Fenbendazole, an anthelmintic used to treat parasites in animals, has become an important topic of interest for cancer researchers as it may have anticancer properties. This article describes research done to determine whether fenbendazole could be a viable cancer treatment for humans.
This study was performed in order to determine the potential of fenbendazole (FZ) as an anticancer agent. To do this, a series of experiments were designed to evaluate the effects of fZ in mice with EMT6 tumors on radiation response and survival. Mice were injected with three daily i.p. injections of fenbendazole at concentrations up to 50 mg/kg of body weight and were then irradiated at a dose of 10 Gy using an ion beam produced by a Siemens Stabilipan accelerator. Mice that were treated with fenbendazole had no increase in lung metastases on necropsy compared to non-treated mice.
The effect of fenbendazole on the proliferation and clonogenicity of EMT6 cells was examined in cell culture. 2 h incubations of cells with fenbendazole had little effect on the number of cells in the cultures, but 24-h treatments caused significant reductions in the clonogenicity of the EMT6 cells. These results suggest that fenbendazole has both cytostatic and cytotoxic effects on EMT6 cells.
To determine the safety of fenbendazole in human food, a withdrawal interval recommendation must be established. To calculate the withdrawal interval, both deterministic and stochastic models utilizing diverse food safety adverse outcomes such as repeat-dose toxicity, reproductive toxicity, teratogenicity, and carcinogenicity are utilized. The deterministic approach based on the NOAEL of 4 mg/kg for repeat-dose toxicity in rats and dogs and an NOAEL of 25 mg/kg in rabbits for reproductive toxicity and teratogenicity indicate that this drug is safe to use in pheasants at dosages up to 100 ppm orally (12). fenbendazole for humans