While fenben is widely used as an animal anthelmintic, there have been no peer-reviewed studies to confirm that it could also be effective against cancer. However, research into this class of medications is ongoing.

In a recent study, scientists found that the broad spectrum antiparasitic drug fenbendazole (FZ), which is used to treat parasitic worm infections in animals like horses, had potential as a cancer-fighting drug. The results of the study were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The researchers first treated human non-small cell lung cancer cells (NSCLC) with different concentrations of fenbendazole and investigated the cellular response. They found that fenbendazole caused moderate microtubule disruption, stabilized the p53 tumour suppressor gene and interfered with glucose metabolism in cancer cells, which resulted in preferential elimination of cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo.

This was confirmed by examining the uptake of glucose analogue 2-NBDG into H460 and A549 cancer cells following treatment with increasing doses of fenbendazole, as well as by glucose oxidation assays on culture supernatants from these cells. Researchers also observed that fenbendazole reduced lactate levels in these cells.

These effects were accompanied by a dramatic decrease in the growth of tumors in mice that had been implanted with human NSCLC xenografts. The reduction in tumor growth was attributed to the inhibition of glucose uptake, alteration in the expression of the GLUT transporters and hexokinase II, and interference with glucose metabolism. Moreover, the effect of fenbendazole was superior to that of a single-target chemotherapeutic drug that also interfered with the same cellular pathways. This suggests that a combination of drugs targeting multiple cellular pathways could improve efficacy, as resistance to individual drug targets is common in cancer. fenbendazole for humans cancer