Pancreatic cancer is a complex disease that can’t be treated with just one drug. Several new treatments are being explored in clinical trials, including immunotherapy and drugs that target different parts of the cancer cell.
Some antiparasitic drugs, such as fenbendazole, have been found to slow down the growth of pancreatic cancer cells in lab tests. However, the nonprofit organization Cancer Research UK and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration both told PolitiFact that there isn’t enough evidence from randomized clinical trials to show that fenbendazole cures cancer in humans.
Scientists have learned that the microtubules that bind and separate chromosomes during cell division (mitosis) are critical to a cancer cell’s ability to divide and grow. Drugs that interfere with microtubule activity can block important cellular processes and stop them from working properly.
Researchers have discovered that fenbendazole and other drugs in the benzimidazole family, including metronidazole, neomycin, and doxorubicin, all inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer cells in laboratory tests. They also have other anticancer effects, such as impairing the ability of cancer cells to migrate.
Many cancers grow in a dense tissue called the tumor stroma, which supports and protects the cancer cells from being killed by chemotherapy drugs or from detection by the immune system. Researchers are studying ways to break down or remodel the stroma so more chemotherapy drugs can reach cancer cells and so immune system cells can better recognize and kill the cancer cells.fenbendazole for pancreatic cancer