A popular deworming medication called fenben has been shown to shrink tumors in mice and reduce the spread of cancerous cells. It works by interfering with the glucose metabolism that many cancers rely on to grow and spread. In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Stanford University described how they found the drug could stop cancerous cells from getting the energy they need to thrive.
The scientists discovered that fenbendazole, which has been in use since the 1980s to treat parasites in humans and livestock, has a similar effect on human cancer cells as it does on animal parasites. They used this knowledge to develop compounds that they believe will make the class of medications known as antihelmintics into effective cancer treatments.
To investigate the underlying mechanism of how fenbendazole might disrupt cancer growth, the team examined the effects of varying concentrations and lengths of treatment in vitro. The results showed that longer, more intense treatments had more pronounced effects. They also performed a colony formation assay and soft agar assay in mice to assess the effect on tumor growth. The results of these tests indicated that high doses of fenbendazole significantly reduced the clonogenicity of EMT6 mammary tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo.
In order to further explore the effects of fenbendazole, the team tested its ability to act as a radiosensitizer in combination with radiation and other drugs that have been shown to be active against cancer in humans. The results demonstrated that the drug had additive effects with the more commonly used radiosensitizers, cyclophosphamide and docetaxel. However, in a dose-response study, the addition of fenbendazole did not alter the radiation dose-response curve for hypoxic cells.
The scientists next looked at how the drug interfered with cellular glucose uptake in the human NSCLC cell line H460. They did this by measuring glucose uptake using the fluorescent compound 2-NBDG, and they also analyzed the activity of the glycolytic enzyme hexokinase II by immunofluorescence. The results indicated that fenbendazole exposure caused significant reductions in the uptake of 2-NBDG and hexokinase II, which is associated with reduced phosphatidyl ethanolamine production in glycolysis and alterations to microtubule dynamics.
Finally, the team tested fenbendazole in a mouse model. The mice were given fenbendazole orally every second day until their tumors reached between 2-4 mm in size. The mice were then exposed to radiation and the size of the tumors was measured. The results demonstrated that fenbendazole significantly decreased tumor growth, while the combination of fenbendazole and radiation reduced tumour sizes even further.
While this research is interesting, it’s important to note that the fenben cancer treatment has not been proven to cure any type of cancer in humans. While it’s possible that anthelmintics like fenbendazole could prevent recurrent cancers from returning, there isn’t sufficient evidence to support this. For this reason, it is essential to work with an integrative healthcare professional who can evaluate your medical history and current medications in order to develop a protocol that best suits you and your specific needs. fenben cancer treatment