Antiparasitic and Antifungal Medications for Targeting Cancer Cells Literature Review and Case Studies

Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Jul;25(4):26-31.


Context: Chronic inflammation is a new catch phrase for the explanation of all chronic degenerative diseases, from asthma, arthritis, heart disease, auto-immune disease, and irritable bowel disease to cancer. Occult infections from oncovirus, bacterial, and fungal infections as well as from lesser known parasitic infections are driving forces in the cellular evolution and degeneration of cancer cells. An approach using currently available medications that target both fungal and parasitic metabolism appears to interfere with the metabolic synergy that is associated with tumor growth and aggressiveness.

Objective: The review examined whether antiparasitic and antifungal medications that interfere with the metabolism of cancers, can be useful in cancer therapy by treating cancer as an infectious disease and as a metabolic parasite.

Design: The research team searched the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) PubMed database databases, using different keyword combinations, including repurposed drug, antifungal, antiparasitic, cancer, parasite, anti-cancer repurposed.

Setting: Prevention and Healing, St Louis, Mo, USA.

Results: The literature search identified a number of studies, including in vitro, in vivo and clinical, which support the use of antifungal and antiparasitic medication in the treatment of cancer. In the clinical area, the authors observed benefit from the use of antifungal and antiparasitic medication in the treatment of a variety of cancer cases.

Conclusions: Due to the complexity of the behavior and biology of cells, scientists' primary focus should be on detection and elimination of sources of inflammation. Antiparasitic medications, and also antiviral, antibiotic, and antifungal medications should be thought of as underrecognized, underappreciated, and forgotten medications that can be part of cancer therapy. The information offered in this review suggests scientists should think of cancer not only as a metabolic disease but also as a metabolic parasite and should consider using antiparasitic medications under a new understanding of the role of inflammation, infection, and mitochondrial dysfunction in the development of cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiparasitic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Neoplasms / parasitology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Antiviral Agents