Cannabinoids and Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review of Animal Studies

ijms-logo“Prostate cancer is a major cause of death among men worldwide.

Recent preclinical evidence implicates cannabinoids as powerful regulators of cell growth and differentiation, as well as potential anti-cancer agents.

The aim of this review was to evaluate the effect of cannabinoids on in vivo prostate cancer models.

We identified six studies that were all found to be based on in vivo/xenograft animal models.

All studies have reported that the treatment of prostate cancers in in vivo/xenograft models with various cannabinoids decreased the size of the tumor, the outcomes of which depended on the dose and length of treatment.

Within the limitation of these identified studies, cannabinoids were shown to reduce the size of prostate cancer tumors in animal models.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32872551/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/17/6265

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Anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effect of cannabidiol on human cancer cell lines in presence of serum

 BMC Research Notes | Home page“Objective: Cannabinoids are able to reduce tumor growth in xenograft models, but their therapeutic potential as anti-cancer drugs in humans is unclear yet. In vitro studies of the effect of cannabinoids on cancer cells are often carried out in absence of serum or in low serum concentration (i.e. 0.5% serum), conditions that limit cellular growth and therefore can increase the response of cells to additional challenges such as the presence of cannabinoids. However, the tumor microenvironment can be teaming with growth factors. In this study we assessed the viability and proliferation of cancer cells treated with cannabidiol in presence of a serum concentration that commonly sustains cell growth (10% serum).

Results: The results show that cannabidiol exerts a markedly different effect on the viability of the human HT-29 cancer cell line when cultured in presence of 0.5% serum in comparison to 10% serum, displaying a cytotoxic effect only in the former situation. In presence of 10% serum, no inhibitory effect of cannabidiol on DNA replication of HT-29 cells was detected, and a weak inhibition was observed for other cancer cell lines. These results indicate that the effect of cannabidiol is cell context-dependent being modulated by the presence of growth factors.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32819436/

“The cannabis plant has a therapeutic potential to treat a wide range of diseases, including cancer.”

https://bmcresnotes.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13104-020-05229-5

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Anti-Cancer Potential of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids Present in Cannabis

cancers-logo“In recent years, and even more since its legalization in several jurisdictions, cannabis and the endocannabinoid system have received an increasing amount of interest related to their potential exploitation in clinical settings. Cannabinoids have been suggested and shown to be effective in the treatment of various conditions. In cancer, the endocannabinoid system is altered in numerous types of tumours and can relate to cancer prognosis and disease outcome. Additionally, cannabinoids display anticancer effects in several models by suppressing the proliferation, migration and/or invasion of cancer cells, as well as tumour angiogenesis. However, the therapeutic use of cannabinoids is currently limited to the treatment of symptoms and pain associated with chemotherapy, while their potential use as cytotoxic drugs in chemotherapy still requires validation in patients. Along with cannabinoids, cannabis contains several other compounds that have also been shown to exert anti-tumorigenic actions. The potential anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, present in cannabis, are explored in this literature review.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32708138/

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/12/7/1985

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Enhancing ovarian cancer conventional chemotherapy through the combination with cannabidiol loaded microparticles

 European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics“In this work, we evaluated, for the first time, the antitumor effect of cannabidiol (CBD) as monotherapy and in combination with conventional chemotherapeutics in ovarian cancer and developed PLGA-microparticles as CBD carriers to optimize its anticancer activity.

Spherical microparticles, with a mean particle size around 25 µm and high entrapment efficiency were obtained. Microparticles elaborated with a CBD:polymer ratio of 10:100 were selected due to the most suitable release profile with a zero-order CBD release (14.13±0.17 μg/day/10 mg Mps) for 40 days.

The single administration of this formulation showed an in vitro extended antitumor activity for at least 10 days and an in ovo antitumor efficacy comparable to that of CBD in solution after daily topical administration (≈1.5-fold reduction in tumor growth vs control). The use of CBD in combination with paclitaxel (PTX) was really effective.

