Medical Cannabis Use in Glioma Patients Treated at a Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida.

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“Glioma is a devastating primary tumor of the central nervous system with difficult-to-manage symptoms.

Cannabis products have been postulated to potentially benefit glioma patients. Recent state legalization allowed investigators an opportunity to study glioma patients’ adoption of medical marijuana (MM).

Objective: Our goals were to: (1) determine the prevalence of marijuana use, both through physician recommendation and self-medication, and (2) evaluate its perceived risks and benefits in glioma patients.

Results: A total of 73 patients were surveyed. The majority of participants were aware that MM was legal in the state, and most reported learning of this through the media. Over 70% of participants reported having considered using MM, and a third reported using marijuana products after their diagnosis. Most received recommendations from friends/family rather than a medical provider, and only half of the users had obtained a physician’s recommendation. Users generally reported benefits.

Conclusions: With the increasing national conversation that accompanies legalization, glioma patients are pursuing marijuana for the treatment for their symptoms. More research and education is needed to bring health care providers into the conversation.”

“A glioma is a primary brain tumor that originates from the supportive cells of the brain, called glial cells.” http://neurosurgery.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=159
“Remarkably, cannabinoids kill glioma cells selectively and can protect non-transformed glial cells from death.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15275820
“A meta-analysis of 34 in vitro and in vivo studies of cannabinoids in glioma reported that all but one study confirmed that cannabinoids selectively kill tumor cells.”  https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq#section/_7
“Since cannabinoids kill tumor cells without toxicity on their non transformed counterparts, they can represent a class of new potential anticancer drugs.”                                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3835116/ 
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Cannabidiol Enhances the Therapeutic Effects of TRAIL by Upregulating DR5 in Colorectal Cancer.

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“Cannabidiol, a major non-psychotomimetic compound derived from Cannabis sativa, is a potential therapeutic agent for a variety of diseases such as inflammatory diseases, chronic neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers.

Here, we found that the combination of cannabidiol and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) produces synergistic antitumor effects in vitro. However, this synergistic effect was not observed in normal colonic cells. The levels of ER stress-related proteins, including C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and phosphorylated protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase (PERK) were increased in treatment of cannabidiol.

Cannabidiol enhanced significantly DR5 expression by ER stress. Knockdown of DR5 decreased the combined effect of cannabidioland TRAIL. Additionally, the combination of TRAIL and cannabidiol decreased tumor growth in xenograft models.

Our studies demonstrate that cannabidiol enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis by upregulating DR5 and suggests that cannabidiol is a novel agent for increasing sensitivity to TRAIL.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31075907

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Using Cannabis to Treat Cancer-Related Pain.

Seminars in Oncology Nursing

“OBJECTIVE: To describe which cannabinoids and terpenes are effective for treating pain.

CONCLUSION: Cannabis and cannabinoid medicines, as modulators of the endocannabinoid system, offer novel therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer-related pain, not only for patients who do not respond to conventional therapies, but also for patients who prefer to try cannabis as a first treatment option.

IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Understanding the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, terpenes, routes of administration, potential drug interactions, clinical implications, and potential side effects ensures nurses can better assist patients who use cannabis for the treatment of cancer pain.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31053395

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749208119300609?via%3Dihub

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Chemotherapy-induced cachexia dysregulates hypothalamic and systemic lipoamines and is attenuated by cannabigerol.

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“Muscle wasting, anorexia, and metabolic dysregulation are common side-effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy, having a dose-limiting effect on treatment efficacy, and compromising quality of life and mortality.

Extracts of Cannabis sativa, and analogues of the major phytocannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, have been used to ameliorate chemotherapy-induced appetite loss and nausea for decades. However, psychoactive side-effects limit their clinical utility, and they have little efficacy against weight loss.

We recently established that the non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid (CBG) stimulates appetite in healthy rats, without neuromotor side-effects. The present study assessed whether CBG attenuates anorexia and/or other cachectic effects induced by the broad-spectrum chemotherapy agent cisplatin.

RESULTS:

