Amid ongoing controversy over cancer patients’ taking of dog the dewormer fenbendazole to treat the disease, an internal medicine specialist encouraged cancer patients to urge the government to conduct a clinical trial on fenbendazole.
A man in a video on the YouTube channel, named “Dr. Ezra Hangjun Jang Internal Medicine” introduced himself as an American internal medicine specialist who earned a doctoral degree in chemistry from New York University. A Facebook page, apparently run by Jang, says he runs Ezra Medical Care Center in New York.
|An internal medicine specialist appears in a video clip on the YouTube channel, “Dr. Ezra Hangjun Jang Internal Medicine,” to speak on the use of fenbendazole. (Photo captured on YouTube)|
As Jang’s subscribers increasingly asked for his personal opinion on taking fenbendazole, he uploaded a clip titled in Korean, “A U.S. doctor’s thoughts on the anticancer effect of fenbendazole, a dog dewormer.”
In the video uploaded on Oct. 29, he said fenbendazole could play an ideal role as an anti-cancer drug.
“A Nature paper in 2018 summarized the anticancer effect of fenbendazole in three points. First, fenbendazole was effective in killing cancer cells by inhibiting microtubules and preventing cancer cells from proliferating,” Jang said in the video. “Second, it has a molecular function to avoid multi-pharmaceutical resistance. Third, it inhibits sugar metabolism.”
As cancer cells get attacked by the three mechanisms of fenbendazole, they cannot protect themselves, he went on to say. Thanks to the three mechanisms, fenbendazole has an ideal structure as an anti-cancer medicine, he added.
Jang emphasized that it was his personal opinion about fenbendazole, not a treatment guideline. Terminal cancer patients who wish to use fenbendazole should consult with their doctors first, he said.
Jang also said albendazole and mebendazole, which have a similar chemical structure with fenbendazole, could have an anticancer effect.
The reason pharmaceutical firms did not conduct a trial on fenbendazole was that the agent was worthless as a commercial product, Jang argued.
Repeating that the dog dewormer has sufficient value for a clinical trial, he encouraged cancer patients to demand the government lead a study to develop it into an anticancer drug.
To prove cancer-fighting efficacy, a placebo-controlled, double-blind study was required, Jang said. “At a national level, why doesn’t the President order the government to make a toxicity report on patients who took fenbendazole and compare the mortality rate?” he suggested.
While the National Health Insurance Service says the healthcare costs are rising, an affordable anticancer drug made of fenbendazole can reduce the medical expenses, he claimed. Jang hoped that the government would earn people’s support and give hope to desperate cancer patients by taking a radical measure.
On Cheong Wa Dae’s online petition website, a petitioner demanded the government conduct a clinical trial to prove the anti-cancer effect of fenbendazole. The petitioner seemed to have watched Jang’s YouTube video.
The petition, uploaded on Nov. 4, won 4,442 votes as of Monday. The government must respond to a request that garners over 200,000 signatures within a month.
“The government should take the lead to conduct a study. Numerous cancer patients will participate in the trial,” the petitioner said. “Regardless of capitalist profits, please spend taxpayers’ money on the public’s health and happiness. Please don’t neglect that many citizens die in the logic of capitalism.”
The medical community has expressed concerns about some patients’ taking of dog deworming pills for cancer-treating purposes. Physicians said they could not recommend fenbendazole because the agent has no clinical ground for human use and no safety confirmation.
The Korean Society of Medical Oncology (KSMO) has recently revealed that some cancer patients suffered side effects and warned patients against the use of anthelmintic drugs at a news conference.