Cannabinoids as anticancer therapeutic agents.

Cell Cycle Journal are Co-Sponsoring #ACCM15 – The Cell Division Lab “The recent announcement of marijuana legalization in Canada spiked many discussions about potential health benefits of Cannabis sativaCannabinoids 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.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32249682

“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.”

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15384101.2020.1742952?journalCode=kccy20

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The Endocannabinoid System Alleviates Pain in a Murine Model of Cancer-Induced Bone Pain.

Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics: 372 (3)“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.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32054717

http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/early/2020/02/13/jpet.119.262337

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The Highs and Lows of Cannabis in Cancer Treatment and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

 Logo of rmmj“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.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32017682

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A Novel, Tumor-Induced Osteoclastogenesis Pathway Insensitive to Denosumab but Interfered by Cannabidiol.

ijms-logo“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.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31835378

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/20/24/6211

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Cannabinoid receptor 2‑selective agonist JWH015 attenuates bone cancer pain through the amelioration of impaired autophagy flux induced by inflammatory mediators in the spinal cord.

Journal Cover “Bone cancer pain (BCP) is a severe complication of advanced bone cancer.

Although cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonists may have an analgesic effect, the underlying mechanism remains unclear.

CB2 serves a protective role in various pathological states through the activation of autophagy. Therefore, the present study aimed to determine whether the analgesic effects of the selective CB2 agonist JWH015 was mediated by the activation of autophagy in BCP.

The results of the present study suggested that the impairment of autophagy flux was induced by glia‑derived inflammatory mediators in spinal neurons. Intrathecal administration of the selective CB2 agonist JWH015 ameliorated autophagy flux through the downregulation of IL‑1β and IL‑6 and attenuated BCP.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31661120

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/mmr.2019.10772

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The endocannabinoid system: Novel targets for treating cancer induced bone pain.

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy“Treating Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) continues to be a major clinical challenge and underlying mechanisms of CIBP remain unclear.

Recently, emerging body of evidence suggested the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may play essential roles in CIBP. Here, we summarized the current understanding of the antinociceptive mechanisms of endocannabinoids in CIBP and discussed the beneficial effects of endocannabinoid for CIBP treatment.

Targeting non-selective cannabinoid 1 receptors or selective cannabinoid 2 receptors, and modulation of peripheral AEA and 2-AG, as well as the inhibition the function of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) have produced analgesic effects in animal models of CIBP.

Management of ECS therefore appears to be a promising way for the treatment of CIBP in terms of efficacy and safety. Further clinical studies are encouraged to confirm the possible translation to humans of the very promising results already obtained in the preclinical studies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31627091

“Thus, cannabinoids may be clinically useful for treating chronic pain and CIBP.”

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S075333221933731X?via%3Dihub

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The heterogeneity and complexity of Cannabis extracts as antitumor agents

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“The Cannabis plant contains over 100 phytocannabinoids and hundreds of other components. The biological effects and interplay of these Cannabis compounds are not fully understood and yet influence the plant’s therapeutic effects.

Here we assessed the antitumor effects of whole Cannabis extracts, which contained significant amounts of differing phytocannabinoids, on different cancer lines from various tumor origins.

Our results show that specific Cannabis extracts impaired the survival and proliferation of cancer cell lines as well as induced apoptosis.

Our findings showed that pure (-)-Δ9trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC) did not produce the same effects on these cell lines as the whole Cannabis extracts. Furthermore, Cannabis extracts with similar amounts of Δ9-THC produced significantly different effects on the survival of specific cancer cells.

In addition, we demonstrated that specific Cannabis extracts may selectively and differentially affect cancer cells and differing cancer cell lines from the same organ origin. We also found that cannabimimetic receptors were differentially expressed among various cancer cell lines and suggest that this receptor diversity may contribute to the heterogeneous effects produced by the differing Cannabis extracts on each cell line.

Our overall findings indicate that the effect of a Cannabis extract on a specific cancer cell line relies on the extract’s composition as well as on certain characteristics of the targeted cells.”

http://www.oncotarget.com/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path[]=26983

“Many previous reports highlight and demonstrate the anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids. In the last decade, accumulating evidence has indicated that phytocannabinoids might have antitumor properties. A number of in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the effects of phytocannabinoids on tumor progression by interrupting several characteristic features of cancer. These studies suggest that specific cannabinoids such as Δ9-THC and CBD induce apoptosis and inhibit proliferation in various cancer cell lines.”

http://www.oncotarget.com/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=26983&path%5B%5D=85698

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Antitumor Cannabinoid Chemotypes: Structural Insights.

Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Cannabis has long been known to limit or prevent nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite, and pain. For this reason, cannabinoids have been successfully used in the treatment of some of the unwanted side effects caused by cancer chemotherapy.

Besides their palliative effects, research from the past two decades has demonstrated their promising potential as antitumor agents in a wide variety of tumors.

