Madison, WI: Cannabinoids inhibit cancer cell proliferation and should be clinically tested as chemotherapeutic agents, according to a review published in the January issue of the journal Cancer Research.
Investigators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health reported that the administration of cannabinoids halts the spread of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphoma. Researchers suggested that cannabinoids may offer significant advantages over standard chemotherapy treatments because the compounds are both non-toxic and can uniquely target malignant cells while ignoring healthy ones.
"Cannabinoids … offer potential applications as anti-tumor drugs, based on the ability of some members of this class to limit inflammation, cell proliferation, and cell survival," authors concluded. "[T]here is overwhelming evidence to suggest that cannabinoids can be explored as chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer."
In November, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute reported that the administration of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol limits the activity of the breast cancer metastasis gene Id-1, stating, "[Cannabidiol] offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could [treat aggressive forms of cancer] without any of the painful side effects [of chemotherapy.]"
In 2006, investigators at Madrid's Complutense University, School of Biology, reported in the British Journal of Cancer that THC administration decreases recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (brain) tumor growth in patients diagnosed with the disease.
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano praised the University of Wisconsin study. "Far from being cancer causing agents, cannabinoids may one day represent a new class of non-toxic anti-cancer drugs that can halt the spread of the disease without inducing the painful and life-threatening side effects of chemotherapy," he said.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: email@example.com. Full text of the study, "Cannabinoids for cancer treatment: progress and promise," appears in Cancer Research. Additional information on the use of cannabinoids as potential anti-cancer agents is available in the online report "Cannabinoids as Cancer Hope" at: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6814.