The best treatment schedule was the pre+co-administration of CBD (10µM) with PTX. Using this protocol, the single administration of microparticles was even more effective than the daily administration of CBD in solution, achieving a ≈10- and 8- fold reduction in PTX IC50 respectively. This protocol was also effective in ovo. While PTX conducted to a 1.5-fold tumor growth inhibition, its combination with both CBD in solution (daily administered) and 10-Mps (single administration) showed a 2-fold decrease.

These results show the promising potential of CBD-Mps administered in combination with PTX for ovarian cancer treatment, since it would allow to reduce the administered dose of this antineoplastic drug maintaining the same efficacy and, as a consequence, reducing PTX adverse effects.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32682943/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0939641120302113?via%3Dihub

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Anticancer Effect of New Cannabinoids Derived From Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid on PANC-1 and AsPC-1 Human Pancreas Tumor Cells

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“New tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) derivatives ALAM027 and ALAM108 were proposed for the treatment of the pancreatic cancer disease.

Methods: The in vitro effect of new cannabinoids ALAM027 and ALAM108 was tested against PANC-1 and AsPC-1 cell lines by CellTiter Glo assay. Pancreatic cancer xenograft model was used for the in vivo anticancer activity study of these compounds on PANC-1 cells.

Results: The in vitro study of new cannabinoids showed greater activity of ALAM108 than ALAM027 both for PANC-1 and AsPC-1 cells. The in vivo study of new cannabinoids on PANC-1 cells showed that their oral administration was effective in reducing tumor volume and tumor weight, and did not lead to any discomfort and weight loss of mice.

Conclusion: The cannabinoids ALAM108 and ALAM027 inhibited the tumor growing 1.6-2 times in mice with human PANC-1 cells.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32642629/

“The in vitro study of new cannabinoids showed greater activity of ALAM108 than of ALAM027 both for PANC-1 and AsPC-1 pancreas tumor cells. The in vivo study of these cannabinoids on PANC-1 cells showed that their oral administration decreased the tumor size 1.6–2 times and did not lead to any discomfort, psychotic effects, and weight loss of mice. Further study of these compounds will allow to determine the mechanism of their action on cancer cells and may open the way to new therapeutic drugs based on THCA.”

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/pancan.2020.0003

FIG. 1.

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The Expression Level of Cannabinoid Receptors Type 1 and 2 in the Different Types of Astrocytomas

 SpringerLink“Astrocytomas, the most prevalent primary brain tumors, can be divided by histology and malignancy levels into four following types: pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I), diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma (grade II), anaplastic astrocytoma (grade III), and glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV). For high grade astrocytomas (grade III and grade IV), blood vessels formation is considered as the most important property.

The distribution of cannabinoid receptors type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2) in blood vessels and tumor tissue of astrocytoma is still controversial. Asrocytoma tissues were collected from 45 patients under the condition of tumor-related neurosurgical operation. The expression of CB1 and CB2 receptors was assessed using immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time RT-PCR and western blotting.

The results indicated an increased expression of CB1 receptors in tumor tissue. There was a significant difference in the mount of CB2 receptors in blood vessels. More was observed in the grade III and glioblastoma (grade IV) than astrocytoma of grade II and control.

This study suggested that, the expression increase of cannabinoid receptors is an index for astrocytoma malignancy and can be targeted as a therapeutic approach for the inhibition of astrocytoma growth among patients.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32623617/

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11033-020-05636-8

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High Expression of Cannabinoid Receptor 2 on Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells and Multiple Myeloma Cells

ijms-logo“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.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32471216/

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/11/3800

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Inhibitor of Differentiation 1 (Id1) in Cancer and Cancer Therapy.

International Journal of Medical Sciences“The inhibitor of DNA binding (Id) proteins are regulators of cell cycle and cell differentiation. Of all Id family proteins, Id1 is mostly linked to tumorigenesis, cellular senescence as well as cell proliferation and survival.

