Fenbendazole (methyl N-(6-phenylsulfanyl-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl) carbamate) is a benzimidazole anthelmintic agent with a broad antiparasitic range in various animals. It is known to exert a variety of antitumor effects by binding to b-tubulin microtubule subunits and disrupting tubulin polymerization. This property is believed to contribute to the radiosensitization of cancer cells.
Several studies have shown that fenbendazole (FZ) exhibits strong in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity against various cancer cell lines and inhibits the growth of tumors. However, little is known about its safety and tolerability profile in humans. In addition, the antitumor effects of fenbendazole and its activated metabolite oxifendazole are not well understood in humans.
This article describes a case of an 80-year-old woman with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who developed severe liver injury after she self-administered fenbendazole. The patient reported that she had obtained information about fenbendazole on social media and self-administered the drug solely based on reports of its effectiveness against NSCLC. The patient discontinued self-administration of fenbendazole and the liver dysfunction spontaneously resolved. The authors suggest that physicians should ask patients about the sources of their health information and educate them about the potential dangers of unproven orally ingested products.
The benzimidazole class of anthelmintic agents has been extensively studied in animal models. Among these, the drug has been shown to exert potent cytotoxic and radiosensitizing activities in both cell culture and mouse model systems. Specifically, fenbendazole has been shown to interact with mitotic spindles and cause cell cycle arrest through the inhibition of cyclins. Additionally, fenbendazole has also been shown to inhibit the proliferation of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells by binding to the microtubules and disrupting their formation.
In a recent study, Dr Mukhopadhyay and his team showed that when fenbendazole was administered to mice with CRC tumors, it significantly reduced the size of the tumors in a time-dependent manner. The authors also showed that fenbendazole was also able to increase the sensitivity of these cancer cells to RAS-related chemotherapeutic drugs.
Moreover, fenbendazole also showed strong antiproliferative activity in normal human colon (HUCEC) cells and a p53-related cell line, SNU-C5/5-FUR. These data demonstrated that fenbendazole is a promising candidate as a pretreatment therapy for CRC.
To further investigate the effect of fenbendazole on radiation response in cancer cells, we treated EMT6 mammary carcinoma tumors in vitro with different concentrations of fenbendazole and exposed them to varying doses of radiation under aerobic or hypoxic conditions. The results show that fenbendazole treatment does not alter the radiation response of these tumors (Table 1). This is consistent with the earlier data from our first experiment, which also showed no significant influence of a three-injection fenbendazole regimen on radiation responses in both aerobic and hypoxic cultures. fenben for humans