Care After Chemotherapy: Peripheral Neuropathy, Cannabis for Symptom Control, and Mindfulness.

ASCO Educational Book

“As cancer therapies improve, patients are living longer. With these improvements in therapy comes a responsibility to optimize patients’ quality of life during cancer therapy and beyond. This report reviews three timely and important topics.

The first section reviews the mechanism underlying chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and evaluates the evidence for interventions to prevent and treat peripheral neuropathy. It also provides a framework for approaching the diagnosis and management of this common and bothersome side effect.

The second section addresses the controversial but effective use of cannabinoids for cancer and chemotherapy symptoms. Although clinical trials are difficult to conduct because of the political and social stigma of this class of drugs, this review provides evidence of the efficacy of cannabinoids for treatment of pain and nausea.

The last section addresses the mind-body connection, with a focus on the negative emotions patients with cancer often experience. This section assesses the literature regarding mindfulness-based programs to improve cancer-related stress. These three topics may appear unrelated, but all address one common goal: treating the body and the mind to optimize quality of life during and after cancer therapy.”

“Although commercially available dronabinol is not superior to other antiemetics and oromucosal nabiximols is not very effective for treating cancer pain, cannabis has been shown to be effective for treating pain and may help patients reduce opioid intake.”
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Oral cannabinoid-rich THC/CBD cannabis extract for secondary prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a study protocol for a pilot and definitive randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial (CannabisCINV).

BMJ Journals

“Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remains an important issue for patients receiving chemotherapy despite guideline-consistent antiemetic therapy. Trials using delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-rich (THC) products demonstrate limited antiemetic effect, significant adverse events and flawed study design. Trials using cannabidiol-rich (CBD) products demonstrate improved efficacy and psychological adverse event profile. No definitive trials have been conducted to support the use of cannabinoids for this indication, nor has the potential economic impact of incorporating such regimens into the Australian healthcare system been established. CannabisCINV aims to assess the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of adding TN-TC11M, an oral THC/CBD extract to guideline-consistent antiemetics in the secondary prevention of CINV.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS:

The current multicentre, 1:1 randomised cross-over, placebo-controlled pilot study will recruit 80 adult patients with any malignancy, experiencing CINV during moderate to highly emetogenic chemotherapy despite guideline-consistent antiemetics. Patients receive oral TN-TC11M (THC 2.5mg/CBD 2.5 mg) capsules or placebo capsules three times a day on day -1 to day 5 of cycle A of chemotherapy, followed by the alternative drug regimen during cycle B of chemotherapy and the preferred drug regimen during cycle C. The primary endpoint is the proportion of subjects attaining a complete response to CINV. Secondary and tertiary endpoints include regimen tolerability, impact on quality of life and health system resource use. The primary assessment tool is patient diaries, which are filled from day -1 to day 5. A subsequent randomised placebo-controlled parallel phase III trial will recruit a further 250 patients.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:

The protocol was approved by ethics review committees for all participating sites. Results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific conferences.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30209152

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/9/e020745

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Suppression of Cisplatin-Induced Vomiting by Cannabis sativa in Pigeons: Neurochemical Evidences.

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“Cannabis sativa (CS, family Cannabinaceae) has been reported for its anti-emetic activity against cancer chemotherapy-induced emesis in animal models and in clinics. The current study was designed to investigate CS for potential effectiveness to attenuate cisplatin-induced vomiting in healthy pigeons and to study the impact on neurotransmitters involved centrally and peripherally in the act of vomiting.

High-performance liquid chromatography system coupled with electrochemical detector was used for the quantification of neurotransmitters 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT), dopamine (DA) and their metabolites; Di-hydroxy Phenyl Acetic acid (Dopac), Homovanillic acid (HVA), and 5-hydroxy indole acetic acid (5HIAA) centrally in specific brain areas (area postrema and brain stem) while, peripherally in small intestine. Cisplatin (7 mg/kg i.v.) induce emesis without lethality across the 24 h observation period.

CS hexane fraction (CS-HexFr; 10 mg/kg) attenuated cisplatin-induced emesis ∼ 65.85% (P < 0.05); the reference anti-emetic drug, metoclopramide (MCP; 30 mg/kg), produced ∼43.90% reduction (P < 0.05). At acute time point (3rd h), CS-HexFr decreased (P < 0.001) the concentration of 5HT and 5HIAA in the area postrema, brain stem and intestine, while at 18th h (delayed time point) CS-HexFr attenuated (P < 0.001) the upsurge of 5HT caused by cisplatin in the brain stem and intestine and dopamine in the area postrema. CS-HexFr treatment alone did not alter the basal neurotransmitters and their metabolites in the brain areas and intestine except 5HIAA and HVA, which were decreased significantly.

In conclusion the anti-emetic effect of CS-HexFr is mediated by anti-serotonergic and anti-dopaminergic components in a blended manner at the two different time points, i.e., 3rd and 18th h in pigeons.”

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Cannabinoids for nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy: Overview of systematic reviews.

Phytotherapy Research

“Nausea and vomiting are common and distressing adverse events of chemotherapy.

This review focuses on the findings and quality of systematic reviews (SRs) of cannabinoids for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

On the basis of findings of the sole SR judged as high methodological quality, cannabinoids seem to be more effective than placebo, equal to prochlorperazine for reducing CINV, and to be preferred by patients.

