INSIGHT ON THE IMPACT OF ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM IN CANCER: A REVIEW.

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“In the last decades, the endocannabinoid system has attracted a great interest in medicine and cancer disease is probably one of its most promising therapeutic areas.

On the one hand, endocannabinoid system expression has been found altered in numerous types of tumours compared to healthy tissue, and this aberrant expression has been related to cancer prognosis and disease outcome, suggesting a role of this system in tumour growth and progression that depends on cancer type.

On the other hand, it has been reported that cannabinoids exert an anticancer activity by inhibiting the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells; and also tumour angiogenesis.

The endocannabinoid system may be considered as a new therapeutic target, although further studies to fully establish the effect of cannabinoids on tumour progression remain necessary.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29663308

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The use of cannabis in supportive care and treatment of brain tumor

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“Anticancer Effects of Cannabinoids may be able to Prolong Life.

Cannabinoids are multitarget substances. Currently available are dronabinol (synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC), synthetic cannabidiol (CBD) the respective substances isolated and purified from cannabis, a refined extract, nabiximols (THC:CBD = 1.08:1.00); and nabilone, which is also synthetic and has properties that are very similar to those of THC.

Cannabinoids have a role in the treatment of cancer as palliative interventions against nausea, vomiting, pain, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. THC and nabilone are also used for anorexia and weight loss, whereas CBD has no orexigenic effect. The psychotropic effects of THC and nabilone, although often undesirable, can improve mood when administered in low doses. CBD has no psychotropic effects; it is anxiolytic and antidepressive.

Of particular interest are glioma studies in animals where relatively high doses of CBD and THC demonstrated significant regression of tumor volumes (approximately 50% to 95% and even complete eradication in rare cases). Concomitant treatment with X-rays or temozolomide enhanced activity further. Similarly, a combination of THC with CBD showed synergistic effects. Although many questions, such as on optimized treatment schedules, are still unresolved, today’s scientific results suggest that cannabinoids could play an important role in palliative care of brain tumor patients.

THC, a partial CB1, CB2 agonist, has the stigma of psychotropic effects that are mediated by CB1 stimulation. However, CB1 stimulation is necessary for improving mood and appetite and many other effects. At present, it is hard to imagine a better approach than adjusting THC doses individually to balance wanted versus unwanted effects. Generally, higher doses are needed to achieve analgesic and antiemetic effects. Even much higher, supraphysiologic oral doses would be needed to combat tumors.

Combinations were synergistic under many circumstances such as in pain and antitumor studies. Cannabinoids differ in their antitumor activities and probably in their mechanisms and targets, which is a rationale for combinations. However, for many pharmacological effects (except against tumors) roughly 10-times higher daily doses are needed for CBD compared to THC.

In summary, the endocannabinoid system is likely playing a crucial role in palliative care. The future will show whether an optimized treatment strategy with cannabinoids can also prolong life of brain tumor patients by their virtue to combat cancer cells.”

https://academic.oup.com/nop/article/4/3/151/2918616

“Cannabinoid Drug Prolongs the Life of Brain Tumor Patients in Phase II Trials”  https://labiotech.eu/gw-pharmaceuticals-brain-tumor/

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Rimonabant Kills Colon Cancer Stem Cells without Inducing Toxicity in Normal Colon Organoids

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“Colorectal cancer (CRC), like other tumor types, is a highly heterogeneous disease. Within the tumor bulk, intra-tumoral heterogeneity is also ascribable to Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) subpopulation, characterized by high chemoresistance and the unique ability to retain tumorigenic potential, thus associated to tumor recurrence. High dynamic plasticity of CSCs, makes the development of winning therapeutic strategies even more complex to completely eradicate tumor fuel.

Rimonabant, originally synthesized as antagonist/inverse agonist of Cannabinoid Receptor 1, is able to inactivate Wnt signaling, both in vitro and in vivo, in CRC models, through inhibition of p300-histone acetyltransferase activity. Since Wnt/β-Catenin pathway is the main player underlying CSCs dynamic, this finding candidates Rimonabant as potential modulator of cancer stemness, in CRC.

Overall, results from this work provided new insights on anti-tumor efficacy of Rimonabant, strongly suggesting that it could be a novel lead compound for CRC treatment.

