Fenbendazole (FZ) is an antihelminthic drug developed in the 1950s for intestinal parasites and now regarded as an effective cancer treatment due to its ability to reactivate p53, an important tumor suppressor. In addition, the drug appears to alter multiple molecular pathways that contribute to the development and proliferation of cancer cells and prevents their clonogenicity.
A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 21 lung cancer patients who participated in focus group interviews about fenbendazole. Interviews were conducted from December 7 to 8, 2020 by a trained moderator.
The majority of participants said that they learned about fenbendazole through TV news, followed by YouTube and the Internet. Among them, some people got information from acquaintances or family members and others did so at a nursing home or from their friends. The quality of the information they obtained was not high.
In cell culture, fenbendazole (FZ) inhibited the growth of exponentially growing EMT6 cells. Its cytotoxic effect was dose-dependent and significantly decreased as the concentration of the drug increased. It altered glucose uptake by reducing expression of GLUT transporters and impairing the activity of hexokinase II, an important glycolytic enzyme that cancer cells depend on for energy production. It also induced p53 to a higher level and caused mitochondrial translocation of p53, resulting in cellular apoptosis.
Another recent study found that fenbendazole, or mebendazole, sensitized glioblastoma brain cancer cells to radiation by interfering with DNA repair and increasing cell death. It is not clear if this is due to direct action on glioblastoma or is a result of synergistic effects with radiation and chemotherapies. fenben for cancer