Fenben As a Cancer Treatment

There’s a bizarre thing happening right now: patients are self-treating with oral fenben and reporting that it is curing their cancer. Usually the process of discovering a new drug goes through reduced preparation experiments in petri dishes followed by whole experimental animal studies and finally clinical trials in humans. It can take years and cost many millions of dollars to develop a drug from scratch.

But this isn’t the case with fenbendazole, which was developed by Merck in the 1950s to treat intestinal parasite infestation and has been repurposed as a cancer treatment. The patient’s story is getting widespread attention online because it’s an example of “drug repurposing,” where a drug developed for another condition is discovered to be effective in treating a different condition.

In vitro studies show that fenbendazole disrupts microtubule dynamics, p53 activation and the modulation of genes involved in multiple cellular pathways leading to cell death. It also significantly reduces glucose uptake in cancer cells by down regulating the expression of GLUT transporters and key glycolytic enzymes such as hexokinase II.

The drug also causes tubulin depolymerization and inhibits phosphorylation of eukaryotic transcription factor (eIF) 4E-binding protein 1 and tyrosine kinase. Moreover, it induces necroptosis in colorectal cancer cells by inducing the expression of several proteins related to necroptosis including phosphor-receptor-interacting protein kinase (pRIP), RIP3, mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL) and caspase-8. All of these results indicate that fenbendazole may be a promising agent for the treatment of cancer. fenben cancer treatment