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J BUON. 2018 Nov-Dec;23(6):1904-1911.

Drug repurposing: mebendazole as effective antitumor agent. Are we seeing the whole story?

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Medical Faculty Novi Sad, University of Novi Sad, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia.



To examine the antitumor effects of Mebendazole (MZ) in a model of experimental fibrosarcoma induced by inoculation of BHK-21/C13 cells in Syrian golden hamster.


Hamsters were inoculated with a suspension of BHK cells by subcutaneous injection and randomly divided into 5 experimental and 2 control groups. Treatment started on the 10th day after inoculation, when the tumor grew to a diameter of 5mm. The experimental design was based on distributing the total amount of drug MZ(z) in different protocols and approaches (oral/intraperitoneal) to the 5 experimental groups. The positive control group received doxorubicin intraperitoneally. Negative control group received olive oil orally. The total amount of MZ(z) was chosen to be the highest for the animal to survive during the experiment. For antitumor effect evaluation, the main parameters were tumor size, number of mitoses, cytochrome-C immunopositivity and tumor tissue morphology incuding cytoarchitecture and percentage of preserved tumor tissue in stereologically reconstructed tumor mass.


The results of this study showed absence of objective MZ antitumor effect on experimental fibrosarcoma. MZ does not exhibit activity similar to DNA-damaging agents on the fibrosarcoma model.


It might be postulated that soft tissue tumors on animal models could show high level of resistance to MZ effect.


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