“Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor and one of the deadliest types of solid cancer overall. Despite aggressive therapeutic approaches consisting of maximum safe surgical resection and radio-chemotherapy, more than 95% of GBM patients die within 5 years after diagnosis. Thus, there is still an urgent need to develop novel therapeutic strategies against this disease.
Accumulating evidence indicates that cannabinoids have potent anti-tumor functions and might be used successfully in the treatment of GBM.
This review article summarizes the latest findings on the molecular effects of cannabinoids on GBM, both in vitro and in (pre-) clinical studies in animal models and patients.
The therapeutic effect of cannabinoids is based on reduction of tumor growth via inhibition of tumor proliferation and angiogenesis but also via induction of tumor cell death. Additionally, cannabinoids were shown to inhibit the invasiveness and the stem cell-like properties of GBM tumors. Recent phase II clinical trials indicated positive results regarding the survival of GBM patients upon cannabinoid treatment.
Apart from a direct killing effect on tumor cells, cannabinoids can also induce cell cycle arrest thereby inhibiting tumor cell proliferation.
In conclusion, cannabinoids show promising anti-neoplastic functions in GBM by targeting multiple cancer hallmarks such as resistance to programmed cell death, neoangiogenesis, tissue invasion or stem cell-induced replicative immortality.
The effects of cannabinoids can be potentially enhanced by combination of different cannabinoids with each other or with chemotherapeutic agents. This requires, however, a detailed understanding of cannabinoid-induced molecular mechanisms and pharmacological effects.
Ultimately, these findings might foster the development of improved therapeutic strategies against GBM and, perhaps, other diseases of the nervous system as well.”
“Accumulating evidence indicates that cannabinoids have potent anti-tumor functions and might be used successfully in the treatment of GBM.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29867351