Mebendazole vs Cancer
Mebendazole -- Inexpansive Cancer Cure?
Ordinarily, an article like this might not appeal to someone with a
minimal interest in biology. But this article is about cancer. That's
something that we will all experience, either personally or with
someone close to us.
I'm not going to bore you with statistics or preach about unhealthy
lifestyles or genetics. The fact is that we all get cancer in our
lifetime -- probably many times. Our bodies usually defend against the
cancerous cells and they are destroyed before they can do any damage.
Unfortunately, for some people, the battle isn't so easy and the
But wait... there is good news. It's a medicine that seems too good to
be true, yet it is. And get this -- it costs just a couple of dollars
and its in most every local pharmacy. It's anti-cancer success has been
well documented in journals (which I will show you) -- even with
cancers that are unresponsive to other chemotherapy. While it kills
cancer cells it poses no harm to the normal cells and has little or no
side effects. It's called mebendazole and "Big Pharma" hopes you will
never hear about it.
If you have ever cared for young children then you are probably
familiar with this medicine under the name of Vermox, Ovex, Antiox, and
Pripsen. It is usually prescribed to treat pinworms, roundworms, whip
worms and hookworms -- organisms that find an unwelcome home in our
intestines. For some time now, scientists have known how it works, but
the method of death meted out to the targeted parasites was of little
interest to them. But that has since changed.
How it works...
This next part gets a little technical. I'll try to explain things in a
general way. I'm by no means a scientist or biologists but I'll share
with you what I have learned.
One of the misconceptions that people have about a cell is that it
contains a nucleus, a cell wall and everything inside (cytoplasm) kind
of sloshes around in a liquid or gel. In fact, the inside of a cell
contains a kind of scaffold made of micro-tubules, also called
spindles, that have the ability to assemble and disassemble quicky.
This network of rigid micro-tubules inside the cell gives it shape,
structure and also has the ability to transfer organelles and various
molecules to different parts within the cell, functioning like a
railway system. But its most vital function is cell division.
You will easily understand the role of spindles by viewing this short
Here is a video of the micro-tubules, showing how they assemble and
dis-assemble. This is quite an amazing design and reminds us of the
complexity of life.
Mebendazole is known to interfere and inhibit the assembly of the
spindles, thus preventing the ability of the cells to divide. The cell
eventually dies of old age or aptosis. Mebendazole is highly selective
and somehow targets only cancerous cells (as well as a host of
intestinal parasites). At the end of this article I will post a few of
the many scientific papers acknowledging these facts.
You will also see why there is virtually no pharmaceutical interest in
mebendazole. The big pharmaceutical companies are promoting more toxic
chemotherapy drugs because there is no profit margin in mebendazole.
It's yet another example of corporate profit outweighing human benefits.
What is Cancer?
When a cell divides, the common notion is that the two resulting cells
are exactly identical. This is not correct. The process of copying DNA
is not perfect and there are usually errors, although these are
typically not serious. In fact, if a cell has too many errors in its
DNA code it will not be able to reproduce and the errors die with that
Human cells have a maximum number of times that they can reproduce
themselves before the accumulated errors finally prevent reproduction
-- it's called the Hayflick Limit. Most scientists agree that this
number is around 60 times.
This "programmed" lifespan of a cell is determined by the length of a
benign string of molecules attached to the ends of the DNA coils. Like
leaders on a movie film, these break off or become misaligned during
the replication process and provide a buffer zone, protecting the real
DNA code. The longer a cell's leader, called a telomere, the more it
can reproduce and the longer an organism can live.
Biologists have found that cancer cells are cells in which the damaged
DNA code results in the activation of the telomere, causing it to
regrow. The hayflick limit becomes infinite. The mutation makes the
cell essentially immortal! Cancer does its damage by outliving and
outnumbering the normal cells.
The fight against cancer has been one of isolation and selectively
poisoning the cells. When cancer cells have integrated themselves in
vital tissues, this becomes a major problem. Often, surgical attacks of
cancerous tissue seems to stimulate their growth even more, resulting
in a temporary relapse with regrowth. Likewise, chemotherapy and
radiation are not selective enough to protect healthy cells and their
method of death is toxic.
Mebendazole is different. It doesn't kill the cells with poison. It
specifically prevents the cell from reproducing.
What has Big Pharma done?
