Health - Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana' started by Nargyle, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. Nargyle

    Nargyle Palladium Member

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    Source: American Association for Cancer Research Date: April 17, 2007

    Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows

    Science Daily The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.




    They say this is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), inhibits EGF-induced growth and migration in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressing non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Lung cancers that over-express EGFR are usually highly aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy.
    THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.
    "The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer," said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine.
    Acting through cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain and anxiety control, and inflammation. Although a medical derivative of THC, known as Marinol, has been approved for use as an appetite stimulant for cancer patients, and a small number of U.S. states allow use of medical marijuana to treat the same side effect, few studies have shown that THC might have anti-tumor activity, Preet says. The only clinical trial testing THC as a treatment against cancer growth was a recently completed British pilot study in human glioblastoma.
    In the present study, the researchers first demonstrated that two different lung cancer cell lines as well as patient lung tumor samples express CB1 and CB2, and that non-toxic doses of THC inhibited growth and spread in the cell lines. "When the cells are pretreated with THC, they have less EGFR stimulated invasion as measured by various in-vitro assays," Preet said.
    Then, for three weeks, researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells, and found that tumors were reduced in size and weight by about 50 percent in treated animals compared to a control group. There was also about a 60 percent reduction in cancer lesions on the lungs in these mice as well as a significant reduction in protein markers associated with cancer progression, Preet says.
    Although the researchers do not know why THC inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes cancer growth.
    Preet says much work is needed to clarify the pathway by which THC functions, and cautions that some animal studies have shown that THC can stimulate some cancers. "THC offers some promise, but we have a long way to go before we know what its potential is," she said.
    Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by American Association for Cancer Research.
     
  2. Sitbcknchill

    Sitbcknchill Retired Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    This is a nice step forward, good read.
     
  3. AntiAimer

    AntiAimer Newbie

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    And the DEA will still insist, there is absolutely no medical value.:(
     
  4. Creeping Death

    Creeping Death Iridium Member

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    Does it work only on lung cancer, or is it good for cancer in general?
     
  5. monkeygone2heaven

    monkeygone2heaven Titanium Member

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    that is such crap and they know it... grrrrr.
     
  6. thecowman

    thecowman Newbie

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    its good for all cancers, i remeber reading somewhere that thc slows blood flow to tumours
     
  7. Expat98

    Expat98 Platinum Member & Advisor

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    This may be the study referenced in the article below.

    Taken from:
    http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=185550&SecID=2

    Pros and cons of medical marijuana
    6/6/2007 3:55 PM
    By: Ivanhoe Broadcast News

    Estimates are that about 300,000 people in the United States use medical marijuana. In April 2007, New Mexico became the 12th state to allow it -- joining Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Maine, Nevada, Vermont, Colorado, Montana, Hawaii and Rhode Island. By federal law, however, the substance is illegal.

    Advocates of the drug argue it is an effective pain reliever that can work when other drugs don't. It's used by patients with a variety of ailments, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and hepatitis C.

    "Marijuana has been a drug or used as a medicine for 5,000 years. It's only a short period of time that it hasn't been viewed as a medicine. Yes, we have many more potent drugs, many more modern drugs that work for more people. But in somebody for whom those drugs don't work, if inhaling cannabis works to allow them to tolerate their chemotherapy, then that's important. No other drug that works against nausea also decreases pain," Dr. Donald Abrams of San Francisco General Hospital said.

    "When we talk about the side effects of marijuana compared to many prescription drugs that doctors prescribe on a daily basis, it's really quite safe. The number of patients I admit to this hospital who have complications of alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, speed, even sugar, far surpasses the number of patients that I've ever admitted or ever seen where I attribute the damage to marijuana," Abrams said.

    Twelve states allow it, but the DEA says marijuana is not medicine and not safe.

    In response to the allegation that marijuana can cause lung cancer, Abrams says a recent study shows it may actually prevent it.

    Brian Klein is in his late 40s and was diagnosed with both HIV and hepatitis C in 1996. His treatment for hepatitis C caused fatigue, nausea and brain fog. He tried medications to curb the nausea but was allergic to them. Others made him so sleepy he couldn't function. He then tried the FDA-approved pill version form of marijuana called Marinol but got the head buzz from it without the nausea relief. Finally, he opted to try smoking medical cannabis. Relief came within 60 seconds. He is now free of the hepatitis C virus.

    "Within a few minutes I could go eat, whereas before using it, I couldn't even keep down water. So this made a dramatic difference in my life, in my ability to be able to stay on the treatments so that I could get through it and have a successful result," Klein said.

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's position on medical marijuana, as stated on its Web site, is: "Smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science -- it is not medicine and it is not safe." The DEA goes on: "The FDA noted that 'there is currently sound evidence that smoked marijuana is harmful,' and 'that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use.'" Other DEA points include:

    • Marijuana use has been linked with depression, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia
    • Marijuana takes the risks of tobacco and raises them: marijuana smoke contains more than 400 chemicals and increases the risk of serious health consequences, including lung damage
    • Marijuana use narrows arteries in the brain, similar to patients with high blood pressure and dementia, and may explain why memory tests are difficult for marijuana users
    • Chronic consumers of cannabis can have blood flow problems in the brain, which can cause memory loss, attention deficits, and impaired learning ability
    • The British Medical Association maintains marijuana "has been linked to greater risk of heart disease, lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema"
     
  8. Sitbcknchill

    Sitbcknchill Retired Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    lol, these two things stand out to me the most.

     
  9. Dankus

    Dankus Newbie

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    Most of the DEA's business deals with marijuana, therefore if they were to make this harmless drug legal for any purposes it would cost them a great deal, tis a bad cycle with most things in the world, human stupidity, ignorance and most of all Greed. Not to mention the many drug companies that would go under if cannabis was more widely used as a medicine rather than the many many bottles of pills they try to cram down our throats.

    What we need is a bunch of rich people or perhaps a billionaire who advocates marijuana use to come out and get things rolling in a big way to shut these fools up. But it's hard to make something like that happen in America as those with the funds to make change usually sit on their asses happily ignorant of everything they can do to change the world in a positive way.