Salerno, Italy: Naturally occurring compounds in cannabis possess anti-tumor properties and present a novel approach for cancer treatment, according to a scientific review published in the February issue of the journal Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Investigators at the University of Salerno in Italy report that cannabinoids limit cancer cell proliferation and induce tumor-selective cell death.
Cannabinoids inhibit "tumor growth and migration, angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels to cancerous tumors), [and] metastasis (the transfer of malignant cells from one site to another)," authors concluded. "Emerging evidence suggests that agonists of cannabinoid receptors ... may offer a novel strategy to treat cancer."
A 2008 review in the journal Cancer Research 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.
To date, only one clinical trial assessing the use of cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents has been conducted. That trial reported that THC administration decreases recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumor growth in patients afflicted with the disease.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: [email protected]
Full text of the study, "Use of cannabinoid receptor agonists in cancer therapy as palliative and curative agents," appears in the journal Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Additional information on the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids appears online at:
April 2, 2009