Mebendazole, a prescription drug used in humans to treat parasites, and fenbendazole, a treatment for parasites in animals, show promising but so far very preliminary evidence of anticancer effects.

Mebendazole or fenbendazole at a glance

Mebendazole and fenbendazole are two familiar drugs for treating parasites. While several similar drugs have been studied in preclinical trialstesting a drug, a procedure, or another medical treatment in isolated cells or in animals; preclinical evidence is considered only an initial indication of possible effects in people (cells and animal studies), only mebendazole has been studied for anticancer effects in humans. In this review, we focus primarily on mebendazole, a prescription drug used with humans, and fenbendazole, a treatment for animals.

Mebendazole shows promising anticancer effects in preclinical (cell and animal) studies and some initial trials in humans. Fenbendazole also shows promising preclinical evidence of anticancer effects. 

CancerChoices ratings for mebendazole or fenbendazole

We rate mebendazole or fenbendazole on seven attributes, with 0 the lowest rating and 5 the highest. We rate the strength of the evidence supporting the use of mebendazole or fenbendazole for a medical benefit, such as improving treatment outcomes or managing side effects.

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2

Improving treatment outcomes

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2

Optimizing your body terrain

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0

Managing side effects and promoting wellness

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1

Reducing cancer risk

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1

Use by integrative oncology experts

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3

Safety

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2

Affordability and access

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Author

Nancy Hepp, MS

Lead Researcher
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Ms. Hepp is a researcher and communicator who has been writing and editing educational content on varied health topics for more than 20 years. She serves as lead researcher and writer for CancerChoices and also served as the first program manager. Her graduate work in research and cognitive psychology, her master’s degree in instructional design, and her certificate in web design have all guided her in writing and presenting information for a wide variety of audiences and uses. Nancy’s service as faculty development coordinator in the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University also provided experience in medical research, plus insights into medical education and medical care from the professional’s perspective.

Nancy Hepp, MS Lead Researcher

Reviewer

Andrew Jackson, ND

Research Associate
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Andrew Jackson, ND, serves as a CancerChoices research associate. As a naturopathic physician practicing in Kirkland, Washington, he teaches critical evaluation of the medical literture at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. His great appreciation of scientific inquiry and the scientific process has led him to view research with a critical eye.

Andrew Jackson, ND Research Associate

Last update: May 21, 2024

Last full literature review: February 2024

CancerChoices provides information about integrative in cancer care, a patient-centered approach combining the best of conventional care, self care and evidence-informed complementary care in an integrated plan cancer care. We review complementaryin cancer care, complementary care involves the use of therapies intended to enhance or add to standard conventional treatments; examples include supplements, mind-body approaches such as yoga or psychosocial therapy, and acupuncture therapies and self-care lifestyle actions and behaviors that may impact cancer outcomes; examples include eating health-promoting foods, limiting alcohol, increasing physical activity, and managing stress practices to help patients and professionals explore and integrate the best combination of conventionalthe cancer care offered by conventionally trained physicians and most hospitals; examples are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy and complementary therapies and practices for each person.

Our staff have no financial conflicts of interest to declare. We receive no funds from any manufacturers or retailers gaining financial profit by promoting or discouraging therapies mentioned on this site.

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