“Providers need to be better equipped to discuss medical cannabis with patients even if they are not willing to prescribe it. The oncology community would be well served to ensure that providers are aware of existing cannabis research and are able to incorporate it into their communications with patients instead of leaving patients to figure out medical cannabis on their own.”
“Background: Little is known about medical cannabis (MC)-related care for patients with cancer using MC.
Methods: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted in a convenience sample of individuals (n = 24) with physician-confirmed oncologic diagnoses and state/district authorization to use MC (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York, and Washington, DC) from April 2017 to March 2019. Standard qualitative techniques were used to assess the degree of MC-related health care oversight, MC practices, and key information sources.
Results: Among 24 participants (median age, 57 years; range, 30-71 years; 16 women [67%]), MC certifications were typically issued by a professional new to a patient’s care after a brief, perfunctory consultation. Patients disclosed MCuse to their established medical teams but received little medical advice about whether and how to use MC. Patients with cancer used MC products as multipurpose symptom management and as cancer-directed therapy, sometimes in lieu of standard-of-care treatments. Personal experimentation, including methodical self-monitoring, was an important source of MC know-how. Absent formal advice from medical professionals, patients relied on nonmedical sources for MC information.
Conclusions: Patients with cancer used MC with minimal medical oversight. Most received MC certifications through brief meetings with unfamiliar professionals. Participants desired but were often unable to access high-quality clinical information about MC from their established medical teams. Because many patients are committed to using MC, a product sustained by a growing industry, medical providers should familiarize themselves with the existing data for MM and its limitations to address a poorly met clinical need.”
“Notably, oncology patients reported using medical cannabis (MC) for symptom management and as cancer‐directed therapy, sometimes instead of traditional treatments.”
“In recent years, and even more since its legalization in several jurisdictions, cannabis and the endocannabinoid system have received an increasing amount of interest related to their potential exploitation in clinical settings. Cannabinoids have been suggested and shown to be effective in the treatment of various conditions. In cancer, the endocannabinoid system is altered in numerous types of tumours and can relate to cancer prognosis and disease outcome. Additionally, cannabinoids display anticancer effects in several models by suppressing the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells, as well as tumour angiogenesis. However, the therapeutic use of cannabinoids is currently limited to the treatment of symptoms and pain associated with chemotherapy, while their potential use as cytotoxic drugs in chemotherapy still requires validation in patients. Along with cannabinoids, cannabis contains several other compounds that have also been shown to exert anti-tumorigenic actions. The potential anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, present in cannabis, are explored in this literature review.”
“In this study, we report the potential of cannabidiol, one of the major cannabis constituents, for enhancing osteoblastic differentiation in U2OS and MG-63 cells.
Cannabidiol increased the expression of Angiopoietin1 and the enzyme activity of alkaline phosphatase in U2OS and MG-63. Invasion and migration assay results indicated that the cell mobility was activated by cannabidiol in U2OS and MG-63. Western blotting analysis showed that the expression of tight junction related proteins such as Claudin1, Claudin4, Occuludin1, and ZO1 was increased by cannabidiol in U2OS and MG-63.
Alizarin Red S staining analysis showed that calcium deposition and mineralization was enhanced by cannabidiol in U2OS and MG-63. Western blotting analysis indicated that the expression of osteoblast differentiation related proteins such as distal-less homeobox 5, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin, type I collagen, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), osterix (OSX), and alkaline phosphatase was time dependently upregulated by cannabidiol in U2OS and MG-63. Mechanistically, cannabidiol-regulated osteoblastic differentiation in U2OS and MG-63 by strengthen the protein-protein interaction among RUNX2, OSX, or the phosphorylated p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK).
In conclusion, cannabidiol increased Angiopoietin1 expression and p38 MAPK activation for osteoblastic differentiation in U2OS and MG-63 suggesting that cannabidiol might provide a novel therapeutic option for the bone regeneration.”
“The treatment of cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) has been proven ineffective and relies heavily on opioids, the target of highly visible criticism for their negative side effects.
Alternative therapeutic agents are needed and the last few years have brought promising results, detailed in this review.
Cysteine/glutamate antiporter system, xc, cannabinoids, kappa opioids, and a ceramide axis have all been shown to have potential as novel therapeutic targets without the negative effects of opioids.
Review of the most recent and promising studies involving CIBP, specifically within murine models. Cancer pain has been reported by 30-50% of all cancer patients and even more in late stages, however the standard of care is not effective to treat CIBP. The complicated and chronic nature of this type of pain response renders over the counter analgesics and opioids largely ineffective as well as difficult to use due to unwanted side effects. Preclinical studies have been standardized and replicated while novel treatments have been explored utilizing various alternative receptor pathways: cysteine/glutamate antiporter system, xc, cannabinoid type 1 receptor, kappa opioids, and a ceramide axis sphingosine-1-phosphate/sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1.”
“The recent announcement of marijuana legalization in Canada spiked many discussions about potential health benefits of Cannabis sativa. Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds produced by cannabis, and their numerous effects on the human body are primarily exerted through interactions with cannabinoid receptor types 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2). Cannabinoids are broadly classified as endo-, phyto-, and synthetic cannabinoids. In this review, we will describe the activity of cannabinoids on the cellular level, comprehensively summarize the activity of all groups of cannabinoids on various cancers and propose several potential mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on cancer cells.”
“Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids can be used for cancer therapy. Cannabis extracts have stronger anti-tumor capacity than single cannabinoids. Combination of several cannabinoids may have more potent effect on cancer.”
“Metastatic breast cancer is prevalent worldwide, and one of the most common sites of metastasis are long bones. Of patients with disease, the major symptom is pain, yet current medications fail to adequately result in analgesic efficacy and present major undesirable adverse effects.
In our study we investigate the potential of a novel monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor, MJN110, in a murine model of cancer induced bone pain (CIBP). Literature has previously demonstrated that MAGL inhibitors function to increase the endogenous concentrations of 2-arachydonylglycerol, which then activate CB1 and CB2 receptors inhibiting inflammation and pain.
Together, these data support the application for MJN110 as a novel therapeutic for cancer induced bone pain.
SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Current standard of care for metastatic breast cancer pain is opioid-based therapies with adjunctive chemotherapy, which have highly addictive and other deleterious side effects. The need for effective, non-opioid based therapies is essential and harnessing the endogenous cannabinoid system is proving to be a new target to treat various types of pain conditions. We present a novel drug targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system that is effective at reducing pain in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer to bone.”
“In the last decade, we have observed an increased public and scientific interest in the clinical applications of medical cannabis.
Currently, the application of cannabinoids in cancer patients is mainly due to their analgesic and anti-emetic effects.
The direct effects of phyto-cannabinoids on cancer cells are under intensive research, and the data remain somewhat inconsistent. Although anti-proliferative properties were observed in vitro, conclusive data from animal models and clinical trials are lacking.
Since immunotherapy of malignant diseases and bone marrow transplantation are integral approaches in hemato-oncology, the immuno-modulatory characteristic of cannabinoids is a fundamental aspect for consideration. The effect of cannabinoids on the immune system is presently under investigation, and some evidence for its immuno-regulatory properties has been shown.
In addition, the interaction of cannabinoids and classical cytotoxic agents is a subject for further investigation. Here we discuss the current knowledge of cannabinoid-based treatments in preclinical models and the limited data in oncological patients. Particularly, we address the possible contradiction between the direct anti-tumor and the immune-modulatory effects of cannabinoids.
Better understanding of the mechanism of cannabinoids influence is essential to design therapies that will allow cannabinoids to be incorporated into the clinic.”
“In recent years, the endocannabinoid system has received great interest as a potential therapeutic target in numerous pathological conditions.
Cannabinoids have shown an anticancer potential by modulating several pathways involved in cell growth, differentiation, migration, and angiogenesis.
However, the therapeutic efficacy of cannabinoids is limited to the treatment of chemotherapy-induced symptoms or cancer pain, but their use as anticancer drugs in chemotherapeutic protocols requires further investigation.
In this paper, we reviewed the role of cannabinoids in the modulation of signaling mechanisms implicated in tumor progression.”
“In addition to the symptomatic therapy of cancer patients, the antitumor effects of cannabinoids (whether in monotherapy or in combination with other cancer therapies) have promising potential in the treatment of cancer patients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31950844
“In addition to the well-known palliative effects of cannabinoids on some cancer-associated symptoms, a large body of evidence shows that these molecules can decrease tumour growth in animal models of cancer. In addition, cannabinoids inhibit angiogenesis and decrease metastasis in various tumour types in laboratory animals. Thus, numerous studies have provided evidence that thc and other cannabinoids exhibit antitumour effects in a wide array of animal models of cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791144/
“Antitumour actions of cannabinoids.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30019449
“The endocannabinoid system as a target for the development of new drugs for cancer therapy” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12723496
“Cannabinoids as Anticancer Drugs.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28826542
“Bone metabolism is strictly regulated, and impaired regulation caused by hormonal imbalances induces systemic bone loss. Local bone loss caused by tumor invasion into bone is suggested to be induced by the generation of cytokines, which affect bone metabolism, by tumor cells.
The major cause of systemic and local bone losses is excess bone resorption by osteoclasts, which differentiate from macrophages by receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).
We previously found a novel pathway for tumor-induced osteoclastogenesis targeting osteoclast precursor cells (OPCs). Tumor-induced osteoclastogenesis was resistant to RANKL and TNF-α inhibitors. In the present study, we confirmed that exosomes derived from oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells induced osteoclasts from OPCs.
We also showed that the depletion of exosomes from culture supernatants of OSCC cells partially interfered with osteoclastogenesis, and cannabidiol, an innoxious cannabinoid without psychotropic effects, almost completely suppressed tumor-induced osteoclastogenesis.
Osteoclastogenesis and its interference by cannabidiol were independent of the expression of nuclear factor of T cell c1 (NFATc1). These results show that osteoclastogenesis induced by OSCC cells targeting OPCs is a novel osteoclastogenic pathway independent of NFATc1 expression that is partially caused by tumor-derived exosomes and suppressed by cannabidiol.”