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New study: CBD limits tumor growth in cancer patients

by druginc

New study: CBD limits tumor growth in cancer patients

Cancer is a serious condition that plagues large populations around the world.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer was responsible for about 2020 million deaths worldwide in 10 alone. It is still the world's leading cause of death, not only affecting families and societies in general, but it also has a huge effect on the economy.

While early detection is always the best scenario for treatment and improving prognosis, it is not always possible. Treatment for cancers and tumors involves one or a combination of methods such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery. However, if the tumors are of a higher grade, treatment may require surgery, as well as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

How cannabis helps with cancer

A new study from Augusta University, focusing on glioblastoma, one of the deadliest and fastest-growing forms of brain tumors, reveals that cannabidiol (CBD) is a beneficial form of treatment. The prognosis for glioblastoma is a survival rate of 15 months after diagnosis, based on data from the Glioblastoma Foundation. Despite new research on the cancer in the past 15 years, survival has only increased by two months, explains Dr. Martin Rutkowski, a Medical College of Georgia at the AU neurosurgeon, and one of the study's researchers.

"We're pretty desperate for better therapies."

cannabidiol has great potential for tumor therapy, said Dr. Babak Baban, associate dean in research at the Dental College of Georgia. It is considered relatively safe and has been proven to help regulate the immune system effectively. Baban explains that glioblastomas create a microenvironment that “one of the most complex is for tumors”.

The tumors grow by creating new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. “Angiogenesis allows it to spread, allowing the tumor to survive,” he says. For this, glioblastoma is “the most aggressive in the central nervous system.”

The researchers used mice that had been made to produce the tumors internally, and they were then given inhaled CBD. After this, the tumors became noticeably smaller compared to the mice that were not given CBD. In addition, they found that CBD appeared to inhibit at least 3 components necessary for angiogenesis to take place.

Apart from that are glioblastomas difficult to treat because they evade the immune system through immune checkpoints. Rutkowski clarifies that by comparing it to a protective barrier that forms around the tumor. “They are very good at shielding themselves from themselves, so we need ways to drop the shield and make the immune system more effective at finding them,” he says.

“I'm skeptical when it comes to CBD for treating depression or anxiety or financial distress or marital problems,” he says. “That's probably not all true. But now that we have a basic science to support this therapy, I'm really excited."

“Overall, our new findings support the potential therapeutic role of inhaled CBD as an effective, relatively safe and easy-to-administer treatment tool for GBM with significant effects on cellular and molecular signaling of TME (tumor microenvironment) warranting further investigation” , the authors conclude.

Example of research into cannabis against cancer

In October 2021, doctors in the UK released an article documenting an elderly woman in her 80s who was diagnosed with lung cancer. The case, which was published in BMJ Case Reports, details her medical history, including high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and osteoarthritis.

The woman admitted to smoking more than one pack of cigarettes a week, both before and after her diagnosis. In June and July 2018, the doctors tested her using a PET scan, MRI, CT scan and a biopsy. They diagnosed her with stage IIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In September 2019, the CT scan of the chest was repeated, showing 2 new nodules in the right upper lobe and the left apex. She declined surgery to remove the lobe because of risks, and also refused radiofrequency ablation because of the side effects her late husband suffered from radiation therapy.

By this time, she admitted she started a CBD oil treatment with 0,5ml orally 3x a day, then twice a day, after being diagnosed. The CBD oil supplier advised her not to take the CBD oil with hot drink or food to avoid feeling stoned, and she also reported a decreased appetite with CBD oil. Despite this, she did not change her lifestyle or diet and even continued to smoke a pack of cigarettes a week.

“We definitely did not expect to see such a striking tumor regression without conventional cancer treatments and without other health or lifestyle changes…. Multiple studies to date in animal models have shown conflicting results, in some cases reducing cancer cell growth and in others accelerating cancer cell growth.”, said lead author Dr. Kah Ling Liew.

Using cannabis with other cancer therapies

While more research is needed in this area, there are already several promising studies indicating that CBD is effective, especially when used in addition to other conventional cancer therapies.

In addition, radiation and chemotherapy are notorious for side effects, often bad enough to discourage patients from continuing therapy and affect survival. The most common side effects are loss of appetite and nausea, leading to weight loss.

Many studies prove the efficacy of cannabis in reducing these side effects; CBD can suppress the anxiety associated with cancer or chemotherapy and radiation, while THC can improve appetite.

If you want to consider using CBD in combination with other therapies to defeat tumors, it is always best to do so under the supervision of your doctor.

Sources including Cannabis (EN), CannabisHealthNews (EN), newsbreak (EN), TheFreshToast(EN)

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