Cannabis, chemo combo improved pancreatic cancer survival in mice

Leslie Hanson
August 2, 2018

It is the 11th most common cancer in the UK.

The evidence that CBD is effective for pediatric epilepsy has gained substantial traction recently, with 31 states allowing CBD-based medicines, and the approval of the drug Epidiolex, the first cannabis-derived drug to gain federal approval.

"The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available".

"We found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived almost three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment".

"The study found that the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), and the closely related compound THCA, were present in most extracts, although the quantity was generally not enough to produce intoxicating effects".

Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that arrives when cells in the pancreas - a glandular organ behind the stomach - starts to lose control and form a mass.

Lead researcher Professor Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London said: "This is a remarkable result".

For the findings, researchers treated a mouse model of pancreatic cancer with cannabidiol (CBD).

University of New Mexico researchers assessed the influence of marijuana use on self-perceived insomnia severity levels in 409 subjects. One substance known as cannabidiol could help boost treatment and survival rate of patients with pancreatic cancer.

CBD is already known to be helpful in easing symptoms of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting, so it has the potential to improve the quality of a patient's life as well as extend the length of it.

"I am pleased progress is now being made but very sad for the thousands of people who have died prematurely from treatable cancer because of the lies national governments and the World Health Organization have told about cannabinoids having no medical value, and thus restricting research by placing them in schedule 1", Nutt adds.

He commissioned the review after two high profile cases, including that of epileptic 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, whose mother had seven bottles of cannabis oil that helped combat his seizures confiscated at Heathrow Airport.

If these results could be replicated in humans, he adds, cannabidiol could be used immediately in cancer clinics, since it is already approved for use in clinics.

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