“Various preclinical and clinical studies exhibited the potential of cannabis against various diseases, including cancer and related pain. Subsequently, many efforts have been made to establish and develop cannabis-related products and make them available as prescription products. Moreover, FDA has already approved some cannabis-related products, and more advancement in this aspect is still going on. However, the approved product of cannabis is in oral dosage form, which exerts various limitations to achieve maximum therapeutic effects. A considerable translation is on a hike to improve bioavailability, and ultimately, the therapeutic efficacy of cannabis by the employment of nanotechnology. Besides the well-known psychotropic effects of cannabis upon the use at high doses, literature has also shown the importance of cannabis and its constituents in minimising the lethality of cancer in the preclinical models. This review discusses the history of cannabis, its legal aspect, safety profile, the mechanism by which cannabis combats with cancer, and the advancement of clinical therapy by exploiting nanotechnology. A brief discussion related to the role of cannabinoid in various cancers has also been incorporated. Lastly, the information regarding completed and ongoing trials have also been elaborated.”
“Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by aberrant bone marrow plasma cell (PC) proliferation and is one of the most common hematological malignancies. The potential effect of cannabinoids on the immune system and hematological malignancies has been poorly characterized.
Cannabidiol (CBD) may be used to treat various diseases. CBD is known to exert immunomodulatory effects through the activation of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which is expressed in high levels in the hematopoietic system.
Cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells are a heterogeneous population of polyclonal T lymphocytes obtained via ex vivo sequential incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with interferon-γ (IFN-γ), anti CD3 monoclonal antibody, and IL-2. They are characterized by the expression of CD3+ and CD56+, which are surface markers common to T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells. CIK cells are mainly used in hematological patients who suffer relapse after allogeneic transplantation.
Here, we investigated their antitumor effect in combination with pure cannabidiol in KMS-12 MM cells by lactate dehydrogenase LDH cytotoxicity assay, CCK-8 assay, and flow cytometry analysis. The surface and intracellular CB2 expressions on CIK cells and on KMS-12 and U-266 MM cell lines were also detected by flow cytometry.
Our findings confirm that the CB2 receptor is highly expressed on CIK cells as well as on MM cells. CBD was able to decrease the viability of tumor cells and can have a protective role for CIK cells. It also inhibits the cytotoxic activity of CIKs against MM at high concentrations, so in view of a clinical perspective, it has to be considered that the lower concentration of 1 µM can be used in combination with CIK cells. Further studies will be required to address the mechanism of CBD modulation of CIK cells in more detail.”
“Although hematopoietic and immune system show high levels of the cannabinoid receptor CB2, the potential effect of cannabinoids on hematologic malignancies has been poorly determined.
Here we have investigated their anti-tumor effect in multiple myeloma (MM).
We demonstrate that cannabinoids induce a selective apoptosis in MM cell lines and in primary plasma cells of MM patients, while sparing normal cells from healthy donors, including hematopoietic stem cells.
Remarkably, blockage of the CB2 receptor also inhibited cannabinoid-induced apoptosis.
Cannabinoid derivative WIN-55 enhanced the anti-myeloma activity of dexamethasone and melphalan overcoming resistance to melphalan in vitro. Finally, administration of cannabinoid WIN-55 to plasmacytoma-bearing mice significantly suppressed tumor growth in vivo.
Together, our data suggest that cannabinoids may be considered as potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of MM.”
“Cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) is expressed dominantly in the immune system, especially on plasma cells.
Cannabinergic ligands with CB2 selectivity emerge as a class of promising agents to treat CB2-expressing malignancies without psychotropic concerns.
In this study, we found that CB2 but not CB1 was highly expressed in human multiple myeloma (MM) and primary CD138+ cells.
Thus, targeting CB2 may represent an attractive approach to treat cancers of immune origin.”
“Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell (PC) malignancy characterised by the accumulation of a monoclonal PC population in the bone marrow (BM).
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid with antitumoural activities, and the transient receptor potential vanilloid type-2 (TRPV2) channel has been reported as a potential CBD receptor.
TRPV2 activation by CBD decreases proliferation and increases susceptibility to drug-induced cell death in human cancer cells.
However, no functional role has been ascribed to CBD and TRPV2 in MM. In this study, we identified the presence of heterogeneous CD138+TRPV2+ and CD138+TRPV2- PC populations in MM patients, whereas only the CD138+ TRPV2- population was present in RPMI8226 and U266 MM cell lines.
Because bortezomib (BORT) is commonly used in MM treatment, we investigated the effects of CBD and BORT in CD138+TRPV2- MM cells and in MM cell lines transfected with TRPV2 (CD138+TRPV2+).
These results showed that CBD by itself or in synergy with BORT strongly inhibited growth, arrested cell cycle progression and induced MM cells death by regulating the ERK, AKT and NF-κB pathways with major effects in TRPV2+ cells.
These data provide a rationale for using CBD to increase the activity of proteasome inhibitors in MM.”
“Several studies showed a potential anti-tumor role for cannabinoids, by modulating cell signaling pathways involved in cancer cell proliferation, chemo-resistance and migration.
Cannabidiol (CBD) was previously noted in multiple myeloma (MM), both alone and in synergy with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib, to induce cell death.
