In 2008, a group of researchers discovered that fenbendazole—which is normally used to protect pets against intestinal parasites—was also able to inhibit the growth of human lymphoma xenografts in laboratory mice. The results were so compelling that the research was published in the journal Nature Medicine. This article outlines some of the details surrounding this surprising discovery, and discusses a potential future for this drug in cancer therapy.
The experiment was designed to test the effects of fenbendazole on the growth of EMT6 tumors injected subcutaneously into BALB/c mice. Tumors were measured using a caliper at 4-d intervals until they reached a calculated volume of 1500 mm3. As shown in the table below, the tumor growth of mice that received either fenbendazole or a placebo treatment was significantly reduced. These results indicate that fenbendazole is an effective agent for the inhibition of human tumor growth in vivo, even when administered to the highest possible dose.
This result was somewhat unexpected, as prior studies of benzimidazoles had only minimal results when it came to the inhibition of human tumor growth in vivo. However, the results of this study demonstrate that fenbendazole is a promising candidate for use in the treatment of hematological malignancies and other solid tumors.
In addition to its antitumor effects, fenbendazole is cytotoxic to various cell lines and exhibited significant toxicity toward hepatocellular carcinoma cells. It is also an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, which is a crucial enzyme in the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are essential for inflammation and pain. As such, it has the potential to be used in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents to enhance their effects and reduce side effects.
Currently, fenbendazole is prescribed by veterinarians to treat a variety of parasite infections in cats, dogs, cattle, and horses. It is an effective treatment for roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala), whipworms (Enterobius vermicularis), and pinworms (Ascaria lumbricoides). It is also being used in experimental cancer therapies due to its ability to inhibit the growth of human lymphoma and colon cancer xenografts in laboratory animals.
Fenbendazole is well-tolerated in laboratory animals and humans, with few reported side effects. In some cases, drooling and/or diarrhea may occur. In these instances, the dosage should be reduced and/or stopped until the signs resolve.
When treating a dog or cat with fenbendazole, it is important to follow the directions on the label and as provided by your veterinarian. When given in the proper dosage, fenbendazole is safe for puppies 6 weeks and older as well as adult dogs, including pregnant bitches. It is available in 222 mg/gram granules, 222 mg/gram suspensions and 100 mg/gram pastes, 25mg/ml liquids, and 100mg/ml chewable tablets. It is recommended that fenbendazole be administered for three days on and four days off. It is best administered at or near the time of eating. sanare lab fenbendazole