I evaluated a couple of patients this week treating cancer with Cannabis and looked at recent news to see what progress is being made in Cannabis cancer research.
Early-stage research suggests that Cannabis-derived medicines could be effective in treating various cancers.
Although those of us in the Cannabis industry may already be aware of this, the medical community is just coming around to accepting the idea.
Recent experimental treatments and small-scale clinical trials in Europe are showing the efficacy of medicinal Cannabis formulations.
THC has primarily been used in cancer treatment for palliative care, to relieve nausea, and stimulate appetite. However, early-stage research is suggesting that Cannabis, which is more than THC, is also a highly effective treatment for killing cancer cells.
So, how does it work?
Pre-clinical studies have shown that cannabinoids reduce cancer cell growth and disrupt the blood supply to cancerous cells, including brain tumors, breast cancers and prostate cancer, among others.
With, potentially, hundreds of naturally occurring constituents, there is no one magic medical Cannabis bullet in cancer treatment. Cutting edge work using artificial intelligence (AI) is being carried out to analyze Cannabis plant genetics and to determine the best combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other constituents to target and optimize the treatment of various cancers. It’s a many-to-many puzzle; many active ingredients to treat many types of cancers.
In pre-clinical studies, Cannabis cancer treatments can be tested through either 2D or 3D cell culture testing. 3D cell cultures allow researchers to recreate specific pathological environments The improvement in 3D cell culture technology has led to the generation of models that encompass more physiological and tissue-specific micro-environments,
Despite advancements in pre-clinical testing, the key to gaining full acceptance in the medical community is real human data from clinical trials. Currently, there is a small-scale clinical trial on glioblastoma (a brain cancer) in the UK and another trial on liver cancer in the Netherlands.
Scientists are also assessing the role of ‘personalized medicines. Personalized medicine recognizes that we are all physiologically unique and uses individualized DNA sequencing to target treatment. Personalized medicine is already used in the traditional treatment of cancer.
Combined,. the analysis of AI, 3D Cell Cultures and personalized medicine present a huge opportunity for medical Cannabis and the treatment of cancer.
Jean Talleyrand, M.D.,