“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a composite cell-signaling system that allows endogenous cannabinoid ligands to control cell functions through the interaction with cannabinoid receptors. Modifications of the ECS might contribute to the pathogenesis of different diseases, including cancers. However, the use of these compounds as antitumor agents remains debatable.
Pre-clinical experimental studies have shown that cannabinoids (CBs) might be effective for the treatment of hematological malignancies, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
Specifically, CBs may activate programmed cell death mechanisms, thus blocking cancer cell growth, and may modulate both autophagy and angiogenesis. Therefore, CBs may have significant anti-tumor effects in hematologic diseases and may synergistically act with chemotherapeutic agents, possibly also reducing chemoresistance.
Moreover, targeting ECS might be considered as a novel approach for the management of graft versus host disease, thus reducing some symptoms such as anorexia, cachexia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and neuropathic pain. The aim of the present review is to collect the state of the art of CBs effects on hematological tumors, thus focusing on the essential topics that might be useful before moving into the clinical practice.”