In other type of human cancers, the combination of CBD with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was found to act synergistically with other chemotherapeutic drugs suggesting their use in combination therapy.
In the current study, we evaluated the effects of THC alone and in combination with CBD in MM cell lines.
We found that CBD and THC, mainly in combination, were able to reduce cell viability by inducing autophagic-dependent necrosis.
Moreover, we showed that the CBD-THC combination was able to reduce MM cells migration by down-regulating expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and of the CD147 plasma membrane glycoprotein.
Furthermore, since the immuno-proteasome is considered a new target in MM and also since carfilzomib (CFZ) is a new promising immuno-proteasome inhibitor that creates irreversible adducts with the β5i subunit of immuno-proteasome, we evaluated the effect of CBD and THC in regulating the expression of the β5i subunit and their effect in combination with CFZ.
Herein, we also found that the CBD and THC combination is able to reduce expression of the β5i subunit as well as to act in synergy with CFZ to increase MM cell death and inhibits cell migration.
In summary, these results proved that this combination exerts strong anti-myeloma activities.”
“Cannabis sativa is also popularly known as marijuana. It is being cultivated and used by man for recreational and medicinal purposes from many centuries.
Study of cannabinoids was at bay for very long time and its therapeutic value could not be adequately harnessed due to its legal status as proscribed drug in most of the countries.
The research of drugs acting on endocannabinoid system has seen many ups and down in recent past. Presently, it is known that endocannabinoids has role in pathology of many disorders and they also serve “protective role” in many medical conditions.
Several diseases like emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, metabolic syndrome related diseases, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Tourette’s syndrome could possibly be treated by drugs modulating endocannabinoid system.
Presently, cannabinoid receptor agonists like nabilone and dronabinol are used for reducing the chemotherapy induced vomiting. Sativex (cannabidiol and THC combination) is approved in the UK, Spain and New Zealand to treat spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. In US it is under investigation for cancer pain, another drug Epidiolex (cannabidiol) is also under investigation in US for childhood seizures. Rimonabant, CB1 receptor antagonist appeared as a promising anti-obesity drug during clinical trials but it also exhibited remarkable psychiatric side effect profile. Due to which the US Food and Drug Administration did not approve Rimonabant in US. It sale was also suspended across the EU in 2008.
Recent discontinuation of clinical trial related to FAAH inhibitor due to occurrence of serious adverse events in the participating subjects could be discouraging for the research fraternity. Despite of some mishaps in clinical trials related to drugs acting on endocannabinoid system, still lot of research is being carried out to explore and establish the therapeutic targets for both cannabinoid receptor agonists and antagonists.
One challenge is to develop drugs that target only cannabinoid receptors in a particular tissue and another is to invent drugs that acts selectively on cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood brain barrier. Besides this, development of the suitable dosage forms with maximum efficacy and minimum adverse effects is also warranted.
Another angle to be introspected for therapeutic abilities of this group of drugs is non-CB1 and non-CB2 receptor targets for cannabinoids.
In order to successfully exploit the therapeutic potential of endocannabinoid system, it is imperative to further characterize the endocannabinoid system in terms of identification of the exact cellular location of cannabinoid receptors and their role as “protective” and “disease inducing substance”, time-dependent changes in the expression of cannabinoid receptors.”
“The endocannabinoid system, comprising lipid-derived endocannabinoids, their G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and the enzymes for their metabolism, is emerging as a promising therapeutic target in cancer.
This report highlights the main signaling pathways for the antitumor effects of the endocannabinoid system in cancer and its basic role in cancerpathogenesis, and discusses the alternative view of cannabinoid receptors as tumor promoters.
We focus on new players in the antitumor action of the endocannabinoid system and on emerging crosstalk among cannabinoid receptors and other membrane or nuclear receptors involved in cancer.”
“The term ‘endocannabinoid’ – originally coined in the mid-1990s after the discovery of membrane receptors for the psychoactive principle in Cannabis, Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and their endogenous ligands – now indicates a whole signalling system that comprises cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and enzymes for ligand biosynthesis and inactivation. This system seems to be involved in an ever-increasing number of pathological conditions. With novel products already being aimed at the pharmaceutical market little more than a decade since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors, the endocannabinoid system seems to hold even more promise for the future development of therapeutic drugs. We explore the conditions under which the potential of targeting the endocannabinoid system might be realized in the years to come.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15340387
“Studies on the main bioactive components of Cannabis sativa, the cannabinoids, and particularly delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), led to the discovery of a new endogenous signalling system that controls several physiological and pathological conditions: the endocannabinoid system. This comprises the cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous agonists–the endocannabinoids–and proteins for endocannabinoid biosynthesis and inactivation.
Recently, evidence has accumulated indicating that stimulation of cannabinoid receptors by either THC or the endocannabinoids influence the intracellular events controlling the proliferation and apoptosis of numerous types of cancer cells, thereby leading to anti-tumour effects both in vitro and in vivo.
This evidence is reviewed here and suggests that future anti-cancer therapy might be developed from our knowledge of how the endocannabinoid system controls the growth and metastasis of malignant cells.”