Fenbendazole, an antiparasitic drug used against pinworms, giardia, roundworms, hookworms, and Taenia solium, has also been reported to have antitumor effects. It works by inhibiting the polymerization of tubulin, a protein that forms part of the cell’s microtubules, which provide structure and shape to cells. Microtubules are important in cell division, ensuring that chromosomes are properly lined up at metaphase and evenly separated during anaphase. Drugs that interfere with microtubule activity can block these processes and lead to cell death.
A claim that fenbendazole cures cancer in humans spread on social media in 2016 after a man named Joe Tippens posted about his experience on Facebook and TikTok. He claims that taking fenbendazole and other supplements cured him of a type of lung cancer, but the anecdotal evidence isn’t very strong. There’s also no way to know if his remission was entirely due to fenbendazole, since he was enrolled in a clinical trial of a different cancer drug at the time.
A new study shows that fenbendazole does kill colorectal cancer cells in petri dishes and mice, but it’s not as effective against human cancers as other drugs that act on the same mechanism, including several approved chemotherapeutic agents. The researchers found that fenbendazole killed both wild-type and 5-fluorouracil-resistant colorectal cancer (CRC) cells by causing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, primarily through the p53-p21 pathways in sensitive CRC cells. However, in resistant cells, fenbendazole caused apoptosis through other pathways as well, including autophagy and ferroptosis. fenbendazole for humans cancer