In what is being heralded as a breakthrough for cancer research, GW Pharmaceuticals announced on Tuesday positive results from a study using a combination of cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol to treat an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM is a “particularly aggressive brain tumor, with a poor prognosis,” according to the British-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing proprietary cannabinoid medicine.
According to the study, patients with documented recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83 percent one year survival rate compared with 53 percent for patients taking a placebo.
Said Professor Susan Short, principal investigator of the study:
The company has received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for THC:CBD in the treatment of glioma.
GW Pharmaceutical’s glioma research demonstrates that THC and CBD appear to act via distinct signalling pathways. The combined administration of the two major cannabinoids led to a synergistic reduction in the viability of U87MG glioma cells when compared to the administration of each cannabinoid individually.
Studies of patients with high-grade gliomas showed that headache was the most common initial presenting symptom. These headaches can be persistent lasting more than six months and are often associated with other symptoms, including seizures, visual disturbances, cognitive impairment and nausea and vomiting depending on the location and growth rate of the tumor.
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How Marijuana May Treat Aggressive Brain Cancer