The anthelmintic drug mebendazole inhibits growth, migration and invasion in gastric cancer cell model

Toxicol In Vitro. 2015 Dec;29(8):2038-44. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2015.08.007. Epub 2015 Aug 24.


The present study aimed to investigate the effects of MBZ on a human malignant ascites cell line derived from a primary gastric cancer tumor. Our data reveal that MBZ showed high cytotoxicity in vitro, displaying an IC50 of 0.39 μM and 1.25 μM in ACP-02 and ACP-03, respectively. The association between MBZ and 5-FU increased slightly the cytotoxicity when compared to MBZ and 5-FU alone. Furthermore, MBZ disrupted the microtubule structure of AGP-01 cells and inhibited significantly the invasion and migration of these cells. Activity of active MMP-2 significantly decreased at all tested concentration of MBZ compared to negative control. These results support the indication of MBZ in combination with chemotherapeutic agents as a possible adjuvant therapy for the management/treatment of patients with advanced gastric cancer since MBZ is a drug of low cost with acceptable safety profile and reduced toxicity to normal cells. However, clinical trials must be performed in o to evaluate its efficacy in gastric cancer patients.

Keywords: Invasion; Mebendazole; Metalloproteinase; Migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / metabolism
  • Mebendazole / pharmacology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Tubulin Modulators / pharmacology*


  • Tubulin Modulators
  • Mebendazole
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2