Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of death in patients with cancer. It is generally treated by surgery or radiation. In stage 4 cancer, which is when the cancer has spread to a distant site, treatment may involve systemic drugs. This article presents a case of a patient who self-administered the anthelmintic, fenbendazole, as part of her stage 4 cancer therapy regimen. The patient was diagnosed with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and received standard therapies, including chemotherapy, for several months before deciding to try the fenbendazole. The patient did not experience tumor shrinkage, but she felt the anthelmintic reduced her side effects of her chemotherapy. This case illustrates the need to educate patients about the availability of alternative medicine and to discuss their use with physicians.
A group of 20 lung cancer patients with stage one to four cancer were interviewed using semi-structured questions. The interviews focused on the channels where participants acquired general and false cancer information, as well as their perception of that information.
Most participants reported that they acquired cancer information through television. They also reported obtaining general and false information through the Internet. Some patients actively searched for complementary and alternative cancer information online. These results suggest that patients are often exposed to false information on a daily basis.
The most important channel for acquiring general cancer information was through the Internet community and portal sites. However, the quality of that information was low and many of the interviewees believed that it needed to be verified by experts.
Most interviewees were skeptical of complementary and alternative medicine. They also had a negative attitude toward herbal and natural remedies. However, some patients were willing to consider them as part of a holistic approach to their care.
Febendazole is an antihelminthic agent that has been shown to have cytotoxic and antitumor properties in laboratory models. Its antitumor activity is attributed to its ability to inhibit cell growth by blocking the synthesis of tubulin, a polymer that makes up microtubules in cells. These properties are similar to those of a number of cytotoxic anticancer agents, including vinca alkaloids and taxanes.
In experiments involving the EMT6 mammary tumor cell line, high concentrations of fenbendazole were toxic to the cells in vitro. This toxicity increased with increasing incubation time and was enhanced under conditions of severe hypoxia. Febendazole also augmented the cytotoxicity of the antineoplastic agent docetaxel in these cells.
A phase III clinical trial has been underway to evaluate if fenbendazole enhances the antitumor effects of docetaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The first results of this study are expected in June. If the study shows that fenbendazole improves docetaxel efficacy in this patient population, it could help expand the use of this novel combination therapy to more patients with metastatic breast cancer. Further study is required to evaluate the efficacy of fenbendazole in combination with other agents, including radiotherapy. This will require additional patient accrual and longer-term follow-up to determine whether this combination will lead to improved outcomes in real-world settings. fenbendazole stage 4 cancer