Dronabinol for the Treatment of Paraneoplastic Night Sweats in Cancer Patients: A Report of Five Cases.

 View details for Journal of Palliative Medicine cover image“Night sweats significantly impact the quality of life for cancer patients and are often resistant to treatment.

Cannabinoids have been shown to modulate cytokine activity and produce hypothermia in animal models, suggesting that they may be a promising candidate for palliation of night sweats in patients with oncologic disease.

A retrospective record search identified five cancer patients who had tried oral dronabinol for palliation of their night sweats between 2013 and 2016 and subjectively reported on its efficacy.

 

RESULTS:

Treatment of five patients with advanced cancer with synthetic orally administered dronabinol resulted in the successful management of persistent symptomatic paraneoplastic night sweats.

CONCLUSION:

Dronabinol and/or medicinal cannabis are promising therapies for palliation of night sweats in cancer patients.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30759037

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/jpm.2018.0551

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WHO proposes rescheduling cannabis to allow medical applications

Image result for the bmj journal“The World Health Organization has proposed rescheduling cannabis within international law to take account of the growing evidence for medical applications of the drug, reversing its position held for the past 60 years that cannabis should not be used in legitimate medical practice.”

https://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l574

“WHO RECOMMENDS RESCHEDULING #CANNABIS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY. The World Health Organization has suggested that cannabis should be downgraded, or “rescheduled,” given the mounting evidence showing that the drug could prove beneficial in treating a number of health problems. This marks a significant change in WHO’s position, which for the last 60 years has said that cannabis should not be used in medicine, according to an article in the BMJ.” https://www.newsweek.com/who-recommends-rescheduling-cannabis-international-law-first-time-history-1324613
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Therapeutic targeting of HER2-CB2R heteromers in HER2-positive breast cancer.

 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 116 (6)

“Although human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapies have dramatically improved the clinical outcome of HER2-positive breast cancer patients, innate and acquired resistance remains an important clinical challenge. New therapeutic approaches and diagnostic tools for identification, stratification, and treatment of patients at higher risk of resistance and recurrence are therefore warranted.

Here, we unveil a mechanism controlling the oncogenic activity of HER2: heteromerization with the cannabinoid receptor CB2R. We show that HER2 physically interacts with CB2R in breast cancer cells, and that the expression of these heteromers correlates with poor patient prognosis.

The cannabinoid Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) disrupts HER2-CB2R complexes by selectively binding to CB2R, which leads to (i) the inactivation of HER2 through disruption of HER2-HER2 homodimers, and (ii) the subsequent degradation of HER2 by the proteasome via the E3 ligase c-CBL. This in turn triggers antitumor responses in vitro and in vivo. Selective targeting of CB2R transmembrane region 5 mimicked THC effects.

Together, these findings define HER2-CB2R heteromers as new potential targets for antitumor therapies and biomarkers with prognostic value in HER2-positive breast cancer.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30733293

https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/02/06/1815034116

“Pharmacological activation of cannabinoid receptors elicits antitumoral responses in different cancer models. Our findings reveal an unprecedented role of CB2 as a pivotal regulator of HER2 pro-oncogenic signaling in breast cancer” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25855725
“Extensive preclinical research has demonstrated that cannabinoids, the active ingredients of Cannabis sativa, trigger antitumor responses in different models of cancer. Together, our results suggest that standardized cannabis drug preparations, rather than pure cannabinoids, could be considered as part of the therapeutic armamentarium to manage breast cancer.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29940172
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A Review of Human Studies Assessing Cannabidiol’s (CBD) Therapeutic Actions and Potential.

Publication cover image

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is a highly touted product for many different disorders among the lay press. Numerous CBD products are available, ranging from a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved product called Epidiolex to products created for medical marijuana dispensaries and products sold in smoke shops, convenience stores, and over the Internet.

The legal status of the non-FDA-approved products differs depending on the source of the CBD and the state, while the consistency and quality of the non-FDA-approved products vary markedly. Without independent laboratory verification, it is impossible to know whether the labeled CBD dosage in non-FDA-approved CBD products is correct, that the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol content is <0.3%, and that it is free of adulteration and contamination.

On the Internet, CBD has been touted for many ailments for which it has not been studied, and in those diseases with evaluable human data, it generally has weak or very weak evidence. The control of refractory seizures is a clear exception, with strong evidence of CBD’s benefit. Acute CBD dosing before anxiety-provoking events like public speaking and the chronic use of CBD in schizophrenia are promising but not proven. CBD is not risk free, with adverse events (primarily somnolence and gastrointestinal in nature) and drug interactions. CBD has been shown to increase liver function tests and needs further study to assess its impact on suicidal ideation.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30730563

https://accp1.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcph.1387

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[MEDICAL CANNABIS – A SOURCE FOR A NEW TREATMENT FOR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE?].

