Ivermectin Use for Cancer

Cancer is a complex disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Despite advances in cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, cancer still remains a leading cause of death. Therefore, there is an ongoing need for more effective and targeted therapies for cancer treatment.

In recent years, researchers have been exploring the potential of repurposing existing drugs, such as Ivermectin, for cancer treatment. Ivermectin is an FDA-approved antiparasitic drug that has been used for decades to treat various parasitic infections, such as river blindness and scabies. However, its potential as a cancer treatment has only recently come to light.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the emerging research on the use of Ivermectin for cancer treatment, including its potential mechanisms of action, preclinical and clinical studies, and future prospects.


The Discovery of Ivermectin and its Potential Use in Cancer Treatment

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that was discovered in 1970 by Satoshi Omura and William Campbell. Their research led them to an unusual bacteria that proved to be a “wonder drug” for treating a variety of parasites, making it useful for both human and veterinary purposes.

Their groundbreaking discovery earned them the Nobel Prize in 2015.

Ivermectin is not the only anti-parasitic medication being studied to fight cancer. You can also find Mebendazole (human dewormer) and Fenbendazole (traditionally used as a dog dewormer) in this group of studies on human cancer

Ivermectin for Cancer 


Over many recent studies, Ivermectin shows promise as a potential cancer medicationIt possesses anti-inflammation, antiviral, and antitumor properties. A 2020 study concluded that Ivermectin has powerful antitumor effects:  


The role of Ivermectin in various cancers has received some notoriety among scientists for its beneficial effects on cancer patients. Benefits were studied for breast cancer also TNBC, digestive system cancer, ovarian, hematological, brain, melanoma, respiratory system cancer, and others.

In 2023 another study was done, this time in Loja Ecuador, that looked at the effects of Ivermectin on cancer patients when taken both as a stand alone treatment as well as a complimentary protocol with other standards of care. Patients from both groups reported improvements in their health and general well-being. 


Ivermectin’s uses in Colorectal cancer

A study out of Henan University in China evaluated the application of ivermectin on colon cancer proliferation. The results were that Ivermectin inhibited the proliferation of colon cancer cells by arresting the tumor cell cycle. It also changed the structure of the cells, making them weaker while also inducing apoptosis.

A more recent study, published in 2022, observed that Ivermectin in high doses triggered cell death (apoptosis) in colon tumor tissue. Notably, at medium and high concentrations, the drug demonstrated a protective effect by reducing damage to the colon tissue.

This video talks about new research into the potential effect of Ivermectin on Colon Cancer cells.



Ivermectin and Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Ivermectin and breast cancer: A current ivermectin cancer clinical trial is now done to test Ivermectine benefits for TNBC patients. The assumption is that giving Ivermectin with Pembrolizumab may increase the drug’s effect in shrinking tumors. The study is done on patients with triple-negative breast cancer, which has spread to other places in the body (metastatic). 

It may help the body’s immune system attack cancer and interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Ivermectin may help block the formation of growths that may become cancer. 


Ivermectin and Ovarian Cancer

Ivermectin has demonstrated a potential supplemental role in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Ivermectin interacts with the newly discovered gene target KPNB1, to have an anti-tumor effect on epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells. Ivermectin can enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy in treating Ovarian cancer by targeting signaling pathways and preventing the development of cancer cells that rely on these pathways.

In 2023, a scientific study looked at two drugs, Ivermectin and Pitavastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, and their effect on ovarian cancer.  When ivermectin was used alone, it slowed down cell growth, but not very strongly. However, when the two drugs were combined, Ivermectin worked synergistically with Pitavastatin

Ivermectin & Brain Cancer 

The most common primary malignant brain tumor, Glioma, is still incurable because no proven treatments exist. Clinical trials however found that Ivermectin can greatly limit colony formation and proliferation in Glioblastoma cells. These cells experience apoptosis, or “programmed cell death.”

Medical research also shows that Ivermectin induces cell cycle arrest and cell death in vitro and in vivo, which inhibits the proliferation of glioma cells and may be a promising treatment for the disease.


Ivermectin and Prostate cancer

Studies have found that ivermectin can stop the growth of prostate cancer cells and cause them to die. It can also decrease the signaling of androgen receptor and slow down the progression of tumors in living organisms.

