A pilot clinical study of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme

“One of the most devastating forms of cancer is glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV astrocytoma), the most frequent class of malignant primary brain tumours. Current standard therapeutic strategies for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (surgical resection and focal radiotherapy) are only palliative…”

“The hemp plant Cannabis sativa L. produces approximately 60 unique compounds known as cannabinoids, of which Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most important owing to its high potency and abundance in cannabis. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol exerts a wide variety of biological effects by mimicking endogenous substances – the so-called endocannabinoids – that bind to and activate specific cell surface receptors. cannabinoids have been proposed as potential antitumoral agents owing to their ability to inhibit the growth and angiogenesis of various types of tumour xenografts in animal models.”

“Here we report the first clinical study aimed at assessing cannabinoid antitumoral action, specifically a pilot phase I trial in which nine patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme were administered THC intratumoraly. The patients had previously failed standard therapy (surgery and radiotherapy) and had clear evidence of tumour progression. The primary end point of the study was to determine the safety of intracranial THC administration… Cannabinoid delivery was safe and could be achieved without overt psychoactive effects…. The fair safety profile of THC, together with its possible antiproliferative action on tumour cells reported here and in other studies, may set the basis for future trials aimed at evaluating the potential antitumoral activity of cannabinoids.”


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