposomal ivermectin, could help overcome some of its limitations regarding solubility, and open its use to a broader range of cancers
Considering that the “war against cancer” has been ongoing for decades, with little to show in terms of lives saved, repurposing existing drugs with favorable safety profiles and notable anticancer effects — like ivermectin — makes sense
Ivermectin is a widely used antiparasitic drug that's listed on the World Health Organization's essential medicines list1 and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In low- and middle-income countries, ivermectin is commonly used to treat parasitic diseases including onchocerciasis (river blindness), strongyloidiasis and other diseases caused by soil-transmitted helminthiasis, or parasitic worms.2
The drug is also used to treat scabies and lice. It's estimated that the total number of ivermectin doses distributed is equal to one-third of the world's population and, as such, "ivermectin at the usual doses (0.2–0.4 mg/kg) is considered extremely safe for use in humans."3
Ivermectin also has demonstrated antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and made headlines for its potential role in treating COVID-194 — although much of the positive press has been censored and falsely labeled misinformation.5 Now researchers are highlighting another potential use for ivermectin, which is equally as exciting as its potential role in COVID-19 — as an anticancer agent.
Ivermectin's Powerful Antitumor Effects
Ivermectin has notable antitumor effects, which include inhibiting proliferation, metastasis and angiogenic activity in cancer cells.6 It appears to inhibit tumor cells by regulating multiple signaling pathways, which researchers explained in the Pharmacological Research journal, "suggests that ivermectin may be an anticancer drug with great potential."7
Their graphic, below, shows the multiple ways that ivermectin may target cancer, including inducing apoptosis and autophagy while also inhibiting tumor stem cells and reversing multidrug resistance. They stated that ivermectin "exerts the optimal effect when used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs."8
Pharmacol Res. 2021 Jan; 163: 105207