Many dog owners are concerned that their beloved pets may suffer from cancer. The disease is deadly and pharmaceutical medicine is not close to a cure. That has led some researchers and alternative health practitioners to pursue different medicinal and natural approaches to fighting the disease. One such approach involves a common, inexpensive, dog dewormer known as fenbendazole. The medication, also sold under the brand name Panacur, has been shown to kill parasites in dogs. The drug is also believed to kill some types of human cancer cells in laboratory tests.
Fibrosarcoma, a malignant tumor of the soft tissues (see the handout “Fighting Dog Sarcoma”). Fibrosarcomas are commonly located on the limbs, trunk, or nasal cavity and can sometimes invade bone. Typically, the tumors grow slowly and do not spread to other parts of the body. They tend to recur, though, and if not treated promptly can grow quite rapidly.
Some fibrosarcoma tumors can be treated with surgery and chemotherapy. But for most dogs, a recurrence is almost inevitable.
In the early 1990s, Vonderheide began investigating ways to make cancer more susceptible to immunotherapy. He discovered that many cancers hide from immune attack by blocking a key signaling pathway called CD40. By activating CD40, he could teach T cells—the body’s foot soldiers—what to destroy, and when to do it. dog dewormer cancer