Cannabinoids represent a valuable option for treating CINV, despite the adverse events related to treatment, such as drowsiness and cognitive impairment.”   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29168289

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.5975/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+usage+report+download+page+will+be+unavailable+on+Friday+24th+November+2017+at+21%3A00+EST+%2F+02.00+GMT+%2F+10%3A00+SGT+%28Saturday+25th+Nov+for+SGT+

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Medical Cannabinoids in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

AAP Gateway

“CONTEXT: Legalization of medical marijuana in many states has led to a widening gap between the accessibility and the evidence for cannabinoids as a medical treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To systematically review published reports to identify the evidence base of cannabinoids as a medical treatment in children and adolescents.

RESULTS: Evidence for benefit was strongest for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, with increasing evidence of benefit for epilepsy.”  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/10/19/peds.2017-1818

“Limited data on medical cannabis use in children. Strongest evidence supports use to reduce seizures, side effects of chemotherapy.”  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171023094606.htm

“Marijuana Can Help Children with Seizures, Cancer Nausea”   https://www.healthline.com/health-news/marijuana-can-help-children-with-seizures-cancer-nausea

“Medical Marijuana Reduces CINV, Seizures in Children”  https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/887616

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Antiallodynic effect of β-caryophyllene on paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in mice.

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“Painful peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of paclitaxel (PTX). The use of analgesics is an important component for management of PTX-induced peripheral neuropathy (PINP). However, currently employed analgesics have several side effects and are poorly effective.

β-caryophyllene (BCP), a dietary selective CB2 agonist, has shown analgesic effect in neuropathic pain models, but its role in chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain has not yet been investigated. Herein, we used the mouse model of PINP to show the therapeutic effects of BCP in this neuropathy.

Our findings show that BCP effectively attenuated PINP, possibly through CB2-activation in the CNS and posterior inhibition of p38 MAPK/NF-κB activation and cytokine release. Taken together, our results suggest that BCP could be used to attenuate the establishment and/or treat PINP.”  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28729222

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390817303465

“β-caryophyllene (BCP) is a common constitute of the essential oils of numerous spice, food plants and major component in Cannabis.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23138934

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Concise review of the management of iatrogenic emesis using cannabinoids: emphasis on nabilone for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

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“Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) is a prevalent, distressing, and burdensome side effect of cancer chemotherapy. It is estimated to affect the majority of patients receiving certain anti-cancer drug regimens and can be treatment-limiting, even for life-saving medications. Despite seemingly numerous options, such as antimuscarinic anticholinergics, antihistamines, 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, dopamine receptor antagonists, and neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists, preventative therapies are often inadequately effective, particularly for “delayed CINV”-leaving an important unmet clinical need.

Cannabinoid receptor agonists, by virtue of their unique mechanism of action and efficacy and safety data reported in clinical trials, appear to offer a useful additional option.

The mechanistic value of cannabinoids has been well known for many years, but these agents may have been underutilized in the past because of the notoriety and legal status of marijuana. While botanical marijuana contains nearly 500 components, including the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), nabilone is an established, single-entity synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist that has become the focus of renewed interest. We review the basic pharmacology and clinical trial data of nabilone for use in prophylaxis and treatment of CINV.”

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Therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in counteracting chemotherapy-induced adverse effects: an exploratory review.

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“Cannabinoids (the active constituents of Cannabis sativa) and their derivatives have got intense attention during recent years because of their extensive pharmacological properties. Cannabinoids first developed as successful agents for alleviating chemotherapy associated nausea and vomiting. Recent investigations revealed that cannabinoids have a wide range of therapeutic effects such as appetite stimulation, inhibition of nausea and emesis, suppression of chemotherapy or radiotherapy-associated bone loss, chemotherapy-induced nephrotoxicity and cardiotoxicity, pain relief, mood amelioration, and last but not the least relief from insomnia. In this exploratory review, we scrutinize the potential of cannabinoids to counteract chemotherapy-induced side effects. Moreover, some novel and yet important pharmacological aspects of cannabinoids such as antitumoral effects will be discussed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25504799

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Tolerability of dronabinol alone, ondansetron alone and the combination of dronabinol plus ondansetron in delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

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“Dronabinol (Marinol), the synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol, is used to treat nausea and vomiting following cancer chemotherapy (CINV).

It has a unique mechanism of action (cannabinoid receptor binding) compared to the more frequently used serotonin receptor antagonists. Tolerability of dronabinol versus ondansetron and the combination of dronabinol plus ondansetron was explored in subjects with delayed CINV.

Dronabinol was well tolerated and resulted in few terminations due to adverse events. The low rate of CNS-related adverse events following D treatment may make it a suitable alternative to serotonin antagonist therapy for delayed CINV.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27946950

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Dronabinol treatment of delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).

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“Dronabinol (MARINOL), synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, binds to cannabinoid receptors and has antiemetic activity. To explore if this novel mechanism would be of benefit in delayed CINV, dronabinol was added to the prophylactic regimen for acute CINV and continued after chemotherapy.

Efficacy at Endpoint (LOCF) Conclusions: Dronabinol (D) was comparable to ondansetron (O) in total response and but was more effective in reducing nausea intensity and vomiting/retching. Results for the combination of DO were similar to either agent alone.

These results support conducting a larger study since D could become an attractive alternative to serotonin receptor antagonists in treating delayed CINV.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27946578

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