Stage 4 cancer refers to a cancer that has already spread beyond its original site to other parts of the body. This type of cancer is usually advanced and not curable, but treatment can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. There are several ways to treat stage 4 cancer, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
A recently published study found that the antiparasitic drug mebendazole can slow or even stop the spread of pancreatic cancer in mice. The research was conducted by Gregory Riggins, an M.D., and Ph.D., professor of neurosurgery and oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. It was published on July 6 in Oncotarget.
In the study, researchers analyzed the effects of mebendazole on pancreatic cancer in two different mouse models. In one of the models, a genetically engineered pancreatic cancer was implanted into the mice. Mebendazole was then administered to the mice at various times after they were given pancreatic cancer. The mice were then monitored for the presence of pancreatic cancer cells in their bloodstream and in the tumor tissue. The mice that were treated with mebendazole at the earliest time point in the experiment had the lowest number of cancer cells in their bloodstream and tumor tissue. They also had the smallest number of pancreatic cancer cells in their abdomens and livers.
The other model involved a genetically engineered human pancreatic cancer that was surgically removed from the mice. The scientists again studied the effect of mebendazole on pancreatic tumors in the mice, and found that when mebendazole was administered at the earliest time point in the experiment, it prevented cancer cell invasion and reduced the size of the pancreatic tumor. The researchers also observed that mebendazole induced G2/M arrest in the pancreatic cancer cells, as well as apoptosis and ferroptosis.
Both the p53-independent and p53-augmented apoptosis and ferroptosis were mediated by the inhibition of tubulin polymerization in both 5-FU-sensitive and -resistant SNU-C5 and SNU-C5/5-FUR CRC cells. Interestingly, fenbendazole induced higher G2/M arrest and apoptosis in p53 wild-type cells compared to p53 mutant cells, but not by enhancing autophagy or ferroptosis.
The study authors suggest that fenbendazole may be a new microtubule inhibitor that can induce multiple forms of cell death, and that it could be a candidate for a novel anticancer agent. They also note that their results may have relevance to the recent viral videos claiming that an unlicensed veterinarian’s dog deworming medicine can cure human cancer, which have been shared on Facebook and TikTok. The author of the controversial videos has since been reprimanded by his employer. The McMaster Centre for Discovery in Cancer has also debunked the claims. fenbendazole stage 4 cancer