Unexpected Antitumorigenic Effect of Fenbendazole When Combined With Supplementary Vitamins

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2008 Nov;47(6):37-40.

Abstract

Diet containing the anthelminthic fenbendazole is used often to treat rodent pinworm infections because it is easy to use and has few reported adverse effects on research. However, during fenbendazole treatment at our institution, an established human lymphoma xenograft model in C.B-17/Icr-prkdcscid/Crl (SCID) mice failed to grow. Further investigation revealed that the fenbendazole had been incorporated into a sterilizable diet supplemented with additional vitamins to compensate for loss during autoclaving, but the diet had not been autoclaved. To assess the role of fenbendazole and supplementary vitamins on tumor suppression, 20 vendor-supplied 4-wk-old SCID mice were assigned to 4 treatment groups: standard diet, diet plus fenbendazole, diet plus vitamins, and diet plus both vitamins and fenbendazole. Diet treatment was initiated 2 wk before subcutaneous flank implantation with 3 x 107 lymphoma cells. Tumor size was measured by caliper at 4-d intervals until the largest tumors reached a calculated volume of 1500 mm3. Neither diet supplemented with vitamins alone nor fenbendazole alone caused altered tumor growth as compared with that of controls. However, the group supplemented with both vitamins and fenbendazole exhibited significant inhibition of tumor growth. The mechanism for this synergy is unknown and deserves further investigation. Fenbendazole should be used with caution during tumor studies because it may interact with other treatments and confound research results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antinematodal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fenbendazole / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*

Substances

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antinematodal Agents
  • Vitamins
  • Fenbendazole