Fenbendazole is an anthelmintic drug used to treat parasites and worms (roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and some tapeworms) in animals. It is also the basis of a cancer treatment protocol known as the Joe Tippens Protocol and is widely available as oral granules and liquid suspension under the brand name Pancur C. It is also a prescription medication in the United States. The Joe Tippens Protocol recommends a daily dose of 222 mg taken orally seven days per week.
Social media have become popular platforms for disseminating medical information and can influence health decisions in the public. However, it can be difficult for nonmedical individuals to differentiate scientific facts from rumors. This case describes a patient with advanced cancer who self-administered oral fenbendazole, an anthelmintic, based on information she received from social media. This resulted in severe liver injury.
The benzimidazole family members, including fenbendazole, exhibit broad antiparasitic activities by binding to b-tubulin microtubule subunits and disrupting their polymerization . Recent studies have shown that fenbendazole possesses antitumor activities in human cancer cells. For example, fenbendazole enhances the cytotoxicity of radiation and docetaxel in cancer cells and apoptosis via p53-p21 pathways in 5-fluorouracil-resistant colorectal carcinoma cells.
The current study examined the antitumor effects of fenbendazole in 5-fluorouracil-resistant SNU-C5 and SNU-C5/5-FUR CRC cells, and the underlying mechanisms. Fenbendazole significantly reduced the proliferation of SNU-C5 and SNU-C5/5-FUR cells, mainly through G2/M arrest, but not via p53-mediated apoptosis, in both wild-type and p53 mutant CRC cells. It also induced oxidative stress-induced ferroptosis and autophagy in the two CRC cell lines. fenbendazole stage 4 cancer