Fenbendazole for Cancer


Fenbendazole (methyl N-(6-phenylsulfanyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl) carbamate) is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic agent used for parasitic diseases in various animals. It exerts its anthelmintic effect by binding to b-tubulin microtubule subunits and disrupting their polymerization. Benzimidazole compounds have also been shown to exhibit antitumor activity in genitourinary cancers. Self-administration of fenbendazole by cancer patients as a substitute or supplementary therapy has been reported in social media, but its clinical efficacy remains to be confirmed.

To investigate the anti-cancer effects of fenbendazole, we conducted experiments on wild-type and 5-fluorouracil-resistant colorectal cancer cells. In a time-dependent manner, fenbendazole significantly inhibited the proliferation of both wild-type and 5-fluorouracil-resistant SNU-C5 cells. In addition, fenbendazole caused G2/M arrest and apoptosis in both cell lines. The activation of p53 and p21 was significantly increased in fenbendazole-treated cells, but not ERK, JNK, or p38.

The team also found that fenbendazole could significantly reduce tumor volume in mice with a human colon cancer xenograft model. However, the drug did not shrink or destroy all the tumors in mice, which suggests that a larger-scale human study is needed to determine the optimal dose of fenbendazole for use as a cancer treatment.

Glenn and his colleagues developed the fenbendazole compounds with help from Stanford ChEM-H’s Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center and support from ViRx@Stanford, a National Institutes of Health-funded center for translational research led by Glenn. He and his team published their findings in Science Translational Medicine on Jan. 22. The underlying idea, Glenn says, is to disrupt otherwise normal cellular processes that both viruses and cancer cells rely on for growth and spread. fenbendazole for cancer

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