In recent years, it has become apparent that some of the benzimidazole antiparasitic drugs that are commonly used as anthelmintics can also have significant activity against cancer. This is a result of the fact that they interfere with energy metabolism in cancer cells thereby blocking glucose uptake and inhibiting ATP formation. This is known as the Glucose Warfare Effect.
In the present study, we investigated the effects of fenbendazole on 5-fluorouracil resistant colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines SNU-C5 and SNU-C5-FUR and found that it significantly increased apoptosis and induced cell cycle arrest in both cells. In addition, fenbendazole caused oxidative stress by down-regulating expression of GPX4 and SLC7A11 in CRC cells. The results suggest that fenbendazole might be effective against CRC in combination with other chemotherapies.
Furthermore, we tested the effect of fenbendazole on the radiation response in EMT6 tumor-bearing BALB/cRw mice and found that three daily i.p. injections of fenbendazole did not alter the radiation dose-response curves for aerobic or hypoxic EMT6 cells. In addition, irradiation of fenbendazole-treated tumors exhibited significantly less local invasion and lymph node metastasis than irradiation of untreated tumors.
These findings show that fenbendazole can be effectively used in combination with radiation and/or chemotherapy to eradicate tumors in patients. Although, Tippens anecdotal case study may be a statistical outlier and more research needs to be performed in order to reach a more reliable determination. Nevertheless, it is clear that fenbendazole potentiates the therapeutic effects of radiation and/or chemotherapy so that they are much more effective than would otherwise be expected.fenben cancer treatment