Medical marijuana for the treatment of vismodegib-related muscle spasm

JAAD Case Reports

“Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) arises from loss-of-function mutations in tumor suppressor patched homologue 1, which normally inhibits smoothened homologue in the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway. Vismodegib, a smoothened homologue inhibitor, is US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for metastatic or locally advanced BCC that has recurred after surgery or for patients who are not candidates for surgery and radiation. Common adverse effects of vismodegib are muscle spasms, alopecia, dysgeusia, nausea, and weight loss. Muscle spasms worsen with duration of drug administration and may lead to drug discontinuation.

We report a case of vismodegib-related muscle spasm that was successfully treated with medical marijuana (MM).

During the first week of vismodegib and radiation, the patient started MM, having heard of its indication in the treatment of muscle cramps. She smoked 3 to 4 joints daily of Trainwreck strain, containing 18.6% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 0.0% cannabidiol (CBD), and 0.0% cannabinol. Her muscle spasms resolved immediately. She continued MM for 3.5 weeks, until the cost of MM became prohibitive. She reported no adverse effects from MM. Complete resolution of muscle spasms was sustained through the remaining 3.5 weeks of vismodegib. Complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, and lactate dehydrogenase level were monitored throughout the study with no significant changes. As of 18 months posttreatment, the patient had a complete clinical response of her BCC.

One marijuana joint contains, on average, 0.66 g of marijuana, although the definition of a joint is highly variable. With any MM formulation, patients should start at a low dose and gradually titrate to effect. Additional studies could confirm safety and efficacy and better specify the optimal cannabinoid subtypes, preparations, and dosages that may be most beneficial for vismodegib-induced muscle spasms.”

http://www.jaadcasereports.org/article/S2352-5126(17)30124-8/fulltext

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Effects of Cannabinoid Agonists and Antagonists on Sleep and Breathing in Sprague-Dawley Rats.

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“There are no pharmacological treatments for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, but dronabinol showed promise in a small pilot study. In anesthetized rats, dronabinol attenuates reflex apnea via activation of cannabinoid (CB) receptors located on vagal afferents; an effect blocked by cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) and/or type 2 (CB2) receptor antagonists. Here, using a natural model of central sleep apnea, we examine the effects of dronabinol, alone and in combination with selective antagonists in conscious rats chronically instrumented to stage sleep and measure cessation of breathing.

RESULTS:

Dronabinol decreased the percent time spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. CB receptor antagonists did not reverse this effect. Dronabinol also decreased apneas during sleep, and this apnea suppression was reversed by CB1 or CB1/CB2 receptor antagonism.

CONCLUSIONS:

Dronabinol’s effects on apneas were dependent on CB1 receptor activation, while dronabinol’s effects on REM sleep were CB receptor-independent.”

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[Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-cannabidiol in the treatment of spasticity in chronic spinal cord injury: a clinical experience].

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“Spasticity in chronic spinal cord injury is a condition that can have negative repercussions on the patient’s quality of life. Its treatment is complex and sometimes the outcome is insufficient.

Cannabinoids have recently been used in multiple sclerosis to successfully treat spasticity that is refractory to other therapies.

AIM:

To quantify the clinical response of a group of patients with spastic chronic spinal cord injury to the orally administered drug delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-cannabidiol (Sativex ®) as medication for use in special situations.

RESULTS:

Fifteen patients took part in this study. A significant improvement was observed on three of the scales recorded: modified Ashworth scale (z = -2.97; p = 0.003), Penn spasm frequency scale (z = -2.76; p = 0.006) and Numeric Rating Scale (z = -3.21; p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Sativex can be considered an alternative in patients with spasticity associated with chronic spinal cord injury for whom other therapeutic measures have been insufficient. Further studies need to be conducted before the use of this drug can be recommended and so as to define a complete profile of its long-term side effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28929471

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Medical marijuana in pediatric oncology: A review of the evidence and implications for practice.

