Open Access Review

Repurposing anti-parasite benzimidazole drugs as selective anti-cancer chemotherapeutics

by Fatemeh Movahedi a Li Li a,* orcid  and  Zhi Ping Xu a,b,* orcid
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, StLucia, QLD4072, Australia
Institute of Biomedical Health Technology and Engineering and Institute of Systems and Physical Biology, Shenzhen Bay Laboratory, Shenzhen 518107, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
CI  2023, 17; 2(1), 17;
Received: 23 May 2023 / Accepted: 9 June 2023 / Published Online: 14 June 2023


Cancer chemotherapy is generally associated with many severe adverse effects. Many cancer studies are currently focused on repurposing conventional non-toxic anti-parasite drugs for cancer treatment. Since cancer cells and parasites have many features in common, some anti-parasite drugs such as benzimidazoles have been recently found to possess the anti-cancer activity. Benzimidazoles act against cancer by inhibiting tubulin polymerization, inducing cancer cell apoptosis, arresting cell cycle and over-generating reactive oxygen specimen. In this review, we summarize the anticancer features of these drugs in recent investigations, lead to reconsideration of benzimidazoles as a family of anti-cancer chemotherapeutics with non-toxicity or low toxicity to the normal cells and tissues. We particularly highlight the recent progresses using nanoformulations for enhanced cancer therapy and provide our prospects in the future research.

Copyright: © 2023 by Movahedi, Li and Xu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects (DP190103486)

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ACS Style
Movahedi, F.; Li, L.; Xu, Z. P. Repurposing anti-parasite benzimidazole drugs as selective anti-cancer chemotherapeutics. Cancer Insight, 2023, 2, 17.
AMA Style
Movahedi F, Li L, Xu Z P. Repurposing anti-parasite benzimidazole drugs as selective anti-cancer chemotherapeutics. Cancer Insight; 2023, 2(1):17.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Movahedi, Fatemeh; Li, Li; Xu, Zhi P. 2023. "Repurposing anti-parasite benzimidazole drugs as selective anti-cancer chemotherapeutics" Cancer Insight 2, no.1:17.
APA style
Movahedi, F., Li, L., & Xu, Z. P. (2023). Repurposing anti-parasite benzimidazole drugs as selective anti-cancer chemotherapeutics. Cancer Insight, 2(1), 17.

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