It was also found that Ivermectin (IVM) can improve the effectiveness of the anti-androgen drug enzalutamide in prostate cancer cells and reverse the resistance of prostate cancer cells to docetaxel.

Ivermectin and Digestive System Cancer 

One of the most prevalent malignant tumors in the world is gastric cancer. In vivo and in vitro gastric cancer cell proliferation was greatly reduced by Ivermectin. According to Nambara’s 2017 study, Ivermectin could be used as a YAP1 inhibitor to treat cancer.  YAP1 has an oncogenic function (causes the development of tumors)  in carcinogenesis.


Ivermectin and Melanoma

The most prevalent malignant skin tumor and one with a high fatality rate is melanoma. Studies revealed that clinicians who used IVM to treat melanoma cells discovered that it might successfully decrease malignant activity. 

It’s interesting to note that IVM may also exhibit activity against wild-type melanoma cells. Its administration in combination with other pharmacological treatments may substantially boost anticancer efficacy.


Ivermectin and Hematological Cancer

In a study looking at potential treatments for leukemia, Ivermectin was found to be effective in killing leukemia cells at low concentrations while leaving healthy blood cells unharmed.

The plasma membrane became hyperpolarized due to IVM, which increased the number of chloride ions entering the cell and caused the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). 

Furthermore, Ivermectin was found to be more effective in treating leukemia than the drugs Daunorubicin and Cytarabine.


Ivermectin and Chemotherapy 

When combined with other chemotherapy drugs, Ivermectin has shown promising results in treating cancer. It can inhibit the growth of tumor stem cells, reverse multidrug resistance, and hinder the growth of tumors.

Ivermectin induces a process called – apoptosis, which leads to cell death in cancer cells, while also regulating autophagy, which is the body’s natural process of cleaning out damaged cells.


Ivermectin Side Effects

  • Eye discomfort or redness
  • Swollen eyes & vision issues
  • Skin irritation, itchiness, rash, or acute skin rash;
  • Bewilderment- a shift in your mental state
  • Issues with balance
  • Difficulty walking
  • Fever
  • Enlarged Glands
  • Discomfort in the stomach or joints
  • Swelling in the hands or feet
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing difficulties
  • A lack of bowel or bladder control
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Neck ache
  • A sense of being dizzy and on the verge of passing out.


The potential of ivermectin as an anticancer drug is still being explored, and the current research suggests promising results in various types of cancers. Ivermectin’s ability to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, inhibit tumor progression, and enhance the activity of other cancer drugs makes it an attractive candidate for further investigation.

While more studies are needed to fully understand the mechanism of action and optimal dosage for cancer treatment, the safety and availability of ivermectin make it an attractive option for clinical trials.

It’s important to note that ivermectin is not currently approved for cancer treatment by regulatory agencies, and patients should not self-medicate without proper medical supervision. However, with continued research and clinical trials, ivermectin may prove to be a valuable addition to the arsenal of cancer-fighting drugs.




  • Is Ivermectin used to treat colon cancer?

Research is limited, but several studies are already showing that ivermectin has great potential as an anticancer drug for human colorectal cancer. For example, a 2021 study out of Henan University in China evaluated the application of ivermectin on colon cancer proliferation. The results were that ivermectin inhibited the proliferation of colon cancer cells by arresting the tumor cell cycle. It also changed the structure of the cells, making them weaker while also inducing apoptosis.

  • Are there risks to Ivermectin?

Ivermectin can cause serious side effects, including severe allergic reactions, eye problems (especially if you have conditions such as uveitis or ocular histoplasmosis), liver problems.

  • What are the dangers of Ivermectin in humans? 

Ivermectin can be dangerous if taken incorrectly. Close attention should be paid to dosage and duration. Common side effects include:

    • eye discomfort or redness
    • eyes swelling & vision issues
    • skin irritation, itchiness, rash, or acute skin rash
    • confusion – a shift in mental state
    • balance issues
    • difficulty walking
    • fever
    • enlarged glands
    • discomfort in the stomach or joints
    • swelling of the hands or feet
    • rapid heartbeat and breathing difficulties
    • loss of bowel or bladder control
    • seizure (convulsions)
    • neckache
    • dizziness and/or fainting.



Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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