Mebendazole was first synthesized by Janssen Pharmaceutical (later
bought by Johnson & Johnson) in 1968. Its value as an anti-worm
medicine was recognized and by 1972 mebendazole was being marketed
under the name Vermox. Because the prescribed use was eliminating
parasites it was inexpensive and widely used. The selective toxicity of
mebendazole to cancerous cells had not yet been discovered.
Back in 1960 the US Goverment declared war on cancer and funded the
Cancer Chemotherapy National Science Center. This agency received over
1000 samples of chemicals -- mostly synthetic -- that were exposed to a
variety of animal and human cancer cells.
It must have been like a scene from the movie, Andromeda Strain, where
thousands of substances were tested to kill the alien virus brought
back in an interstellar probe. With such large sample numbers it was
expected that some would prove effective in killing tumors. And that's
exactly what happened.
In 1964 a worker at a contractor for the Center thought to include some
natural chemistry in the study. He submitted a resin from the bark of
the Pacific Yew tree (Taxus brevifolia), an endangered species endemic
to the Washington State. It killed tumor cells while not harming
healthy cells. They called it Taxol.
The down side to this discovery was that it took 12,000 pounds of fresh
Yew bark to make just 10 grams of Taxol! At first, no pharmaceutical
company was interested in developing the drug and trials with human
subjects were put off. Only in 1979, when Taxol was shown to interfere
with micro-tubules, did it receive revived interest as a profitable
Same, Same, but Different
Researchers were discovering the value of microtubule inhibitors in
1978. The safest one, mebendazole, was already on the market as a
treatment for worms, and it was cheap. For a pharmaceutical company to
invest in a cancer cure, it had to make a profit. So the next best
candidate was the resin in the Pacific Yew -- Taxol.
Taxol is a microtubule inhibitor... sort of. Rather than prevent the
tubules from forming, like mebendazole, Taxol acts like a glue and
prevents the tubules from disassembly. It's a process called
polymerization. This damages the internal structure of the cell in ways
not related only to cell division. The side-effects of Taxol are many,
while mebendazole has a reputation for being harmless and well
But there's another big difference between Taxol and mebendazole -- the
price. Taxol costs more than $200 a dose compared with the $2 for some
chewable Vermox pills.
A prophylaxis agent?
Before I list the studies, I could not help but wonder why a person
wouldn't take mebendazole periodically in one's life to purge the body
of cancerous cells. It is known to be well tolerated with little
toxicity. In some of the studies I will quote, mebendazole was taken
with Tagamet(TM) to reduce the metabolizing effects of the liver and
increase blood levels. This would appear to be an idea that ought to be
Mebendazole is not currently recognized as an anti-cancer drug. The
lack of investment by Big Pharma in conducting the many trials and
protocols will likely not change this status. But physicians are
capable of prescribing the medicine at their own discretion. And
ordinary people should be able to secure this medicine themselves.
As promised -- here are some references for further research of
The Anthelmintic Drug Mebendazole
Induces Mitotic Arrest and Apoptosis by Depolymerizing Tubulin in
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells, Ji-ichiro Sasaki,Rajagopal
Ramesh,Sunil Chada,Yoshihito Gomyo,Jack A. Roth andTapas Mukhopadhyay,
Molecular Cancer Therapy November 2002 1; 1201
"... Oral administration of MZ in mice elicited a
strong antitumor effect in a s.c. model and reduced lung colonies in
experimentally induced lung metastasis without any toxicity when
compared with paclitaxel-treated mice. [emphasis added] We speculate
that tumor cells may be defective in one mitotic checkpoint function
and sensitive to the spindle inhibitor MZ. Abnormal spindle formation
may be the key factor determining whether a cell undergoes apoptosis,
whereas strong microtubule inhibitors elicit toxicity even in normal
Mebendazole Elicits a Potent Antitumor
Effect on Human Cancer Cell Lines Both in Vitro and in Vivo, Tapas
Mukhopadhyay,Ji-ichiro Sasaki,Rajagopal Ramesh, and Jack A. Roth,
Clinical Cancer Research September 2002 8; 2963
"We have found that mebendazole (MZ), a derivative
of benzimidazole, induces a dose- and time-dependent apoptotic response
in human lung cancer cell lines. In this study, MZ arrested cells at
the G2-M phase before the onset of apoptosis, as detected by using
fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. MZ treatment also resulted
in mitochondrial cytochrome c release, followed by apoptotic cell
death. Additionally, MZ appeared to be a potent inhibitor of tumor cell
growth with little toxicity to normal WI38 and human umbilical vein
endothelial cells. When administered p.o. to nu/nu mice, MZ strongly
inhibited the growth of human tumor xenografts and significantly
reduced the number and size of tumors in an experimental model of lung
metastasis. In assessing angiogenesis, we found significantly reduced
vessel densities in MZ-treated mice compared with those in control
mice. These results suggest that MZ is effective in the treatment of
cancer and other angiogenesis-dependent diseases..."
