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Cannabis medicine hope for pancreatic cancer

Tuesday July 31st, 2018

Researchers have hailed a “remarkable” research finding that could have a significant impact on people being treated for pancreatic cancer.

Scientists found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived almost three times longer when they were treated with cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD) alongside chemotherapy compared with those that had only chemotherapy.

Lead researcher Professor Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London, who worked with colleagues from Curtin University, Australia, said the lab results mean that human trials could begin quickly.

“This is a remarkable result,” he said. “Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials.

“If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug.”

Current life expectancy for people with pancreatic cancer has barely changed in the last 40 years and the five-year survival rate is less than 7%.

The study, which is published in Oncogene, tested the impact of CBD with commonly used chemotherapy medication Gemcitabine. CBD does not cause psychoactive effects and is already cleared for use in the clinic.

CBD also improves the side effects of chemotherapy, including nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, meaning it could also improve the quality of life of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Ferro et al. GPR55 signalling promotes proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells and tumour growth in mice, and its inhibition increases effects of gemcitabine. Oncogene 30 July 2018; doi:10.1038/s41388-018-0390-1

Tags: Australia | Alternative Therapy | Cancer | Internal Medicine | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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