Benzimidazoles (AKA: dog dewormer medications) as potential anticancer therapy
AdvisorHale, LaDonna S.
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Gessler, B.; Lovoy, G.; Demuth, K. 2021. Benzimidazoles (AKA: dog dewormer medications) as potential anticancer therapy -- In Proceedings: 17th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
INTRODUCTION: Of the 2 million Americans diagnosed with cancer annually, roughly 650,000 will be treated with chemotherapy or radiation and 86% will experience potentially severe side effects; underscoring the need for safer alternatives. Recently, websites, blogs, and even medical professionals have advocated the use of fenbendazole, mebendazole, or albendazole (popular dog dewormers) as cancer treatment. Preliminary data from animal models have demonstrated successful treatment of numerous cancer types without serious side effects. However, efficacy, side effects, and dosing as anticancer treatment have not been established in humans. PURPOSE: Examine existing scientific literature to evaluate benzimidazole anthelmintics as potential anticancer treatment or adjunct therapy in humans. METHODS: Articles were identified through literature searches of MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and Science Direct using the following terms: fenbendazole, albendazole, mebendazole, benzimidazoles, cancer treatment, antiparasitic, and antihelminthic. RESULTS: A case report of a patient with metastatic colon cancer and another with adrenocortical carcinoma both showed remission/regression with mebendazole 100mg twice daily. Albendazole 400-1,200 mg twice daily for refractory solid tumors reduced tumor markers by at least 50% in 16% (6/36) of subjects. Albendazole 5mg/kg twice daily for colorectal cancer with metastasis showed disease stabilization in 3/8 patients and regression in 2/8 patients. Therapy was generally well tolerated with side effects ranging from minimal to severe myelosuppression requiring discontinuation of therapy. CONCLUSION: Although animal research was promising, there is not enough human data to recommend benzimidazoles as alternative cancer treatments. Six additional human trials are currently underway that may yield more definitive evidence.
Presented to the 17th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held online, Wichita State University, April 2, 2021.
Research completed in the Department of Physician Assistant, College of Health Professions