CBG (120 mg/kg) modestly increased food intake, predominantly at 36-60hrs (p<0.05), and robustly attenuated cisplatin-induced weight loss from 6.3% to 2.6% at 72hrs (p<0.01). Cisplatin-induced skeletal muscle atrophy was associated with elevated plasma corticosterone (3.7 vs 13.1ng/ml, p<0.01), observed selectively in MHC type IIx (p<0.05) and IIb (p<0.0005) fibres, and was reversed by pharmacological rescue of dysregulated Akt/S6-mediated protein synthesis and autophagy processes. Plasma metabonomic analysis revealed cisplatin administration produced a wide-ranging aberrant metabolic phenotype (Q2Ŷ=0.5380, p=0.001), involving alterations to glucose, amino acid, choline and lipid metabolism, citrate cycle, gut microbiome function, and nephrotoxicity, which were partially normalized by CBG treatment (Q2Ŷ=0.2345, p=0.01). Lipidomic analysis of hypothalami and plasma revealed extensive cisplatin-induced dysregulation of central and peripheral lipoamines (29/79 and 11/26 screened, respectively), including reversible elevations in systemic N-acyl glycine concentrations which were negatively associated with the anti-cachectic effects of CBG treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Endocannabinoid-like lipoamines may have hitherto unrecognized roles in the metabolic side-effects associated with chemotherapy, with the N-acyl glycine subfamily in particular identified as a potential therapeutic target and/or biomarker of anabolic interventions. CBG-based treatments may represent a novel therapeutic option for chemotherapy-induced cachexia, warranting investigation in tumour-bearing cachexia models.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31035309

Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of the major phytocannabinoids present in Cannabis sativa L. that is attracting pharmacological interest because it is non-psychotropic and is abundant in some industrial hemp varieties. The results indicate that CBG is indeed effective as regulator of endocannabinoid signaling.”
“Cannabigerol displayed significant antitumor activity.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02976895
Antitumor activity of cannabigerol against human oral epitheloid carcinoma cells. Cannabigerol exhibited the highest growth-inhibitory activity against the cancer cell lines.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9875457
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The Endocannabinoid System as a Target in Cancer Diseases: Are We There Yet?

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“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has been placed in the anti-cancer spotlight in the last decade. The immense data load published on its dual role in both tumorigenesis and inhibition of tumor growth and metastatic spread has transformed the cannabinoid receptors CB1 (CB1R) and CB2 (CB2R), and other members of the endocannabinoid-like system, into attractive new targets for the treatment of various cancer subtypes.

Although the clinical use of cannabinoids has been extensively documented in the palliative setting, clinical trials on their application as anti-cancer drugs are still ongoing. As drug repurposing is significantly faster and more economical than de novo introduction of a new drug into the clinic, there is hope that the existing pharmacokinetic and safety data on the ECS ligands will contribute to their successful translation into oncological healthcare.

CB1R and CB2R are members of a large family of membrane proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). GPCRs can form homodimers, heterodimers and higher order oligomers with other GPCRs or non-GPCRs. Currently, several CB1R and CB2R-containing heteromers have been reported and, in cancer cells, CB2R form heteromers with the G protein-coupled chemokine receptor CXCR4, the G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) and the tyrosine kinase receptor (TKR) human V-Erb-B2 Avian Erythroblastic Leukemia Viral Oncogene Homolog 2 (HER2).

These protein complexes possess unique pharmacological and signaling properties, and their modulation might affect the antitumoral activity of the ECS. This review will explore the potential of the endocannabinoid network in the anti-cancer setting as well as the clinical and ethical pitfalls behind it, and will develop on the value of cannabinoid receptor heteromers as potential new targets for anti-cancer therapies and as prognostic biomarkers.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31024307

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2019.00339/full

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Future Aspects for Cannabinoids in Breast Cancer Therapy.

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“Cannabinoids (CBs) from Cannabis sativa provide relief for tumor-associated symptoms (including nausea, anorexia, and neuropathic pain) in the palliative treatment of cancer patients.

Additionally, they may decelerate tumor progression in breast cancer patients.

Indeed, the psychoactive delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models.

The effects of CBs on signaling pathways in cancer cells are conferred via G-protein coupled CB-receptors (CB-Rs), CB1-R and CB2-R, but also via other receptors, and in a receptor-independent way.

THC is a partial agonist for CB1-R and CB2-R; CBD is an inverse agonist for both.

In breast cancer, CB1-R expression is moderate, but CB2-R expression is high, which is related to tumor aggressiveness. CBs block cell cycle progression and cell growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis by inhibiting constitutive active pro-oncogenic signaling pathways, such as the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase pathway.

They reduce angiogenesis and tumor metastasis in animal breast cancer models. CBs are not only active against estrogen receptor-positive, but also against estrogen-resistant breast cancer cells. In human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive and triple-negative breast cancer cells, blocking protein kinase B- and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling via CB2-R prevents tumor progression and metastasis.

Furthermore, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), including tamoxifen, bind to CB-Rs; this process may contribute to the growth inhibitory effect of SERMs in cancer cells lacking the estrogen receptor.

In summary, CBs are already administered to breast cancer patients at advanced stages of the disease, but they might also be effective at earlier stages to decelerate tumor progression.”

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The onus of cannabinoids in interrupting the molecular odyssey of breast cancer: A critical perspective on UPRER and beyond.

Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal

“Cannabinoids, commonly used for medicinal and recreational purposes, consist of various complex hydrophobic molecules obtained from Cannabis sativa L. Acting as an inhibitory molecule; they have been investigated for their antineoplastic effect in various breast tumor models. Lately, it was found that cannabinoid treatment not only stimulates autophagy-mediated apoptotic death of tumor cells through unfolded protein response (UPRER) activated downstream effectors, but also imposes cell cycle arrest. The exploitation of UPRER tumors as such is believed to be a major molecular event and is therefore employed in understanding the development and progression of breast tumor. Simultaneously, the data on clinical trials following administration of cannabinoid is currently being explored to find its role not only in palliation but also in the treatment of breast cancer. The present study summarizes new achievements in understanding the extent of therapeutic progress and highlights recent developments in cannabinoid biology towards achieving a better cure of breast cancer through the exploitation of different cannabinoids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30976189

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319016419300064?via%3Dihub

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Impact of Medical Cannabis on Patient-Reported Symptoms for Patients With Cancer Enrolled in Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program.

Journal of Oncology Practice

“Minnesota’s medical cannabis program is unique, in that it routinely collects patient-reported scores on symptoms. This article focuses on changes in symptom severity reported by patients with cancer during their first 4 months of program participation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS::

Patients with cancer in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program reported symptoms (anxiety, lack of appetite, depression, disturbed sleep, fatigue, nausea, pain, and vomiting) at their worst over the last 24 hours before each medical cannabis purchase. Baseline scores on each of the eight symptoms were statistically compared with the average symptom scores reported in the first 4 months of program participation. Symptom scores were also calculated as percent change from baseline, with patients achieving and maintaining at least a 30% reduction in symptoms reported in this article. Patients also reported intensity of adverse effects.

RESULTS::

A significant reduction in scores was found across all symptoms when comparing baseline scores with the average score submitted within the first 4 months of program participation (all Ps < .001). The proportion of patients achieving 30% or greater symptom reduction within the first 4 months of program participation varied from 27% (fatigue) to 50% (vomiting), with a smaller proportion both achieving and maintaining those improvements. Adverse effects were reported in a small proportion of patients (10.5%).

CONCLUSION::

Patients with cancer enrolled in Minnesota’s medical cannabis program showed significant reduction across all eight symptoms assessed within 4 months of program participation. Medical cannabis was well tolerated, and some patients attained clinically meaningful and lasting levels of improvement.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30860938

http://ascopubs.org/doi/10.1200/JOP.18.00562

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Members of the endocannabinoid system are distinctly regulated in inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

Scientific Reports

“Preclinical studies have demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the protection against intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer (CRC); however, human data are scarce. We determined members of the ECS and related components of the ‘endocannabinoidome’ in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and CRC, and compared them to control subjects. Anandamide (AEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA) were increased in plasma of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) patients while 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) was elevated in patients with CD, but not UC. 2-AG, but not AEA, PEA and OEA, was elevated in CRC patients. Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) 18:0 showed higher levels in patients with IBD than in control subjects whereas LPI 20:4 was elevated in both CRC and IBD. Gene expression in intestinal mucosal biopsies revealed different profiles in CD and UC. CD, but not UC patients, showed increased gene expression for the 2-AG synthesizing enzyme diacylglycerol lipase alpha. Transcripts of CNR1 and GPR119 were predominantly decreased in CD. Our data show altered plasma levels of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-like lipids in IBD and CRC and distinct transcript profiles in UC and CD. We also report alterations for less known components in intestinal inflammation, such as GPR119, OEA and LPI.”

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Characterization of Cancer-Induced Nociception in a Murine Model of Breast Carcinoma.

“Severe and poorly treated pain often accompanies breast cancer. Thus, novel mechanisms involved in breast cancer-induced pain should be investigated. Then, it is necessary to characterize animal models that are reliable with the symptoms and progression of the disease as observed in humans. Explaining cancer-induced nociception in a murine model of breast carcinoma was the aim of this study. 4T1 (104) lineage cells were inoculated in the right fourth mammary fat pad of female BALB/c mice; after this, mechanical and cold allodynia, or mouse grimace scale (MGS) were observed for 30 days. To determine the presence of bone metastasis, we performed the metastatic clonogenic test and measure calcium serum levels. At 20 days after tumor induction, the antinociceptive effect of analgesics used to relieve pain in cancer patients (acetaminophen, naproxen, codeine or morphine) or a cannabinoid agonist (WIN 55,212-2) was tested. Mice inoculated with 4T1 cells developed mechanical and cold allodynia and increased MGS. Bone metastasis was confirmed using the clonogenic assay, and hypercalcemia was observed 20 days after cells inoculation. All analgesic drugs reduced the mechanical and cold allodynia, while the MGS was decreased only by the administration of naproxen, codeine, or morphine. Also, WIN 55,212-2 improved all nociceptive measures. This pain model could be a reliable form to observe the mechanisms of breast cancer-induced pain or to observe the efficacy of novel analgesic compounds.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30850915

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10571-019-00666-8

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