Fenbendazole cancer is a claim based on the fact that an anthelmintic drug used to treat parasites in animals has been found to kill cancer cells. There is no evidence that it can cure humans. It has not gone through the rigorous testing that drugs must go through before being approved as an effective and safe treatment for cancer.
Background/Aim: Widely used antiparasitic drugs, including benzimidazoles like fenbendazole, have been shown to induce cytotoxic effects against human cancer cells without affecting normal breast epithelial cells. However, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for these redox-modulating antiproliferative properties in different tumor types.
We have previously shown that fenbendazole is toxic to colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and patient-derived CRC organoids, and that it reduces the number of surviving cancer cells in a colony formation assay. We also showed that fenbendazole is an effective radiosensitizer in both hypoxic and aerobic CRC cells by inhibiting their cell cycle progression and promoting apoptosis and ferroptosis-augmented apoptosis.
The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether fenbendazole can be used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy to enhance their cancer-inhibitory and antitumor effects. We tested the effect of fenbendazole on the radiation dose-response curves of EMT6 mammary carcinoma cells in vitro, as well as on their clonogenicity and radiation sensitivity in vitro using a standard colony formation assay. In these experiments, fenbendazole did not significantly alter the radiation dose-response of hypoxic or aerobic EMT6 cells in combination with either radiation or docetaxel, but it did reduce their growth and increased their antineoplastic effects.