Pediatric Blood & Cancer

“Medical marijuana (MM) has become increasingly legal at the state level and accessible to children with serious illness. Pediatric patients with cancer may be particularly receptive to MM, given purported benefits in managing cancer-related symptoms. In this review, we examine the evidence for MM as a supportive care agent in pediatric oncology. We describe the current legal status of MM, mechanism of action, common formulations, and potential benefits versus risks for pediatric oncology patients. We offer suggestions for how providers might approach MM requests. Throughout, we comment on avenues for future investigation on this growing trend in supportive care.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28926679

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pbc.26826/abstract

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Results of a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study of Nabiximols Oromucosal Spray as Adjunctive Therapy in Advanced Cancer Patients With Chronic Uncontrolled Pain.

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Home

“Prior phase 2/3 studies found that cannabinoids might provide adjunctive analgesia in advanced cancer patients with uncontrolled pain.

To assess adjunctive nabiximols (Sativex®), an extract of Cannabis sativa containing two potentially therapeutic cannabinoids (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, in advanced cancer patients with chronic pain unalleviated by optimized opioid therapy.

Nabiximols was statistically superior to placebo on two of three quality-of-life instruments at week 3 and on all three at week 5.

The safety profile of nabiximols was consistent with earlier studies.

Although not superior to placebo on the primary efficacy endpoint, nabiximols had benefits on multiple secondary endpoints, particularly in US patients.

Nabiximols might have utility in patients with advanced cancer who receive a lower opioid dose, such as individuals with early intolerance to opioid therapy.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28923526

http://www.jpsmjournal.com/article/S0885-3924(17)30465-7/fulltext

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Nanoparticle Drones to Target Lung Cancer with Radiosensitizers and Cannabinoids

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“Nanotechnology has opened up a new, previously unimaginable world in cancer diagnosis and therapy, leading to the emergence of cancer nanomedicine and nanoparticle-aided radiotherapy. These nanoparticle drones can be programmed to deliver therapeutic payloads to tumor sites to achieve optimal therapeutic efficacy.

In this article, we examine the state-of-the-art and potential of nanoparticle drones in targeting lung cancer. Inhalation (INH) (air) versus traditional intravenous (“sea”) routes of navigating physiological barriers using such drones is assessed. Results and analysis suggest that INH route may offer more promise for targeting tumor cells with radiosensitizers and cannabinoids from the perspective of maximizing damage to lung tumors cells while minimizing any collateral damage or side effects.

As discussed earlier, nanoparticle drones are particularly attractive because they can also be loaded with drugs payload like cannabinoids. Cannabinoids, which are the bioactive components of Cannabis sativa and their derivatives, may exert palliative effects in cancer patients by preventing nausea, vomiting, and pain and by stimulating appetite .

Furthermore, studies indicate that cannabinoids can inhibit cancer cell growth in in vitro and in vivo. A Nature Reviews Cancer article and other recently published work highlight the potential of cannabinoids for treating cancer, working in synergy with radiotherapy and serving as radiosensitzers to enhance damage to lung tumor cells in particular. Consistent with this, our own experiments have confirmed the potential of cannabinoids in treating lung cancer, with results confirming that cannabinoids can enhance damage to cancer cells.

Overall, the use of nanoparticle drones administered via INH to enhance NRT, as highlighted in this article, may provide a good strategy for maximizing therapeutic efficacy in external beam NRT for lung cancer. Also there is growing evidence that cannabinoids can serve as radiosensitizers, enhance damage to tumor cells, slow tumor growth, and work synergistically with radiotherapy in cancer treatment.”

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fonc.2017.00208/full

“Cannabis Science Announces Publication of Initial Research Results Using Nanoparticle Drones to Target Lung Cancer With Radiosensitizers and Cannabinoids in the Renowned Journal Frontiers in Oncology” https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/cannabis-science-announces-publication-initial-120522920.html

“Cannabis Science “Nanoparticle Drones to Target Lung Cancer with Radiosensitizers and Cannabinoids” Full Publication Released Today In Frontiers In Oncology” http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/cannabis-science-nanoparticle-drones-target-lung-cancer-with-radiosensitizers-cannabinoids-2234167.htm

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Re-visiting the Endocannabinoid System and Its Therapeutic Potential in Obesity and Associated Diseases.

