Cannabis extract can have dramatic effect on brain cancer, says new research
The new research by specialists at St George’s, University of London, studied the treatment of brain cancer tumours in the laboratory and discovered that the most effective treatment was to combine active chemical components of the cannabis plant which are called cannabinoids.
Two of these called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD)were tested as part of the research into brain cancer which is particularly difficult to treat and claims the lives of about 5,200 each year. It also has a particularly poor prognosis as the rate of survival after five years of patients’ diagnosis is around 10%.
The new research is the first to show a drastic effect when combining THC and CBD with irradiation. Tumours growing in the brains of mice were drastically slowed down when THC/CBD was used with irradiation.
“The results are extremely exciting. The tumours were treated in a variety of ways, either with no treatment, the cannabinoids alone, and irradiation alone or with both the cannabinoids and irradiation at the same time.
In some cases, the tumours effectively disappeared in the animals. This augurs well for further research in humans in the future. At the moment this is a mostly fatal disease. The research team are discussing the possibility of combining cannabinoids with irradiation in a human clinical trial.
The research has been published in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal.
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