Ivermectin has powerful antitumor effects, including the inhibition of proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenic activity, in a variety of cancer cells. This may be related to the regulation of multiple signaling pathways by ivermectin through PAK1 kinase.
On the other hand, ivermectin promotes programmed cancer cell death, including apoptosis, autophagy and pyroptosis. Ivermectin induces apoptosis and autophagy is mutually regulated. Interestingly, ivermectin can also inhibit tumor stem cells and reverse multidrug resistance and exerts the optimal effect when used in combination with other chemotherapy drugs.
Ivermectin is a macrolide antiparasitic drug with a 16-membered ring that is widely used for the treatment of many parasitic diseases such as river blindness, elephantiasis and scabies.
Satoshi ōmura and William C. Campbell won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the excellent efficacy of ivermectin against parasitic diseases.
Recently, ivermectin has been reported to inhibit the proliferation of several tumor cells by regulating multiple signaling pathways. This suggests that ivermectin may be an anticancer drug with great potential.
Here, we reviewed the related mechanisms by which ivermectin inhibited the development of different cancers and promoted programmed cell death and discussed the prospects for the clinical application of ivermectin as an anticancer drug for neoplasm therapy.