Despite the government’s strong warning against taking dog parasiticide as an anticancer drug, some patients are continuing with the treatment – and the social controversy over the issue.
|The Facebook page of Kim Chul-min, the comedian who has lung cancer, says his blood test and pain level have all improved after taking fenbendazole.|
On Monday, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety cautioned cancer patients against taking fenbendazole due to unknown efficacy and safety on human patients.
"All drugs, including anticancer drugs, needs to prove its safety and efficacy through human clinical trials," the ministry said. "However, the anticancer effect of fenbendazole, which has recently been spreading through SNS and YouTube, are the results of tests on cells and animals, not humans."
Later in the day, however, a comedian who has lung cancer posted writing that virtually refuted the government’s announcement, by claiming a decrease in pain and improvement in his blood tests after taking fenbendazole, a dog parasiticide.
"I came to Korea Cancer Center Hospital for my 17th radiation therapy,” Kim Chul-min said. “I have been taking fenbendazole for four weeks, and my pain has been cut in half, while my blood test also came back normal."
In an interview with a vernacular media outlet, the comedian also said, "Although I am receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, I feel that my conditions improved due to fenbendazole."
Kim also expressed his concerns about the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety's announcement warning against the drug.
"The ministry's announcement was very negative," he said. "I wish I can fully get cured by using fenbendazole and become a beacon of hope for cancer patients. Even if the treatment fails, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of you for supporting me."
Fenbendazole has become a hot topic in Korea after a YouTube video went viral, claiming that the drug cured a U.S. terminal cancer patient, and the craze is continuing to spread.
Korea Biomedical Review tracked down posts made by alleged cancer patients who claimed that their tumor shrank after taking fenbendazole, while others are saying that they plan to take fenbendazole.
"Even if fenbendazole is toxic, I doubt that it is even more toxic than radiation or chemotherapy," said an internet user claiming to be a cancer patient online. "As the ministry cannot stop terminal cancer patients from taking the drug, the government should take measures to collect data rather than trying to stop patients from taking the drug."