Pancreatic cancer is a condition that is particularly resistant to modern therapies, with a five-year survival rate of around 8 percent for patients.
Pancreatic cancer’s immunosuppressive tumor environment and development of resistance to treatment collectively present a significant challenge in fighting the condition.
But new research from Harvard Medical School’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is showing that a non-psychoactive cannabis derivative known as a flavonoid may hold the key to treating pancreatic cancer.
Flavonoids are natural substances found in fruits, vegetables, flowers, bark, roots, and stems that are known to have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Flavonoids also have the ability to modulate key cellular enzyme function.
The Harvard study reports on a flavonoid dubbed FBL-03G which the researchers say has the potential to treat pancreatic cancer.
In vitro results from the study showed a significant increase in apoptosis (programmed cell death) and a consequential decrease in the survival rate for two pancreatic cancer models (Panc-02 and KPC) treated with varying concentrations of FBL-03G.
In vivo results from the study demonstrated FBL-03G’s efficacy in delaying both local and metastatic tumor progression in animal models with pancreatic cancer when delivered using smart radiotherapy biomaterials.
When researchers repeated the experiments, they witnessed a significant increase in survival rates for animals with pancreatic cancer compared to control cohorts.
Findings from the study show FBL-03G’s potential as a treatment for both local and advanced pancreatic cancer, which warrants further research focusing on eventual clinical implementation.