Inexpensive antifungal drug 'could treat cancer'

21 August 2012

A common antifungal drug called thiabendazole has been found to reduce tumour growth, with scientists predicting it could be used as a chemotherapy for cancer.

Thiabendazole has been used for around 40 years as an antifungal therapy, and up until now has not been used to treat cancer.

Research published in the journal PLOS Biology found that the drug is able to destroy newly established blood vessels, meaning it is a "vascular disrupting agent".

Staving blood vessels of vascular growth is one of the major chemotherapeutic features, because this then starves tumours, which induce new blood vessel formation in order to feed their growth.

In a study using mice, the research team found that thiabendazole cut blood vessel growth in fibrosarcoma tumours by more than a half, and also slowed tumour growth.

Researcher Edward Marcotte said: "This is very exciting to us, because in a way we stumbled into discovering the first human-approved vascular disrupting agent."

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.


Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)