Fenben cancer treatment has gained popularity after a story by Joe Tippens, but is it effective? A dewormer commonly used in veterinary medicine, fenbendazole (FBZ), has been found to be an effective cancer treatment in conjunction with other anticancer medications. FBZ belongs to the benzimidazole class of drugs and works by destabilizing microtubules, which are like little ropes that move things around in cells. Rather than being targeted at healthy cells, it targets cancer cells which rely on these structures for survival.
Unlike many anticancer drugs, fenbendazole is not toxic to normal cells at doses up to the maximum recommended human daily allowance. In addition, a long history of safety in humans and animals has allowed the drug to be used to treat many different conditions. Nevertheless, despite its low toxicity, fenbendazole is an insufficient treatment for most tumors. It is also unable to overcome the barriers that separate healthy tissues from cancerous ones, including the blood-brain barrier in brain tumors.
However, a new study published in Nature Communications suggests that combining the dewormer with other treatments can increase its effectiveness. In this study, the researchers found that combining fenbendazole with rapamycin (RAPA) significantly decreased cancer cell viability in vitro and in vivo. RAPA is a kinase inhibitor that is known to target and inhibit tumor growth.
In the in vitro cytotoxicity test, both free fenbendazole and FEN-RAPA-loaded mPEG-b-PCL micelles showed comparable efficacy against A549 cells. However, in the in vivo biodistribution and pharmacokinetic studies, micelles exhibited greater accumulation and drug release kinetics than solution formulations. In addition, the mPEG-b-PCL particles were consistent in size and possessed high encapsulation efficiency and drug loading capacity.
The researchers then tested the effect of fenbendazole and RAPA on EMT6 cell viability in the x-ray-irradiated tumor model. Tumor growth was measured and compared between controls, irradiated tumors treated with three doses of fenbendazole alone or irradiated tumors treated with fenbendazole plus 10 Gy of radiation. The results showed that the growth curve of unirradiated tumors was not altered by either treatment, and in contrast, irradiation combined with three fenbendazole treatments was able to decrease tumor viability to below the detection limit.
While the findings are promising, it is important to note that no peer-reviewed studies have yet to confirm that anthelmintics could cure cancer in people. Health Canada lists all fenbendazole products as veterinary only and does not approve them for use in people. Although the study’s authors are hopeful that this combination approach can lead to a viable cancer treatment, turning the research into an approved medication will be a long journey. In the meantime, people should continue to seek advice from their physicians about their cancer and any unusual symptoms. fenben cancer treatment