Overall, Id1 represent a promising target of anti-tumor therapeutics based on its potent promotion effect to cancer. Numerous drugs were found exerting their anti-tumor function through Id1-related signaling pathways, such as fucoidan, berberine, tetramethylpyrazine, crizotinib, cannabidiol and vinblastine.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32410828

“Id1 is a promising target of anti-tumor treatment as many compounds exert anti-tumor properties by mediating Id1-related pathways.”

https://www.medsci.org/v17p0995.htm

“Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells leading to the down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness. Moreover, reducing Id-1 expression with cannabinoids could also provide a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of additional aggressive cancers because Id-1 expression was found to be up-regulated during the progression of almost all types of solid tumors investigated.”

https://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/6/11/2921

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PLGA Nanoparticles for the Intraperitoneal Administration of CBD in the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer: In Vitro and In Ovo Assessment.

pharmaceutics-logo“The intraperitoneal administration of chemotherapeutics has emerged as a potential route in ovarian cancer treatment. Nanoparticles as carriers for these agents could be interesting by increasing the retention of chemotherapeutics within the peritoneal cavity. Moreover, nanoparticles could be internalised by cancer cells and let the drug release near the biological target, which could increase the anticancer efficacy.

Cannabidiol (CBD), the main nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, appears as a potential anticancer drug. The aim of this work was to develop polymer nanoparticles as CBD carriers capable of being internalised by ovarian cancer cells.

The drug-loaded nanoparticles (CBD-NPs) exhibited a spherical shape, a particle size around 240 nm and a negative zeta potential (-16.6 ± 1.2 mV). The encapsulation efficiency was high, with values above 95%. A controlled CBD release for 96 h was achieved. Nanoparticle internalisation in SKOV-3 epithelial ovarian cancer cells mainly occurred between 2 and 4 h of incubation. CBD antiproliferative activity in ovarian cancer cells was preserved after encapsulation. In fact, CBD-NPs showed a lower IC50 values than CBD in solution. Both CBD in solution and CBD-NPs induced the expression of PARP, indicating the onset of apoptosis. In SKOV-3-derived tumours formed in the chick embryo model, a slightly higher-although not statistically significant-tumour growth inhibition was observed with CBD-NPs compared to CBD in solution.

To sum up, poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles could be a good strategy to deliver CBD intraperitoneally for ovarian cancer treatment.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32397428

https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4923/12/5/439

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Possible Enhancement of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) Colorectal Cancer Treatment when Combined with Cannabidiol.

“Colorectal cancer (CRC) has a high mortality rate and is one of the most difficult diseases to manage due to tumour resistance and metastasis. The treatment of choice for CRC is reliant on the phase and time of diagnosis. Despite several conventional treatments available to treat CRC (surgical excision, chemo-, radiation- and immune-therapy), resistance is a major challenge, especially if it has metastasized. Additionally, these treatments often cause unwanted adverse side effects and so it remains imperative to investigate, alternative combination therapies.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a promising treatment modality for the primary treatment of CRC, since it is non-invasive, has few side effects and selectively damages only cancerous tissues, leaving adjacent healthy structures intact. PDT involves three fundamentals: a Photosensitizer (PS) drug localized in tumour tissues, oxygen and light. Upon PS excitation using a specific wavelength of light, an energy transfer cascade occurs, that ultimately yields cytotoxic species, which in turn induces cell death.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is found to exert anticancer effects on CRC through different pathways, inducing apoptosis and so inhibits tumour metastasis and secondary spread.

This review paper highlights current conventional treatment modalities for CRC and their limitations, as well as discusses the necessitation for further investigation into unconventional active nanoparticle targeting PDT treatments for enhanced primary CRC treatment. This can be administered in combination with CBD, to prevent CRC secondary spread and so enhance the synergistic efficacy of CRC treatment outcomes, with less side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32294046

http://www.eurekaselect.com/180902/article

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