Clinical trials on ivermectin's use in cancer treatment are pending; there is insufficient evidence to back its efficacy.
Ivermectin is a drug licensed for use in people and animals. It is listed on WHO's essential drugs list for many parasitic illnesses. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in humans, "ivermectin topical formulations" are approved to treat external parasites. So, based on prescription, "ivermectin tablets" are so far only approved to treat some parasitic worms.
Studies on ivermectin's use in treating other illnesses have been going on, including cancer. Studies indicate that lab or pre-clinical trial on ivermectin has exhibited considerable advantages that point it is worth developing as a potential new anti-cancer drug. However, these have not been tested on humans and require additional research.
According to a study by PubMed Central (PMC), ivermectin could promote the death of tumor cells by regulating the tumor's microenvironment. Although many prior research results indicate that ivermectin affects numerous signaling pathways in tumor cells and hinders the growth of tumors, the study further states that more research is needed to explore the specific mechanism of ivermectin involved in regulating the tumor microenvironment.
Another study published by Nature demonstrated the efficiency of ivermectin in breast cancer. The study using the mouse model of Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) found that ivermectin generates immunogenic cancer cell death (ICD) and healthy T-cell (white blood cell) infiltration into breast tumors. The study investigated the efficacy of ivermectin and anti-PD1 antibody and found that the combined treatment induced protective anti-tumor immunity. However, the study notes that additional research will be needed to explain the multi-faceted effects of ivermectin-induced immunogenic cancer cell death.
Similarly, in a study in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research (JECCR), ivermectin increased the sensitivity of tumor/cancer cells to the chemotherapeutic drugs, demonstrating an anti-cancer efficacy in drug-resistant cells. This study also proposes a clinical study to assess ivermectin's usefulness further.
Although the studies have emphasized the potential use of ivermectin in the treatment of cancer, it needs to undergo further research. FDA clearly states that taking large doses of ivermectin without the doctor's approval is "dangerous." Therefore ivermectin should not be ingested while undergoing cancer treatment, as it is not officially approved or authorized as a drug to treat cancer patients.