Fenbendazole is a common medication used to treat parasitic infections in people and animals. Some studies show that anthelmintics, the class of medications that fenbendazole belongs to, can slow down cancer growth in cells and mice. However, there isn’t enough evidence from randomized clinical trials to show that fenbendazole can cure cancer in people.
Fenbendazole (Methyl 5-(phenylsulfanyl)-1H-benzimidazol-2-yl) carbamate, is a broad spectrum anthelmintic. It is effective against pinworms, giardia, tapeworms, hookworms, Taenia solium, and pulmonary paragonimia in humans, and against a variety of gastrointestinal and respiratory parasites in many animal species. It acts by binding to beta-tubulin and disrupting the formation of microtubules, which provide structure and shape to cells. It has polymerization-inhibitory effects on tubulin and is a potent inhibitor of cell growth . Microtubules are also involved in cell division, and inhibition of their formation may prevent the progression from G2 to mitosis or cause mitotic catastrophe. Several anticancer agents that act by bind to and inhibit microtubules are currently in use, including vinca alkaloids (vinblastine, vindestine, and vincristine) and taxanes (paclitaxel and docetaxel) .
In this study, we tested whether fenbendazole can block the growth of human colorectal cancer cells. The cells were synchronized by serum starvation and treated with different concentrations of fenbendazole for various time intervals. The results showed that fenbendazole can inhibit the progression of cells from G2 to mitosis in a dose-dependent manner by upregulating the cyclin B1/CDK1 levels. It can also induce apoptosis by inhibiting autophagy and increasing ferroptosis in 5-fluorouracil-resistant SNU-C5 cells. fenbendazole cancer treatment