Fenben is an anthelmintic in the benzimidazole family that has been used for six decades. It has a very broad spectrum, killing many worm species. It is also very effective against Cryptococcus neoformans, the fungus that causes meningitis in humans. It may also inhibit cancer cells, enhancing the effects of other treatments such as radiation, surgery, and berberine.
The pharmacological action of fenbendazole is based on its ability to depolymerize microtubules in living cells. The drug binds to the tubulin protein, interrupting its polymerization and disrupting the formation of MTs. This perturbs cellular processes such as cell division, motility, and intercellular transport of organelles. It also depletes glycogen reserves, and adversely affects energy management mechanisms. As a result, the cell cannot function properly and dies.
A recent study examined the effect of fenbendazole on human non-small cell lung cancer cells. The drug reduced the viability of cancer cells by affecting microtubules. It also inhibited the growth of these tumors by causing the cell to undergo apoptosis, which is when the cell self-destructs.
Another study examined the antitumor effects of fenbendazole in animal models. The authors found that fenbendazole significantly decreased the number of lung metastases after irradiation in pheasant mice, and it was more effective than metronidazole. This was due to the fact that fenbendazole inhibits anaplastic lymphoma kinase.
Finally, the researchers tested fenbendazole in combination with a range of antineoplastic agents and found that it had additive cytotoxic effects against multiple myeloma cells. This was due to fenbendazole’s moderate MT depolymerizing activity in these cells. The study also showed that a therapeutic diet containing 150 ppm of fenbendazole, when administered to EMT6 tumor-bearing mice, suppressed the growth of these tumors and reduced their metastases and invasion. These results suggest that fenbendazole can be considered as an alternative treatment option in human multiple myeloma patients, given the fact that it is safe and has been well tolerated by animals at doses several times higher than the approved dosage. It also has minimal toxicity in normal cells. This makes it an ideal candidate for use in combination therapies with other antineoplastics such as radiation and docetaxel. However, further pre-clinical studies will be required to assess the safety of combining fenbendazole with other agents. fenben for humans