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Mon Dec 12, 2011, 05:10 AM

Early Studies Indicate Cannabis May Shrink Tumor Cells (Studies: 1974-2010)

Last edited Mon Dec 12, 2011, 11:27 PM - Edit history (1)

Project Censored, Top 25 Stories, 2001: http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/22-us-government-repressed-marijuana-tumor-research/

The U.S. Government Attempted to Repress the Marijuana Cancer Research Going Back to 1974

...The Madrid researcher (studying the tumor-reducing qualities of cannabinoids, noted in the post immediately below) said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. “I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by theses people, but it has proven impossible,” Guzman said. His response wasn’t surprising, considering that in 1983 the Reagan/Bush administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966/76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer. “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared,” he says.

From the Journal of of the National Cancer Institute, 1975. (hosted via UKCIA): http://www.ukcia.org/research/AntineoplasticActivityOfCannabinoids/index.php

Furthermore, Nahas et al. (7) showed that in chronic marihuana users there is a decreased lymphocyte reactivity to mitogens as measured by thymidine uptake. These and other (8) observations suggest that marihuana (delta-9-THC) interferes with vital cell biochemical processes, though no definite mechanism has yet been established. A preliminary report from this laboratory (9) indicated that the ability of delta-9-THC to interfere with normal cell functions might prove efficacious against neoplasms. This report represents an effort to test various cannabinoids in several in vivo and in vitro tumor systems to determine the kinds of tumors that are sensitive to these compounds and reveal their possible biochemical sites of action(s).

Researchers at Harvard published a study in 2007 that indicates cannabis cuts lung cancer tumors by 50%. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm

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.

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.

Research in Spain, published in 2009, demonstrated the mechanism by which cannabis induces cancer cell death: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37948

Δ-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component of marijuana (7), exerts a wide variety of biological effects by mimicking endogenous substances — the endocannabinoids — that bind to and activate specific cannabinoid receptors (8). One of the most exciting areas of research in the cannabinoid field is the study of the potential application of cannabinoids as antitumoral agents (9). Cannabinoid administration has been found to curb the growth of several types of tumor xenografts in rats and mice (9, 10).

Based on this preclinical evidence, a pilot clinical trial has been recently run to investigate the antitumoral action of THC on recurrent gliomas (11). Recent findings have also shown that the pro-apoptotic and tumor growth–inhibiting activity of cannabinoids relies on the upregulation of the transcriptional co-activator p8 (12) and its target the pseudo-kinase tribbles homolog 3 (TRB3) (13).

However, the mechanisms that promote the activation of this signaling route as well as the targets downstream of TRB3 that mediate its tumor cell–killing action remain elusive. In this study we found that ER stress–evoked upregulation of the p8/TRB3 pathway induced autophagy via inhibition of the Akt/mTORC1 axis and that activation of autophagy promoted the apoptotic death of tumor cells. The uncovering of this pathway, which we believe is novel, for promoting tumor cell death may have therapeutic implications in the treatment of cancer.

California Breast Cancer Research Program (from Molecular Cancer Therapeutics): Inhibition of Breast Cancer Aggressiveness by Cannibidiol: http://www.cbcrp.org/research/PageGrant.asp?grant_id=4903

An anti-cancer agent with a low toxicity profile that can both inhibit cancer cell growth and metastasis would be extremely valuable clinically. We have discovered that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid constituent of the plant Cannabis sativa, can inhibit the growth, migration and invasion of aggressive breast cancer cells in culture.

Cannabinoid compounds, in general, have low toxicity profiles. Furthermore, our preliminary research demonstrated that CBD is a novel inhibitor of a protein whose activity has been closely linked to the aggressiveness of human breast cancers; called inhibitor of DNA binding-1 (Id-1). Whether CBD can inhibit the spread of metastatic breast cancer in vivo (in the body), compared to cell culture conditions, has not been determined.

However, CBD has been demonstrated to inhibit aggressive human brain cancers in vivo. Understanding the mechanisms behind the anti-cancer activity of CBD may lead to the validation of new biological targets for diagnostics and therapies for breast cancer.

Combining Cannabinoids Enhances Inhibition of Brain Cancer Cells: http://patients4medicalmarijuana.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/combining-marijuana-components-enhances-inhibitory-effects-on-brain-cancer-2/

The study was done at the California Pacific Medical Center by researchers who combined a non-psychoactive ingredient of marijauna, cannabidiol (CBD), with Δ9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis. The findings demonstrated the inhibitory effect of these two ingredients on brain cancer cells when used together.

“Our study not only suggests that combining these two compounds creates a synergistic effect,” says Sean McAllister, Ph.D., a scientist at CPMCRI and the lead author of the study. “but it also helps identify molecular mechanisms at work here, and that may lead to more effective treatments for glioblastoma and potentially other aggressive cancers.”

pretty interesting research, huh?

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