The wonders of the cannabis continue to amaze the world at a tremendous pace. Not that long ago we reported about initial successes of cannabis being used as an antibiotics alternative. Cannabis has also shown a potential cure against alcohol addiction.
And the discovery of new potential medical use cases knows no end and new potential disruptive applications keep being discovered almost weekly.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, photo courtesy of Harvard University
Earlier this week, a Harvard research team from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute published the discovery that the cannabis flavonoid, FBL-03G, could potentially be used to treat pancreatic #cancer.
While pancreatic cancers aren’t as widespread as other cancers, pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal cancers, and for 2020 expected to be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Most patients diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer have a one-year survival rate in just 20% of the cases, and a five-year survival rate in only 8%.
The study, which was published in the journal “Frontiers in Oncologoy” showed that the non-psychoactive flavonoid was capable to kill cancer tumor cells in test environment in the lab.
The flavonoid killed pancreatic tumor cells in 70% of animals with pancreatic cancer. Delivering the drug directly to the tumor cells killed the cells in most cases, according to Wilfried Ngwa, one of the researchers on the team. But the drug also reached cells in other parts of the animals’ bodies.
“We were quite surprised that the drug could inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body, representing metastasis, that were not targeted by the treatment. This suggests that the immune system is involved as well, and we are currently investigating this mechanism”
— Wilfred Ngwa, Researcher at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard to Yahoo!
While the research is still in its early stages, and undoubtedly hindered by the legal situation of marijuana, as well as a poor research environment, this is yet one more baffling development when it comes to the medicinal properties of cannabis.
The potential of cannabis to treat certain cancers has long been rumored but due to the lacking regulatory framework for scientists to properly study the plant, it has been rare that we have been able to read actual academic research results.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team is ambitious and hope to soon be able to conduct pre-clinical trials and to confirm the use case as well cannabis’ health benefits for humans with pancreatic cancer.
The team hopes to deliver its results by the end of 2020.
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