While some studies have shown that fenbendazole can slow cancer cell growth in cultured cells or in mice, there’s insufficient evidence to show that it cures cancer in people. A specialist cancer information nurse at Cancer Research UK told Full Fact, “There is insufficient evidence that fenbendazole can cure cancer. The drug has not gone through any clinical trials in humans to find out if it is a safe or effective treatment.”
Stanford virologist Jeffrey Glenn and his lab didn’t set out to tackle cancer; they were trying to come up with new ways to thwart viruses that cause diseases like hepatitis delta and the common cold. But the lessons they learned battling viruses led to a new collaboration and to drugs that appear to help cancer patients in mouse experiments.
Specifically, the team showed that mebendazole (the active ingredient in fenbendazole) interferes with how microtubules form inside cancer cells. These structures provide the framework that holds together a cell and gives it shape. Mebendazole blocks the growth of microtubules in cancer cells, causing them to break apart and die. This is called apoptosis.
In addition, mebendazole inhibits tumor growth in mice, shrinking the size of their tumors. The researchers believe that fenbendazole works by targeting the same molecular pathways that conventional cancer treatments use to kill tumors. They also found that fenbendazole triggers apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells by suppressing the expression of p53 and GPX4. The team is now working to test whether fenbendazole could be used to treat human cancers. fenbendazole cures cancer