A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.

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“The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

RESULTS:

Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterized from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signaling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumor cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. The dual antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of cannabinoids and associated signaling pathways have been investigated on a large panel of cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumor xenografts, including tumors that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics. Few studies have investigated the possible synergistic effects of cannabinoids with standard oncology therapies, and are based on the preclinically confirmed concept of “cannabinoid sensitizers.” Also, clinical trials aimed to confirm the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids have only been evaluated on a small number of subjects, with no consensus conclusions regarding their effectiveness.

CONCLUSIONS:

A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.”

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Cannabinoids as Modulators of Cell Death: Clinical Applications and Future Directions.

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“Endocannabinoids are bioactive lipids that modulate various physiological processes through G-protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2) and other putative targets. By sharing the activation of the same receptors, some phytocannabinoids and a multitude of synthetic cannabinoids mimic the effects of endocannabinoids.

In recent years, a growing interest has been dedicated to the study of cannabinoids properties for their analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In addition to these well-recognized effects, various studies suggest that cannabinoids may affect cell survival, cell proliferation or cell death. These observations indicate that cannabinoids may play an important role in the regulation of cellular homeostasis and, thus, may contribute to tissue remodelling and cancer treatment.

For a long time, the study of cannabinoid receptor signalling has been focused on the classical adenylyl cyclase/cyclic AMP/protein kinase A (PKA) pathway. However, this pathway does not totally explain the wide array of biological responses to cannabinoids. In addition, the diversity of receptors and signalling pathways that endocannabinoids modulate offers an interesting opportunity for the development of specific molecules to disturb selectively the endogenous system.

Moreover, emerging evidences suggest that cannabinoids ability to limit cell proliferation and to induce tumour-selective cell death may offer a novel strategy in cancer treatment.

This review describes the main properties of cannabinoids in cell death and attempts to clarify the different pathways triggered by these compounds that may help to understand the complexity of respective molecular mechanisms and explore the potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids use in cancer therapies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28425013

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Cannabis use and bone mineral density: NHANES 2007-2010.

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“Cannabis use is rising in the USA. Its relationship to cannabinoid signaling in bone cells implies its use could affect bone mineral density (BMD) in the population. In a national survey of people ages 20-59, we found no association between self-reported cannabis use and BMD of the hip or spine.

No association between cannabis and BMD was observed for any level of use.

A history of cannabis use, although highly prevalent and related to other risk factors for low BMD, was not independently associated with BMD in this cross-sectional study of American men and women.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28286929

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Emerging therapeutic targets in cancer induced bone disease: A focus on the peripheral type 2 cannabinoid receptor.

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“Skeletal complications are a common cause of morbidity in patients with primary bone cancer and bone metastases. The type 2 cannabinoid (Cnr2) receptor is implicated in cancer, bone metabolism and pain perception. Emerging data have uncovered the role of Cnr2 in the regulation of tumour-bone cell interactions and suggest that agents that target Cnr2 in the skeleton have potential efficacy in the reduction of skeletal complications associated with cancer.

This review aims to provide an overview of findings relating to the role of Cnr2 receptor in the regulation of skeletal tumour growth, osteolysis and bone pain, and highlights the many unanswered questions and unmet needs.

This review argues that development and testing of peripherally-acting, tumour-, Cnr2-selective ligands in preclinical models of metastatic cancer will pave the way for future research that will advance our knowledge about the basic mechanism(s) by which the endocannabinoid system regulate cancer metastasis, stimulate the development of a safer cannabis-based therapy for the treatment of cancer and provide policy makers with powerful tools to assess the science and therapeutic potential of cannabinoid-based therapy.

Thus, offering the prospect of identifying selective Cnr2 ligands, as novel, alternative to cannabis herbal extracts for the treatment of advanced cancer patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28274851

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ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM: A multi-facet therapeutic target.

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“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.

Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.

The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.

Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.

Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.

Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.

One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.

Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.

In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27086601

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A Single Intrathecal or Intraperitoneal Injection of CB2 Receptor Agonist Attenuates Bone Cancer Pain and Induces a Time-Dependent Modification of GRK2.

