CBD oil and cannabis plant. Researchers look to cannabidiol in the hope of improving survival rates for people with pancreatic cancer. A study published this week found that mice with pancreatic cancer survive nearly three I also take drops of CBD and THC oil under my tongue. CBD is thought to stop the progression of cancer and THC kills cancer cells. Find out what you should know about the potential use and effects of medical marijuana for pancreatic cancer patients.
and Oil Cannabis Cancer Pancreatic
Since low CB1 receptor levels were associated with increased survival but at the same time with a high pain score, we tested a potential general relationship between pain and survival in our patient collective. A log-rank test of patients with low and high pain scores revealed a statistically significant difference in survival median survival 11 months in the group with low pain scores versus Out of the remaining 29 samples, 11 samples showed no immunoreactivity Fig.
Figures 6 d —6 f and 6 j —6 l show the corresponding negative controls for which the primary antibodies were pre-adsorbed with the respective blocking peptide. To test whether FAAH and MGLL are associated with pain in pancreatic cancer, a quantitative evaluation of the immunoreactivities of these enzymes was carried out. Cannabinoids are used more frequently than earlier as supportive drugs in the palliative treatment of a variety of cancers.
The development of cannabinoid derivatives is a renaissance in medicine, since natural cannabinoids had been used by many societies until their prohibition at the beginning of the last century due to their addictive potential.
However, the potential for addiction and psychotropic side effects seems to be by far overestimated, especially for patients with malignant tumors, for whom pain control, stable weight and quality of life are the main measures of medical therapy.
Cannabinoids have just recently been shown to exert growth inhibitory properties in pancreatic cancer. Although there was no difference in endocannabinoid levels between healthy people and patients suffering from pancreatic cancer, cannabinoid receptors, FAAH and MGLL levels showed a significant variation.
Despite heterogeneous staining intensities, levels of cannabinoid receptors were generally upregulated in pancreatic cancer suggesting an active role of these receptors in pancreatic carcinogenesis. In contrast to our findings in acute pancreatitis where there was upregulation of the endocannabinoid system, we did not find any changes in endocannabinoid levels in pancreatic cancer tissues. This may be due to the low number of samples tested but may also reflect the strong desmoplastic reaction in pancreatic cancer.
In the vast areas of peritumoral desmoplasia, the proportion of cancer cells to stroma decreases. Therefore, although the endocannabinoid system seems not to be influenced by pancreatic cancer, one may speculate that the local concentrations of endocannabinoids in the vicinity of the tumor cells might be significantly altered. However, with the currently used techniques, such changes cannot be measured. Thus, we have to base the conclusions of our findings mainly on the status of the cannabinoid receptors and the cannabinoid metabolizing enzymes.
This is of particular interest since these results may partially contradict the reported antiproliferative effects of cannabinoids on pancreatic cancer growth.
Furthermore, since the activity of the endocannabinoid system, its receptors and metabolizing enzyme is a snap-shot taken during the surgical resection of the tumor, subsequent regulatory mechanisms which may occur as a consequence of a potential treatment using cannabinoids are not taken into account in our analyses. Furthermore, heterogeneous expression patterns of proteins of the cannabinoid system may preclude their potential use as clinical prediction markers.
This holds particularly true since specificity and sensitivity of such a test will be strongly influenced by the respective pathologist who conducts the semi-quantitative analysis. Therefore, computerized imaging analysis systems may provide a better way to reliably quantify protein levels of these proteins for the standardized clinical application. As can be expected based on what is known about CB receptor function in nerves, 37 , 38 there was an inverse correlation between the CB1 receptor expression and pain symptoms of the patients.
Similar results were obtained for CB2, although these did not reach statistical significance. Therefore, cannabinoid receptors may be involved in the development of pancreatic cancer pain.
Interestingly, we also observed an inverse correlation between pain symptoms and survival. This finding may be explained by the fact that pain is a warning symptom leading to earlier diagnosis of either local recurrence of the tumor or metastasis. Our correlation analysis revealed no differences between groups with high and low levels of pain. However, both the tumor grade and the T N M status are crude classifications providing little to no information on the microscopic tumor burden or biological behavior other than the nodal status, which is the only prognostic factor in resectable pancreatic cancer and also in our patient collective.
