- Brain tumors are
a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain.
drug Mebendazole may replace the current treatments used for certain brain
- The drug is found
to kill the isolated tumors in the brain and is also effective in slowing
down the growth of glioma tumors.
is a common medication administered
to treat pinworms; the drug may replace the current treatments used for certain
brain cancers, finds a study from the Feinstein Institute for Medical
Research's Karches Center for Oncology Research.
The research findings
published in the journal Molecular Medicine,
could help the patients
suffering from one of the common types of brain tumors called low-grade glioma.
‘Antiparasitic drug mebendazole may be an effective treatment option for brain tumors.’
is a mass or growth of the abnormal cells in the brain.
According to the American Cancer Society, around 23,800 tumors of the brain and
the spinal cord are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2017.
Antiparasitic Drug To Treat Brain Tumors
The research team
examined the drug mebendazole, a medication that is used to treat parasitic
pinworms which on previous studies showed that it could be effective for the
treatment of glioma tumors.
Mebendazole drug was
found to work exactly the same way as that of vincristine. It was even capable
of effectively slowing down the growth of glioma tumors when compared to
Dr. Symons, said,
"We were rather surprised to see that vincristine, which is currently used
to treat a range of different brain tumors, was totally ineffective in our in
vivo glioma model."
"In contrast, in
the same model, mebendazole performed quite well, most likely because
mebendazole crosses the blood-brain barrier and reaches the tumor much better
than vincristine. The reason that vincristine may be erroneously believed to be
effective for the treatment of brain tumors is that it always has been used in
combination with other treatments."
The research team is
also now focusing on how to initiate the clinical trials to check whether
vincristine drug can be replaced by mebendazole for the treatment of brain
Kevin J. Tracey, MD,
president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute, said, "Sometimes innovation
can be looking at an existing treatment in a new light."
"This new approach
needs to be tested in clinical trials, but with Dr. Symons' new findings we may
be closer to a new treatment option that could prolong the lives of the
patients suffering from low-grade glioma and other brain tumors."
It is a tumor which
originates from two types of brain cells called astrocytes and oligodendrocytes
that support and protect the brain's nervous system. Surgery, radiotherapy and
chemotherapy are some of the treatment options for these tumors.
Since, most of the drugs
cannot penetrate the blood-brain barrier the brain tumor chemotherapy can be
drug can be routinely used as a part of different drug cocktails used for the
treatment of brain tumors. They may be rather toxic or may poorly cross the
Mebendazole Drug -
Mebendazole drug can be
used for the treatment of several types of worm infections including pinworm,
roundworm, whipworm and hookworm infections. The drug belongs to a group of
medications called anthelmintics and mainly acts by killing the worms.
Brain Tumor Facts
- Brain tumors are
considered to be the leading cause of cancer-related death for people
under the age of 20
- The average
survival rate for malignant brain tumor patients is 34.2%
- Around 120
different types of brain tumors are identified, which may complicate
- Secondary tumors
are the most common form of brain tumors that are meta-sized or spread to
other parts of the body from the brain
- The cure rate for
brain tumors may be significantly low when compared to other types of
- Marc Symons et.al., 'Repurposing Mebendazole as a
Replacement for Vincristine for the Treatment of Brain Tumors' Molecular
Medicine, (2017); doi:
- What Are the Key Statistics About Brain and Spinal
Cord Tumors? - (https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/about/key-statistics.html)
- Mebendazole - (https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682315.html)
facts about brain tumors that you might not know - (https://www.cityofhope.org/blog/facts-about-brain-tumors)