“The objective of this study was to explore the potential role of G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) in the progression of cannabinoid 2 receptor (CB2) agonist-induced analgesic effects of bone cancer pain.

The results affirmed CB2 receptor agonists might serve as new treatment targets for bone cancer pain.

Moreover, spinal GRK2 was an important regulator of CB2 receptor agonist-analgesia pathway.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26935064

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Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research: A new hope for cancer patients?

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“Cannabinoids have been used for many centuries to ease pain and in the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity, and osteoporosis.

Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have anti-cancer activity and as cannabinoids are usually well tolerated and do not produce the typical toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies, there is considerable merit in the development of cannabinoids as potential anticancer therapies.

Whilst the presence of psychoactive effects of cannabinoids could prevent any progress in this field, recent studies have shown the value of the non-psychoactive components of cannabinoids in activating apoptotic pathways, inducing anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects.

The aforementioned effects are suggested to be through pathways such as ERK, Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), all of which are important contributors to the hallmarks of cancer.

Many important questions still remain unanswered or are poorly addressed thus necessitating further research at basic pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we address these issues with a view to identifying the key challenges that future research needs to address.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26852955

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/cancer/

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Ligands for cannabinoid receptors, promising anticancer agents.

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“Cannabinoids compounds are unique to cannabis and provide some interesting biological properties.

These compounds along with endocannabinoids, a group of neuromodulator compounds in the body especially in brain, express their effects by activation of G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.

There are several physiological properties attributed to the endocannabinoids including pain relief, enhancement of appetite, blood pressure lowering during shock, embryonic development, and blocking of working memory.

On the other hand, activation of endocannabinoid system may be suppresses evolution and progression of several types of cancer.

According to the results of recent studies, CB receptors are over-expressed in cancer cell lines and application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds reduce tumor size through decrease of cell proliferation or induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis along with desirable effect on decrease of tumor-evoked pain.

Therefore, modulation of endocannabinoid system by inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), the enzyme, which metabolized endocannabinoids, or application of multiple cannabinoid or cannabis-derived compounds, may be appropriate for the treatment of several cancer subtypes. This review focuses on how cannabinoid affect different types of cancers.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26764235

http://www.thctotalhealthcare.com/category/cancer/

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Anandamide-induced Ca2+ elevation leading to p38 MAPK phosphorylation and subsequent cell death via apoptosis in human osteosarcoma cells.

“The effect of anandamide on human osteoblasts is unclear. This study examined the effect of anandamide on viability, apoptosis, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and Ca2+ levels in MG63 osteosarcoma cells. Anandamide at 50-200 microM decreased cell viability via apoptosis as demonstrated by propidium iodide staining and activation of caspase-3. Immunoblotting suggested that anandamide induced expression of ERK, JNK and p38 MAPK. Anandamide-induced cell death and apoptosis were reversed by SB203580, but not by PD98059 and SP600125, suggesting that anandamide’s action was via p38 MAPK, but not via ERK and JNK. Anandamide at 1-100 microM induced [Ca2+]i increases. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ decreased the anandamide response, indicating that anandamide induced Ca2+ influx and Ca2+ release. Chelation of intracellular Ca2+ with BAPTA reversed anandamide-induced cell death and p38 MAPK phosphorylation. Collectively, in MG63 cells, anandamide induced [Ca2+]i increases which evoked p38 MAPK phosphorylation. This p38 MAPK phosphorylation subsequently activated caspase-3 leading to apoptosis.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17222495

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Involvement of PAR-4 in cannabinoid-dependent sensitization of osteosarcoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

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“Osteosarcoma is the most common malignant bone tumor in childhood and adolescence.

Cannabinoids (CBs), the active constituents of Cannabis sativa, are known to exert a wide range of central and peripheral effects.

Recently, numerous studies evidenced the role of cannabinoids in the regulation of cell death and survival, focusing the anti-proliferative effects of these compounds in various tumours… cannabinoids can also activate autophagic process…

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects induced by cannabinoids in osteosarcoma cells and the molecular pathway…

The synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 is a potent cannabinoid receptor agonist with anticancer potential.

Moreover, we indicate that a key role in WIN action is played by the tumor suppressor protein PAR-4.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007360/

 

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