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Marijuana Compound Induces Cell Death In Hard-To-Treat Brain Cancer

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Madrid, Spain: The combined administration of THC and the pharmaceutical agent temozolomide (TMZ) demonstrates strong anti-cancer activity in brain tumors resistant to conventional anti-cancer treatments, according to preclinical data published online in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Investigators at Complutense University in Spain assessed the anti-tumor activity of the cannabinoids THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in glioma xenografts (tissue grafts).

Authors reported that the administration of THC in combination with TMZ (the benchmark agent for the management of glioblastoma) "enhanced autophagy" (programmed cell death) in malignant tissue. The combined administration of THC, CBD, and TMZ "remarkably reduce[d] the growth of glioma xenografts ... [and] produced a strong antitumoral action in both TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant tumors."

They concluded, "Altogether, our findings support that the combined administration of TMZ and cannabinoids could be therapeutically exploited for the management of GBM (gliobastoma multiforme)."

A 2006 pilot study published in the British Journal of Cancer reported that the intratumoral administration of THC was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation in two of nine human subjects with GBM, which is highly resistant to conventional anti-cancer treatments.

Separate preclinical studies assessing the anti-cancer activity of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids indicate that the substances can inhibit the proliferation of various types of cancerous cells, including breast carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, colorectal carcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, skin carcinoma, leukemia cells, neuroblastoma, lung carcinoma, uterus carcinoma, thyroid epithelioma, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, cervical carcinoma, oral cancerbiliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma), and lymphoma.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "A Combined Preclinical Therapy of Cannabinoids and Temozolomide against Glioma," appears in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.





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