Mebendazole Induces Apoptosis via
Bcl-2 Inactivation in Chemoresistant Melanoma Cells, Nicole Doudican,
Adrianna Rodriguez, Iman Osman and Seth J. Orlow, Molecular Cancer
Research, August 2008 6; 1308
"...Our results suggest that this screening approach
is useful for identifying agents that show promise in the treatment of
even chemoresistant melanoma and identifies mebendazole as a potent,
melanoma-specific cytotoxic agent..."
Mebendazole inhibits growth of human
adrenocortical carcinoma cell lines implanted in nude mice, Daniele
Martarelli, Pierluigi Pompei, Caterina Baldi and Giovanni Mazzoni,
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Volume 61, Number 5, 809-817
"Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare tumor of the
adrenal gland which requires new therapeutic approaches as its early
diagnosis is difficult and prognosis poor despite therapies used.
Recently, mebendazole has been proved to be effective against different
cancers. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether mebendazole may
result therapeutically useful in the treatment of human adrenocortical
carcinoma. We analyzed the effect of mebendazole on human
adrenocortical carcinoma cells in vitro and after implantation in nude
mice. In order to clarify mechanisms of mebendazole action, metastases
formation, apoptosis and angiogenesis were also investigated.
Mebendazole significantly inhibited cancer cells growth, both in vitro
and in vivo, the effects being due to the induction of apoptosis.
Moreover, mebendazole inhibited invasion and migration of cancer cells
in vitro, and metastases formation in vivo. Overall, these data suggest
that treatment with mebendazole, also in combination with standard
therapies, could provide a new protocol for the inhibition of
adrenocortical carcinoma growth..."
Mebendazole Monotherapy and Long-Term
Disease Control in Metastatic Adrenocortical Carcinoma, Irina Y.
Dobrosotskaya, MD, PhD, Gary D. Hammer, MD, David E. Schteingart, MD,
Katherine E. Maturen, MD, Francis P. Worden, MD, Endocrine Practice,
Volume 17, Number 3 / May-June 2011
"...A 48-year-old man with adrenocortical carcinoma
had disease progression with systemic therapies including mitotane,
5-fluorouracil, streptozotocin, bevacizumab, and external beam
radiation therapy. Treatment with all chemotherapeutic drugs was
ceased, and he was prescribed mebendazole, 100 mg twice daily, as a
single agent. His metastases initially regressed and subsequently
remained stable. While receiving mebendazole as a sole treatment for 19
months, his disease remained stable. He did not experience any
clinically significant adverse effects, and his quality of life was
satisfactory. His disease subsequently progressed after 24 months of
mebendazole monotherapy. Conclusion: Mebendazole may achieve long-term
disease control of metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma. It is well
tolerated and the associated adverse effects are minor...."
Antiparasitic mebendazole shows
survival benefit in 2 preclinical models of glioblastoma multiforme,
Ren-Yuan Bai, Verena Staedtke, Colette M. Aprhys, Gary L. Gallia and
Gregory J. Riggins, Neuro Oncology, (2011) 13(9): 974-982
"...mebendazole significantly extended mean survival
up to 63% in syngeneic and xenograft orthotopic mouse glioma models.
Mebendazole has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration
for parasitic infections, has a long track-record of safe human use,
and was effective in our animal models with doses documented as safe in
humans. Our findings indicate that mebendazole is a possible novel
anti-brain tumor therapeutic that could be further tested in clinical
I'd like to hear from anyone with experience or additional information
on this drug.
Epilogue: Discontinuation in United
The last manufacturer of mebendazole in the United States, Teva
Pharmaceuticals, announced on October 7, 2011, that they have ceased
manufacture of this product. As of December, 2011, it is no longer
available from any manufacturer in the USA. No reason was given for
this discontinuation, but it's blatantly obvious.