Image result for harefuah journal

“Medical uses of Cannabis sativa have been known for over 6,000 years. Nowadays, cannabis is mostly known for its psychotropic effects and its ability to relieve pain, even though there is evidence of cannabis use for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis centuries ago. The pharmacological therapy in autoimmune diseases is mainly based on immunosuppression of diffefent axes of the immune system while many of the drugs have major side effects. In this review we set out to examine the rule of Cannabis sativa as an immunomodulator and its potential as a new treatment option. In order to examine this subject we will focus on some major autoimmune diseases such as diabetes type I and rheumatoid arthritis.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27215114

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Recreational marijuana legalization and prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence

“Medical marijuana use may substitute prescription opioid use, whereas nonmedical marijuana use may be a risk factor of prescription opioid misuse. This study examined the associations between recreational marijuana legalization and prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees. In models comparing eight states and DC, legalization was not associated with Schedule II opioid outcomes; having recreational marijuana legalization effective in 2015 was associated with reductions in number of prescriptions, total doses, and spending of Schedule III opioids by 32%, and 31%, respectively. In models comparing eight states and DC to six states with medical marijuana legalization, recreational marijuana legalization was not associated with any opioid outcome. No evidence suggested that recreational marijuana legalization increased prescription opioids received by Medicaid enrollees. There was some evidence in some states for reduced Schedule III opioids following the legalization.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30390550

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871618307567?via%3Dihub

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Impact of Medical Marijuana Legalization on Opioid Use, Chronic Opioid Use, and High-risk Opioid Use.

“Medical marijuana legalization was found to be associated with a lower odds of any opioid use. In states where marijuana is available through medical channels, a modestly lower rate of opioid and high-risk opioid prescribing was observed. Policy makers could consider medical marijuana legalization as a tool that may modestly reduce chronic and high-risk opioid use.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30684198

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11606-018-4782-2

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Pills to pot: observational analyses of cannabis substitution among medical cannabis users with chronic pain.

“Chronic pain is common, costly and challenging to treat. Many individuals with chronic pain have turned to cannabis as an alternative form of pain management.

We report results from an ongoing, online survey of medical cannabis users with chronic pain nationwide about how cannabis affects pain management, health, and pain medication use. We also examined whether and how these parameters were affected by concomitant recreational use, and duration of use (novice: <1 year vs. experienced: ≥1 year). 1,321 participants (59% female, 54% ≥50 years old) completed the survey.

Consistent with other observational studies, ∼80% reported substituting cannabis for traditional pain medications (53% for opioids, 22% for benzodiazepines), citing fewer side effects and better symptom management as their rationale for doing so. Medical only users were older (52 vs. 47, p<0.0001), less likely to drink alcohol (66% vs. 79%, p<0.0001), and more likely to be currently taking opioids (21% vs. 11%, p<0.0001) than users with a combined recreational + medical history. Compared to novice users, experienced users were more likely to be male (64% vs. 58%, p<0.0001), take no concomitant pain medications (43% vs. 30%), and report improved health (74% vs. 67%, p=0.004) with use.

Given that chronic pain is the most common reason for obtaining a medical cannabis license, these results highlight clinically important differences among the changing population of medical cannabis users. More research is needed to better understand effective pain management regimens for medical cannabis users.

PERSPECTIVE: This article presents results that confirm previous clinical studies suggesting that cannabis may be an effective analgesic and potential opioid substitute. Participants reported improved pain, health, and fewer side effects as rationale for substituting. This article highlights how use duration and intentions for use affect reported treatment and substitution effects.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30690169

https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(18)30735-1/fulltext

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Medical cannabis patterns of use and substitution for opioids & other pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances; results from a cross-sectional survey of authorized patients.

 

Image result for harm reduction journal

“The findings provide a granular view of patient patterns of medical cannabis use, and the subsequent self-reported impacts on the use of opioids, alcohol, and other substances, adding to a growing body of academic research suggesting that increased regulated access to medical and recreational cannabis can result in a reduction in the use of and subsequent harms associated with opioids, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30691503

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-019-0278-6

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A survey of the attitudes, beliefs and knowledge about medical cannabis among primary care providers.

 Image result for bmc family practice“Healthcare providers play a critical role in facilitating patient access to medical cannabis. However, previous surveys suggest only a minority of providers believe that medical cannabis confers benefits to patients. Significant new knowledge about the potential benefits and harms of medical cannabis has recently emerged. Understanding current attitudes and beliefs of providers may provide insight into the ongoing challenges they face as states expand access to medical cannabis.

METHODS:

We conducted an electronic survey of primary care providers in a large Minnesota-based healthcare system between January 23 and February 5, 2018. We obtained information about provider characteristics, attitudes and beliefs about medical cannabis, provider comfort level in answering patient questions about medical cannabis, and whether providers were interested in receiving additional education.

RESULTS:

Sixty-two providers completed the survey (response rate 31%; 62/199). Seventy-six percent of respondents were physicians and the average age was 46.3 years. A majority of providers believed (“strongly agree” or “somewhat agree”) that medical cannabis was a legitimate medical therapy (58.1%) and 38.7% believed that providers should be offering to patients for managing medical conditions. A majority (> 50%) of providers believed that medical cannabis was helpful for treating the qualifying medical conditions of cancer, terminal illness, and intractable pain. A majority of providers did not know if medical cannabis was effective for managing nearly one-half of the other state designated qualifying medical conditions. Few believed that medical cannabis improved quality of life domains. Over one-third of providers believed that medical cannabis interacted with medical therapies. One-half of providers were not ready to or did not want to answer patient questions about medical cannabis, and the majority of providers wanted to learn more about it.

CONCLUSIONS:

Healthcare providers generally believe that medical cannabis is a legitimate medical therapy. Provider knowledge gaps about the effectiveness of medical cannabis for state designated qualifying conditions need to be addressed, and accurate information about the potential for drug interactions needs to be disseminated to address provider concerns. Clinical trial data about how medical cannabis improves patient quality of life domains is desperately needed as this information can impact clinical decision-making.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30669979

https://bmcfampract.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12875-019-0906-y

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