The benzimidazole, fenben, also known as Panacur and Safe-Guard, has gained popularity as a cancer treatment. It’s been shown to have multiple anti-neoplastic effects that inhibit tumor growth. This includes a microtubule interfering effect and a potent inhibitor of glycolytic enzymes. It also has a broad spectrum anthelmintic effect and is often used to treat parasites.
In experiments with human cancer cells, it was found that fenben inhibits glucose uptake in H460 and A549 cells, and causes the mitochondrial translocation of p53. It also effectively inhibits expression of GLUT transporters and hexokinase II, a key glycolytic enzyme that most cancer cells thrive on. In addition, it blocks the growth of human xenografts in nu/nu mice when given orally.
Researchers found that fenben also causes cell death by activating ferroptosis. It triggers the accumulation of free iron through inhibition of cysteine uptake and decreases the expression of GPX4, which is a lipid peroxidation-repair enzyme. This results in oxidative stress and cell death. This is one of the main reasons why fenben has been linked to a higher success rate for treating brain tumors in humans.
In this study, 21 lung cancer patients were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire containing three categories: acquisition channel of information about fenbendazole, quality of the obtained information, and perception toward it. The results showed that the participants acquired information about fenbendazole through the Internet, magazines, and friends. The interviewees were mostly positive about the fenben cancer treatment.