 Anti-tumor action of cannabinoids in CRC was strongly supported by several authors.
The Endocannabinoid (EC) system role in the progression of CRC has been analyzed in vivo in the mouse model of azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis, where cannabinoids-mediated reduction of precancerous lesions in the mouse colon was found.
In CRC cells, agonists and antagonists of both cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, showed anti-tumor action through induction of cell death with different mechanisms ranging from apoptosis to mitotic catastrophe”
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The use of cannabidiol for seizure management in patients with brain tumor-related epilepsy.

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“Epilepsy, commonly encountered by patients with brain tumors, is often refractory to standard therapies. Our aim was to examine the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol (CBD; Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals) in those patients with epilepsy with concomitant tumors enrolled in The University of Alabama at Birmingham CBD Program (NCT02700412 and NCT02695537). Of the three patients with refractory seizures and a history of a primary brain tumor, two had improvement in seizure frequency and all three had improvement in seizure severity. These pilot results suggest that CBD should be further studied for the treatment of brain tumor-related epilepsy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29063814

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13554794.2017.1391294?journalCode=nncs20

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Cannabis sativa Extract Reduces Cytoskeletal Associated Proteins in Breast Cancer Cell Line

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Synergistic interaction of the cannabinoid and death receptor systems: A potential target for future cancer therapies?

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“Cannabinoid receptors have been shown to interact with other receptors, including Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily (TNFRS) members, to induce cancer cell death. When cannabinoids and death-inducing ligands (including TRAIL) are administered together, they have been shown to synergize and demonstrate enhanced antitumor activity in vitro. Certain cannabinoid ligands have been shown to sensitize cancer cells and synergistically interact with members of the TNFRS, thus suggesting that the combination of cannabinoids with death receptor (DR) ligands induces additive or synergistic tumor cell death. This review summarizes recent findings on the interaction of the cannabinoid and DR systems and suggests possible clinical co-application of cannabinoids and DR ligands in the treatment of various malignancies.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28948607

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1873-3468.12863/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+unavailable+on+Saturday+7th+Oct+from+03.00+EDT+%2F+08%3A00+BST+%2F+12%3A30+IST+%2F+15.00+SGT+to+08.00+EDT+%2F+13.00+BST+%2F+17%3A30+IST+%2F+20.00+SGT+and+Sunday+8th+Oct+from+03.00+EDT+%2F+08%3A00+BST+%2F+12%3A30+IST+%2F+15.00+SGT+to+06.00+EDT+%2F+11.00+BST+%2F+15%3A30+IST+%2F+18.00+SGT+for+essential+maintenance.+Apologies+for+the+inconvenience+caused+.

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Cannabinoids as Anticancer Drugs.

Advances in Pharmacology

“The endocannabinoid system encompassing cannabinoid receptors, endogenous receptor ligands (endocannabinoids), as well as enzymes conferring the synthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids has emerged as a considerable target for pharmacotherapeutical approaches of numerous diseases. Besides palliative effects of cannabinoids used in cancer treatment, phytocannabinoids, synthetic agonists, as well as substances that increase endogenous endocannabinoid levels have gained interest as potential agents for systemic cancer treatment. Accordingly, cannabinoid compounds have been reported to inhibit tumor growth and spreading in numerous rodent models. The underlying mechanisms include induction of apoptosis, autophagy, and cell cycle arrest in tumor cells as well as inhibition of tumor cell invasion and angiogenic features of endothelial cells. In addition, cannabinoids have been shown to suppress epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, to enhance tumor immune surveillance, and to support chemotherapeutics’ effects on drug-resistant cancer cells. However, unwanted side effects include psychoactivity and possibly pathogenic effects on liver health. Other cannabinoids such as the nonpsychoactive cannabidiol exert a comparatively good safety profile while exhibiting considerable anticancer properties. So far experience with anticarcinogenic effects of cannabinoids is confined to in vitro studies and animal models. Although a bench-to-bedside conversion remains to be established, the current knowledge suggests cannabinoid compounds to serve as a group of drugs that may offer significant advantages for patients suffering from cancer diseases. The present review summarizes the role of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid compounds in tumor progression.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28826542

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S105435891730039X?via%3Dihub

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A Review of the Therapeutic Antitumor Potential of Cannabinoids.

