Research Papers:

Mebendazole and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory combine to reduce tumor initiation in a colon cancer preclinical model

Tara Williamson, Ren-Yuan Bai, Verena Staedtke, David Huso and Gregory J. Riggins _

PDF  |  HTML  |  How to cite

Oncotarget. 2016; 7:68571-68584. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11851

Metrics: PDF 2833 views  |   HTML 4998 views  |   ?  


Tara Williamson1, Ren-Yuan Bai1, Verena Staedtke2, David Huso3, Gregory J. Riggins1,4

1Department of Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

2Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

3Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

4Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Correspondence to:

Gregory J. Riggins, email: [email protected]

Keywords: mebendazole, sulindac, FAP, APC, colon cancer

Received: June 04, 2016    Accepted: August 22, 2016    Published: September 06, 2016


Inheritance of a gene mutation leads to the initiation of 5 to 10% of most cancers, including colon cancer cases. We developed a chemoprevention strategy using a novel combination of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) sulindac plus the anthelminthic benzimidazole, mebendazole. This oral drug combination was effective in the ApcMin/+ mouse model of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). Treatment with 35 mg/kg daily mebendazole reduced the number of intestinal adenomas by 56% (P = 0.0002), 160 ppm sulindac by 74% (P < 0.0001), and the combination by 90% (P < 0.0001). The combination significantly reduced microadenomas, polyp number and size in both the small intestines and colon when compared to untreated controls or sulindac alone. Mebendazole as a single agent decreased COX2 expression, blood vessel formation, VEGFR2 phosphorylation, and worked synergistically with sulindac to reduce overexpression of MYC, BCL2, and various pro-inflammatory cytokines. Given the low toxicity of mebendazole, these preclinical findings support the consideration of clinical trials for high risk cancer patients using mebendazole either alone or in combination. The findings have implications for populations with moderate and above risk for developing cancer.

Creative Commons License All site content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
PII: 11851