Cannabinoids of endogenous, phytogenic, and synthetic nature have been shown to impact the proliferation of cancer through the modulation of different proteins involved in the endocannabinoid system such as the G protein-coupled receptors CB1, CB2, and GRP55, the ionotropic receptor TRPV1, or the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).

In this article, we aim to structurally classify the antitumor cannabinoid chemotypes described so far according to their targets and types of cancer. In a drug discovery approach, their in silico pharmacokinetic profile has been evaluated in order to identify appropriate drug-like profiles, which should be taken into account for further progress toward the clinic.

This analysis may provide structural insights into the selection of specific cannabinoid scaffolds for the development of antitumor drugs for the treatment of particular types of cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31214034

“The first report on the antitumor activity of phytocannabinoids was published over four decades ago. During these last years, significant research has been focused on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids to manage palliative effects in cancer patients. Besides such palliative applications, some cannabinoids have shown anticancer properties. Since inflammation is a common risk factor for cancer, and some cannabinoids have shown anti-inflammatory properties, they could play a role in chemoprevention.” https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00621/full
“Antitumor effects of THC.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11097557
“Antitumor effects of cannabidiol” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14617682
“Anti-tumour actions of cannabinoids.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30019449
“Extensive preclinical research has demonstrated that cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, trigger antitumor responses in different models of cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29940172
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Should Oncologists Recommend Cannabis?

“Cannabis is a useful botanical with a wide range of therapeutic potential. Global prohibition over the past century has impeded the ability to study the plant as medicine. However, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has been developed as a stand-alone pharmaceutical initially approved for the treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in 1986. The indication was expanded in 1992 to include treatment of anorexia in patients with the AIDS wasting syndrome. Hence, if the dominant cannabinoid is available as a schedule III prescription medication, it would seem logical that the parent botanical would likely have similar therapeutic benefits. The system of cannabinoid receptors and endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) has likely developed to help us modulate our response to noxious stimuli. Phytocannabinoids also complex with these receptors, and the analgesic effects of cannabis are perhaps the best supported by clinical evidence. Cannabis and its constituents have also been reported to be useful in assisting with sleep, mood, and anxiety. Despite significant in vitro and animal model evidence supporting the anti-cancer activity of individual cannabinoids-particularly THC and cannabidiol (CBD)-clinical evidence is absent. A single intervention that can assist with nausea, appetite, pain, mood, and sleep is certainly a valuable addition to the palliative care armamentarium. Although many healthcare providers advise against the inhalation of a botanical as a twenty-first century drug-delivery system, evidence for serious harmful effects of cannabis inhalation is scant and a variety of other methods of ingestion are currently available from dispensaries in locales where patients have access to medicinal cannabis. Oncologists and palliative care providers should recommend this botanical remedy to their patients to gain first-hand evidence of its therapeutic potential despite the paucity of results from randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials to appreciate that it is both safe and effective and really does not require a package insert.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31161270

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11864-019-0659-9

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Modulation of the Endocannabinoid System as a Potential Anticancer Strategy.

 Image result for frontiers in pharmacology“Currently, the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in cancer development and possible options for a cancer-regressive effect of cannabinoids are controversially discussed. In recent decades, a number of preclinical studies have shown that cannabinoids have an anticarcinogenic potential. Therefore, especially against the background of several legal simplifications with regard to the clinical application of cannabinoid-based drugs, an extended basic knowledge about the complex network of the individual components of the endocannabinoid system is required. The canonical endocannabinoid system consists of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamine (anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol as well as the Gi/o protein-coupled transmembrane cannabinoidreceptors CB1 and CB2. As a result of extensive studies on the broader effect of these factors, other fatty acid derivatives, transmembrane and intracellular receptors, enzymes and lipid transporters have been identified that contribute to the effect of endocannabinoids when defined in the broad sense as “extended endocannabinoid system.” Among these additional components, the endocannabinoid-degrading enzymes fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase, lipid transport proteins of the fatty acid-binding protein family, additional cannabinoid-activated G protein-coupled receptors such as GPR55, members of the transient receptor family, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors were identified as targets for possible strategies to combat cancer progression. Other endocannabinoid-related fatty acids such as 2-arachidonoyl glyceryl ether, O-arachidonoylethanolamine, N-arachidonoyldopamine and oleic acid amide showed an effect via cannabinoid receptors, while other compounds such as endocannabinoid-like substances exert a permissive action on endocannabinoid effects and act via alternative intracellular target structures. This review gives an overview of the modulation of the extended endocannabinoid system using the example of anticancer cannabinoid effects, which have been described in detail in preclinical studies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31143113

“In addition to the palliative effects of cannabinoid compounds in cancer treatment, the endocannabinoid system provides several targets for systemic anticancer treatment. Accordingly, preclinical studies suggest cannabinoids inhibit cancer progression via inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, neovascularization, invasion and chemoresistance, as well as induction of apoptosis, autophagy and increase of tumor immune surveillance.”

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00430/full

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