Fenbendazole For Cancer May Inhibit Cell Growth and Reduce Tumor Metastasis

Fenbendazole (FBZ) is an anthelmintic drug that has been safely used to treat roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms for decades. It works by blocking the parasites’ supply of nutrition by collapsing their microtubules, which provide structure and a highway for transport inside cells. A similar mechanism could explain why fenbendazole may also inhibit cancer growth and reduce tumor metastasis. The research, supported by the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Pancreatic Cancer, was published in Science Advances.

The claim that fenbendazole cures cancer spread throughout the world in 2016, after Joe Tippens, a US comedian diagnosed with lung cancer, claimed that he took fenbendazole and other supplements to overcome his disease. Although the claim was later revealed to be false, it spurred interest in CAM for cancer treatment and led to a debate about how health care professionals communicate with patients.

To investigate the effects of fenbendazole on 5-fluorouracil-resistant colorectal cancer cells, we conducted time-dependent cell viability and flow cytometry assays. We found that fenbendazole induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase in wild-type and 5-FU-resistant SNU-C5 colorectal cancer cells. In addition, fenbendazole inhibited autophagy, ferroptosis, and necroptosis in 5-FU-resistant SNU-C5 cells.

To understand why fenbendazole causes these effects, we performed detailed molecular and biochemical analyses of SNU-C5 cells treated with FBZ. We observed that fenbendazole binds to b-tubulin, which is required for the formation of microtubules in human and other mammalian cells, to suppress cell growth and induce apoptosis. This suggests that fenbendazole is effective against CRC in part by targeting the same mechanisms as established anticancer drugs. fenbendazole for cancer

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