Cannabinoid May Boost Survival Rate In Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Pancreatic cancers begin when cells in the pancreas begin to multiply uncontrollably and form an abnormal and excessive tissue growth with the potential to spread to other parts of the body. In 2015, pancreatic cancers were responsible for 411,600 deaths, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates doctors will diagnose 55,440 new cases of the disease before the end of 2018.

While surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other treatments exist for pancreatic cancers, the life expectancy for patients hasn’t changed much in decades with a survival rate of 5%, the lowest of all neoplastic diseases.

But researchers may have found a breakthrough treatment.

The results of a new study from the Queen Mary University of London, and Curtin University in Bentley, Australia were published online in the Oncogene journal Monday, showing the positive effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on mice with pancreatic cancer.

Researchers in the study found that the mice they gave CBD to had a much higher survival rate than those that did not receive it.

“This is a remarkable result, we found that mice with pancreatic cancer survived nearly three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment,” said Queen Mary professor Marco Falasa. “Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human trials.”

“If we can reproduce these effects in humans,” he said. “Cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug.”|

CBD is already known to be helpful in easing symptoms of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting, so it has the potential to improve the quality of a patient’s life as well as extend the length of it.

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