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“The aim of this review is to discuss cannabinoids from a preclinical and clinical oncological perspective and provide the audience with a concise, retrospective overview of the most significant findings concerning the potential use of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

RESULTS:

Cannabis sativa is a plant rich in more than 100 types of cannabinoids. Besides exogenous plant cannabinoids, mammalian endocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoid analogues have been identified. Cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2) have been isolated and characterized from mammalian cells. Through cannabinoid receptor and non-receptor signaling pathways, cannabinoids show specific cytotoxicity against tumor cells, while protecting healthy tissue from apoptosis. The dual antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of cannabinoids and associated signaling pathways have been investigated on a large panel of cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids also display potent anticancer activity against tumor xenografts, including tumors that express high resistance to standard chemotherapeutics. Few studies have investigated the possible synergistic effects of cannabinoids with standard oncology therapies, and are based on the preclinically confirmed concept of “cannabinoid sensitizers.” Also, clinical trials aimed to confirm the antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids have only been evaluated on a small number of subjects, with no consensus conclusions regarding their effectiveness.

CONCLUSIONS:

A large number of cannabinoid compounds have been discovered, developed, and used to study the effects of cannabinoids on cancers in model systems. However, few clinical trials have been conducted on the use of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancers in humans. Further studies require extensive monitoring of the effects of cannabinoids alone or in combination with standard anticancer strategies. With such knowledge, cannabinoids could become a therapy of choice in contemporary oncology.”

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The Role of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Cancer in Pediatric Patients.

“Cannabis has been used in folk medicine to alleviate pain, depression, amenorrhea, inflammation and numerous other medical conditions. In cancer patients specifically, cannabinoids are well known to exert palliative effects; their best-established use is the inhibition of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, but they are applied also to alleviate pain, stimulate appetite, and attenuate wasting. More recently, cannabinoids have gained special attention for their role in cancer cell proliferation and death.

Anti-cancer efficacy of cannabinoids:

The ability of cannabinoids to reduce tumor growth was reported for the first time by Munson et al. in 1975. They showed by in vitro and in vivo experiments that several phytocannabinoids, including THC, decreased Lewis lung adenocarcinoma proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. Nevertheless, it was not until the 2000s that the interest in these compounds as anti-cancer agents was renewed, predominantly due to the work of Guzman in gliomas, and the demonstration of cannabinoids’ anti-cancer effects on various types of tumors. The anti-tumorigenic effect of the endo- and phytocannabinoids was demonstrated in several in vitro and in vivo models of a wide variety of adult tumors including glioma, prostate, breast, leukemia, lymphoma, pancreas, melanoma, thyroid, colorectal and hepatocellular carcinoma tumors.

Given our positive results, we suggest that non-THC cannabinoids such as CBD might provide a basis for the development of novel therapeutic strategies without the typical psychotropic effects of THC that limit its use in pediatric patients.

Overall, the cannabinoids, and specifically the non-psychoactive CBD, may show future promise in the treatment of cancer”

https://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/228/114216.pdf

https://www.ima.org.il/imaj/ViewArticle.aspx?aId=4044

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28457057

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Anti-inflammatory effects of the cannabidiol derivative dimethylheptyl-cannabidiol – studies in BV-2 microglia and encephalitogenic T cells

“Preparations derived from Cannabis sativa (marijuana and hashish) have become widespread since ancient times, both as therapeutic agents and in recreational smoking.

Among the more than 60 phytocannabinoids identified in Cannabis extracts, the two most abundant are Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major psychotropic constituent, and cannabidiol (CBD), the major non-psychoactive component.

Cannabinoids were shown to exert a wide range of therapeutic effects, and many of the cannabinoids, especially CBD, were shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. In addition, it was shown that several cannabinoids have pro-apoptotic, neuroprotective, and antitumor properties

Dimethylheptyl-cannabidiol (DMH-CBD), a non-psychoactive, synthetic derivative of the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been reported to be anti-inflammatory in RAW macrophages. Here, we evaluated the effects of DMH-CBD at the transcriptional level in BV-2 microglial cells as well as on the proliferation of encephalitogenic T cells.

The results show that DMH-CBD has similar anti-inflammatory properties to those of CBD. DMH-CBD downregulates the expression of inflammatory cytokines and protects the microglial cells by inducing an adaptive cellular response against inflammatory stimuli and oxidative injury. In addition, DMH-CBD decreases the proliferation of pathogenic activated TMOG cells.

Several CBD derivatives were also shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties.

The results show that DMH-CBD induces similar anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and stress response effects to those previously observed for CBD.”

https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jbcpp.2016.27.issue-3/jbcpp-2015-0071/jbcpp-2015-0071.xml

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