Is Fenbendazole Safe For Humans?

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow people to share information with other individuals. Unfortunately, this can lead to the spread of inaccurate medical facts.

The internet is abuzz with claims that fenben, a medication used to treat parasitic infections in animals, can cure cancer. However, this claim is based on anecdotal evidence and has not been scientifically verified.
It kills worms

Fenbendazole is a benzimidazole antihelmintic that has been used for more than six decades to treat parasitic worms. It is also known to have anticancer effects in cells. These include inhibiting the proteasome and microtubules, as well as preventing glucose uptake by cancer cells.

Originally developed to deworm animals, fenbendazole is a safe medication for humans with very low levels of toxicity. It has been shown to have beneficial side effects for humans and is widely available without a prescription from many pharmacies.

In the United States, fenbendazole is sold under the brand name Pancur or Safe-Guard. It is a broad-spectrum benzimidazole carbamate that is effective against many types of worms. It is especially useful in giardia cases and high intestinal parasite loads. It is also available through veterinary custom compounding companies. It is used as a dewormer in dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, horses, and exotic species. It kills parasitic worms by stopping their cell division.
It is a tubulin blocker

Fenbendazole, sold under the brand name Pancur or Safe-Guard, is a popular medication used to treat parasites and worms in animals (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms). It is also being touted as an effective cancer treatment, although there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

The drug works by interfering with the formation of microtubules, which are part of a protein scaffold that gives shape and structure to cells. Textbook depictions of cells often show various cellular components floating in amorphous bags of liquid, but in reality, cell structure is established through a complex network of protein structures called the cytoskeleton. The tubulin blocker binds to beta-tubulin, disrupting its polymerization and preventing the formation of microtubules. These effects are similar to those of cytotoxic anticancer agents.

The first effect of ingesting fenbendazole is that it restricts the uptake of nutrients by the billions of cells that line the small intestine. These cells, known as enterocytes, depend on tubulin-constructed beltways to transport orally ingested food into the intestinal lumen. As a result, they cannot absorb enough glucose to meet their energy needs and are starved of the necessary energy to grow and divide.
It is a cytostatic drug

The antiparasitic drug fenbendazole (FZ) has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and to block tumor progression in laboratory studies. It also enhances the effectiveness of radiation treatment and has been shown to be synergistic with other anticancer drugs. The researchers say that their findings show that the compound works by moderately disrupting microtubules and promoting p53 stabilization. The results also suggest that fenbendazole interferes with glucose metabolism and causes preferential elimination of cancer cells.

The mode-of-action of fenbendazole has been investigated using a genome-wide gene expression analysis (GSEA) and a network approach. The results show that a number of genes are upregulated by fenbendazole and MYC is among them. This upregulation is correlated with a decrease in the expression of RAF1. MYC is also a first neighbor of other genes that are dysregulated in leukaemia and thus could be a promising target for therapeutic intervention.

The effect of fenbendazole on cellular metabolism was also tested in the presence and absence of N-acetyl cysteine, an inhibitor of ROS production. NAC was able to recover the decreased metabolic activity of HL-60 cells induced by FZ. The results showed that fenbendazole acts via ROS to trigger oxidative stress and apoptosis in HL-60 cells.
It is an immunotoxic drug

Fenbendazole, originally developed to deworm animals, has been found to have unexpected cancer-fighting properties. It suppresses the growth of cancer cells and induces cell death. It also reduces the formation of cellular metastases. Compared to other anti-cancer drugs, it has little or no side effects.

In addition to its microtubule-destabilizing activity, fenbendazole disrupts glucose uptake in cancer cells, which starves them of energy. It does this by inhibiting GLUT 4 expression, which transports sugar across the membrane. It also blocks the movement of insulin-stimulated GLUT transporters, thereby limiting insulin-stimulated sugar absorption.

This mode of action explains why fenbendazole is so effective at targeting leukaemia and other malignancies. Cheminformatics analysis shows that fenbendazole targets genes dysregulated in leukaemia. Among these genes, fenbendazole downregulates MYC and WDR12. It also targets protein phosphatases, including PTPRE, which is upregulated in the disease signature. These genes are crucial for regulating cell growth and proliferation. In addition, fenbendazole inhibits the development of apoptosis in cancer cells.fenben for humans