Active substance: Mebendazole
6 Tablets 100mg
( Hungary )
Brand Vermox is an antihelminthic drug with a broad action spectrum.
Vermox is highly effective for enterobiasis and trichocephaliasis
treatment. Vermox works by interfering with the glucose utilization in
the helminth's tissue. Vermox also helps to inhibit the synthesis of
tubulin and slow down the production of ATP.
Indications: Brand Vermox is
used for the treatment of the following diseases:
* Hookworm disease
* Various nematodes
* Alveococcosis disease
* Various helminth infection
Warnings and Precautions: The drug
should not be used in the following conditions:
* Hypersensitivity to any components of the preparations.
* Pregnancyand lactation period
* Child age (up to age of 2)
* Nonspecific ulcerative colitis
* Grohn's disease
* Liver decompensation
Vermox side effects:
Drugs may cause side-effects which in specific patients may manifest
differently. In the following paragraph we want to underline the most
serious and frequent side effect of Brand Vermox that were
identified by the drug manufacturers. The possibility of the adverse
effect manifestation depends only on the individual and his specific
traits. Mebendazole side effects include:
* Dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea
* Allergic reactions: skin rash, nettle rash, angioneurotic edema,
* “Liver” transaminase activity increase
* Hair loss
* Negative influence on the fetation
For full information on any risks and adverse effects associated with
Vermox, please consult your doctor, read the included leaflet or
contact our customer support service.
Interactions: Before using Vermox please tell your doctor which drugs
or supplements you are already taking including those bought without a
prescription. Also check if any additional medicine which you will take
during the course of Mebendazole therapy are safe in combination.
Especially mention if you are taking the following groups of drugs:
* Lipophilic substances
* H2-histamine receptors blocker
Mebendazole is not to be shared with healthy individuals. It is
strictly FORBIDDEN to use the drugs in treatment of any conditions
unrelated to their indications. The product as well as utilized vials,
syringes, needles if used during the course of treatment should
be kept out of reach of children and never reused.
Enterobiasis - adults and adolescents, 100 mg, children 2-10 years -
25-50 mg dose, and again after 2-4 weeks in the same doses.
Ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm disease, taeniasis, strongyloidiasis
and mixed helminthiasis - 100 mg in the morning and evening for three
Trichinosis - 200-400 mg 3 times daily for 3 days, and from 4 th to 10
th - 400-500 mg 3 times a day.
Echinococcosis - 500 mg two times a day the first 3 days and 3 times a
day over the next 3 days. Later appointed to 25-30 mg / kg per day in
Pharm Sci. 97(1):542-52 (Jan. 2008)
Synthesis and characterization of a
new mebendazole salt: mebendazole hydrochloride.
Brusau EV, Camí GE, Narda GE, Cuffini S, Ayala AP, Ellena J.
Química Inorgánica, Departamento de Química,
Facultad de Química, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad
Nacional de San Luis, Chacabuco y Pedernera, 5700 San Luis, Argentina.
Mebendazole hydrochloride [(5-benzoyl-1H-benzimidazole-2-yl)-carbamic
acid methyl ester hydrochloride, MBZ.HCl], a new stable salt of
mebendazole (MBZ), has been synthesized and characterized. It can
easily be obtained from recrystallization of forms A, B, or C of MBZ in
diverse solvents with the addition of hydrochloric acid solution.
Crystallographic data reveals that the particular conformation adopted
by the carbamic group contributes to the stability of the network. The
crystal packing is stabilized by the presence of three N-H...Cl
intermolecular interactions that form chains along the b axis. The XRD
analyses of the three crystalline habits found in the crystallization
process (square-based pyramids, pseudohexagonal plates, and prismatic)
show equivalent diffraction patterns. The vibrational behavior is
consistent with crystal structure. The most important functional groups
show shifts to lower or higher frequencies in relation to the MBZ
polymorphs. The thermal study on MBZ.HCl indicates that the compound is
stable up to 160 degrees C approximately. Decomposition occurs in four
steps. In the first step the HCl group is eliminated, and after that
the remaining MBZ polymorph A decomposes in three steps, as happens
with polymorphs B and C.
Today 6(4):107 (1990);
The Synthesis & Chemistry of Certain Anthelmintic Benzimidazoles ( PDF )
& Medicinal Chem.
11:4615-4622 (2003); Synth. & Antiparasitic Activity of
Albendazole & Mebendazole Derivatives ( PDF )
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