A video circulating on TikTok and Facebook shows a Canadian veterinarian claiming the drug fenbendazole cures cancer. The animal anthelmintic has been around for decades and is used widely to treat pinworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and other gastrointestinal parasites. A number of preclinical studies have examined this class of drugs as possible anti-cancer agents, but Health Canada lists them only for veterinary use in mice. A cancer researcher told AFP such research is unlikely to lead to the development of new human medications.
Several commercially available fenbendazole lots were analysed by HPLC and LC-MS for the presence of the active moiety methyl [5-(phenylsulfanyl)-1H-benzimidazo-2-yl] carbamate (FZ). The analytical methods were validated according to ICH guidelines, with results shown in Table 3. Samples from three different brands were also treated with 2% deuterated DMSO in order to run 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and see how fenbendazole interacts with cellular proteins.
Fenbendazole is a tubulin inhibitor, blocking cell division by binding to the polymer and preventing its formation. It may also inhibit mitosis by interfering with cyclin B1-CDK1 interaction and blocking progression from G2 to metaphase.
To examine the effects of fenbendazole on human tumor cell proliferation, human colorectal carcinoma cells were exposed to various doses of FZ for 2 or 24 h in vitro, followed by a colony formation assay. Survival curves were determined by dividing the clonogenicities of each treatment group into two groups, based on the ratio of the average number of colonies to the average number of cells per colony. fenbendazole for cancer