Fenbendazole, or fenben, is a drug used to treat parasites and worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and some tapeworms) in animals. It’s been in the news for being a possible cancer treatment after Joe Tippens, a US comedian and musician with cancer, claimed he cured his lung cancer using fenbendazole along with other supplements.
The researchers in this study found that fenbendazole had an inhibitory effect on cell growth by binding to -tubulin, a subunit of microtubules, and inhibiting their polymerization. The research team found that fenbendazole also had p53 stabilizing effects and interferred with glucose uptake into cells, both of which are known to suppress the growth of cancer cells.
Furthermore, they found that fenbendazole did not cause significant harm to normal human cells even at concentrations up to 1000 times higher than the approved dose. The results of their study suggest that fenbendazole could be a promising new anti-cancer agent.
Since the process of tumorigenesis involves a number of genes and proteins altering various cell signaling pathways, single-target drugs tend to show limited efficacy and are likely to lead to resistance. The ability of fenbendazole to target multiple processes including moderate microtubule disruption, p53 stabilization and interference with glucose metabolism leads to preferential elimination of cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. This makes fenbendazole an attractive candidate for use as an adjunct therapy with chemotherapies to enhance their efficacy and evade drug resistance. This is especially important given that the development of resistance to paclitaxel, a commonly used taxane in cancer therapy, is very common. fenbendazole for cancer