Taken together, our observation could—together with other reports—build the basis for a clinical testing of cannabinoids in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Furthermore, our data strengthen the perception that cannabinoids may be useful in treating pancreatic cancer-associated pain. The authors thank Ms. Monika Meinhardt and Ms. Bruni Bentzinger for excellent technical support. Authors are indebted to Ms. Judith Harvey-White and Dr. George Kunos for the help with endocannabinoid measurements. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Author manuscript; available in PMC Feb Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
The publisher's final edited version of this article is available free at Int J Cancer. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Cannabinoids exert antiproliferative properties in a variety of malignant tumors, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma PDAC.
Measurement of endocannabinoids Pancreas tissues for the measurement of endocannabinoids were immediately snap frozen in liquid nitrogen after resection and as an internal quality control, tissues with low numbers of mRNA expression levels of housekeeping genes were not used for analysis.
Results High cancer cell levels of CB1 are associated with shorter survival Immunohistochemical analyses of normal human pancreata revealed weak immunoreactivity for CB1 and CB2 in pancreatic acini, nerves, blood vessels and ductal cells data not shown.
Open in a separate window. Low CB1 receptor levels in nerves are associated with strong pain symptoms Enlarged nerves in pancreatic cancer tissues were heterogeneously stained using anti-CB1 and anti-CB2 antibodies Figs. High pain scores are associated with a better outcome Since low CB1 receptor levels were associated with increased survival but at the same time with a high pain score, we tested a potential general relationship between pain and survival in our patient collective.
Discussion Cannabinoids are used more frequently than earlier as supportive drugs in the palliative treatment of a variety of cancers. Acknowledgments The authors thank Ms. CA Cancer J Clin. J Am Coll Surg. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. The endocannabinoid system and its therapeutic exploitation.
Nat Rev Drug Discov. Structure of a cannabinoid receptor and functional expression of the cloned cDNA. Molecular characterization of a peripheral receptor for cannabinoids. Molecular characterization of human and mouse fatty acid amide hydrolases. Brain monoglyceride lipase participating in endocannabinoid inactivation.
Endocannabinoid metabolic pathways and enzymes. The endogenous cannabinoid anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation.
Mini Rev Med Chem. Cannabinoid receptor as a novel target for the treatment of prostate cancer. Cannabinoid derivatives induce cell death in pancreatic MIA PaCa-2 cells via a receptor-independent mechanism. Cannabinoids induce apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes. Anti-tumoral action of cannabinoids: According to data from the National Cancer Institute NCI , in the United States, there will be an estimated 55, new cases of pancreatic cancer by the end of this year.
Treatments for this type of cancer include surgical resection the removal of tissue affected by the cancer , as well as chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the prognosis tends to be poor, with only an 8. Marco Falasca — of QMUL — and colleagues have conducted a study on a mouse model of pancreatic cancer, investigating an intriguing lead. They wanted to see if administering cannabidiol CBD — a naturally occurring component of medical cannabis — alongside chemotherapy medication would improve prognosis following treatment.
The research team's findings are now reported in the journal Oncogene. The researchers focused on the potential of CBD rather than another cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol THC , because the former does not cause psychoactive effects. This has led to CBD already gaining approval for use in a healthcare context. If further studies show that CBD is effective in improving cancer treatment, this could mean that doctors will be able to use it in cancer clinics immediately.
In the current study, Prof. Falasca and team worked with a mouse model of pancreatic cancer, which they treated with CBD alongside a typical chemotherapy drug, called " Gemcitabine. The team found that, following this combination treatment, the rodents survived almost three times as long as mice from a control group, which had only been treated with Gemcitabine.
Falasca, adding, "We found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived nearly three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment. These results are very exciting for the researchers, who hope that, thanks to the fact that CBD is already considered safe, they will soon be able to use it in clinical trials testing this combination treatment in human patients.
The researchers also note that previous studies have shown that CBD can improve symptoms associated with chemotherapy treatments, including nausea, pain, and vomiting. If future clinical trials prove that CBD is effective in improving survival rates for individuals going through chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, it could also mean that the cannabis compound will help to offset some of the treatment's side effects.
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Cannabinoids in pancreatic cancer: Correlation with survival and pain
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