 Current Diabetes Reports

“The purpose of the review was to revisit the possibility of the endocannabinoid system being a therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity by focusing on the peripheral roles in regulating appetite and energy metabolism.

Previous studies with the global cannabinoid receptor blocker rimonabant, which has both central and peripheral properties, showed that this drug has beneficial effects on cardiometabolic function but severe adverse psychiatric side effects. Consequently, focus has shifted to peripherally restricted cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptor blockers as possible therapeutic agents that mitigate or eliminate the untoward effects in the central nervous system.

Targeting the endocannabinoid system using novel peripheral CB1 receptor blockers with negligible penetrance across the blood-brain barrier may prove to be effective therapy for obesity and its co-morbidities.

Perhaps the future of blockers targeting CB1 receptors will be tissue-specific neutral antagonists (e.g., skeletal muscle specific to treat peripheral insulin resistance, adipocyte-specific to treat fat excess, liver-specific to treat fatty liver and hepatic insulin resistance).”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28913816

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11892-017-0924-x

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Inhibition of Wnt/β-Catenin pathway and Histone acetyltransferase activity by Rimonabant: a therapeutic target for colon cancer.

 

“In a high percentage (≥85%) of both sporadic and familial adenomatous polyposis forms of colorectal cancer (CRC), the inactivation of the APC tumor suppressor gene initiates tumor formation and modulates the Wnt/β-Catenin transduction pathways involved in the control of cell proliferation, adhesion and metastasis.

Increasing evidence showed that the endocannabinoids control tumor growth and progression, both in vitro and in vivo.

We evaluated the effect of Rimonabant, a Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) inverse agonist, on the Wnt/β-Catenin pathway in HCT116 and SW48 cell lines carrying the genetic profile of metastatic CRC poorly responsive to chemotherapies.

Obtained data heavily supported the rationale for the use of cannabinoids in combined therapies for metastatic CRC harbouring activating mutations of β-Catenin.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28916833

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11688-x

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Endocannabinoid mechanism in amphetamine-type stimulant use disorders: A short review.

Journal of Clinical Neuroscience Home

“Recent evidence shows that the endocannabinoid system is involved in amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) use disorders. To elucidate the role of the endocannabinoid system in ATS addiction, we reviewed results of studies using cannabinoid receptor agonists, antagonists as well as knockout model.

The endocannabinoid system seems to play a role in reinstatement and relapse of ATS addiction and ATS-induced psychiatric symptoms. The molecular mechanisms of this system remains unclear, the association with dopamine system in nucleus accumbens is most likely involved. However, the function of the endocannabinoid system in anxiety and anti-anxiety effects induced by ATS is more complicated.

These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system may play an important role in the mechanism of ATS addiction and provide new idea for treating ATS addiction.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28912087

http://www.jocn-journal.com/article/S0967-5868(17)30989-X/fulltext

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The role of cannabinoid receptors in renal diseases.

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“Chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains a major challenge for Public Health systems and corresponds to the replacement of renal functional tissue by extra-cellular matrix proteins such as collagens and fibronectin. There is no efficient treatment to date for CKD except nephroprotective strategies.

The cannabinoid system and more specifically the cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) may represent a new therapeutic target in CKD.

Our review will first focus on the current state of knowledge regarding the cannabinoid system in normal renal physiology and in various experimental nephropathies, especially diabetes.  We will review the data obtained in models of diabetes and obesity as well as in nonmetabolic models of renal fibrosis and emphasizes the promising role of CB1 blockers and CB2 agonists in the development of renal disease and fibrosis. Next, we will review the current state of knowledge regarding the cellular pathways involved in renal fibrogenesis and renal injury.

Overall, this review will highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting the cannabinoid receptors in CKD and diabetes.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28901271

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