Targeting the Endocannabinoidome in Pancreatic Cancer

“Pancreatic Ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common malignancy of the pancreas, is an aggressive and lethal form of cancer with a very high mortality rate. High heterogeneity, asymptomatic initial stages and a lack of specific diagnostic markers result in an end-stage diagnosis when the tumour has locally advanced or metastasised. PDAC is resistant to most of the available chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments, making surgery the most potent curative treatment. The desmoplastic tumour microenvironment contributes to determining PDAC pathophysiology, immune response and therapeutic efficacy. The existing therapeutic approaches such as FDA-approved chemotherapeutics, gemcitabine, abraxane and folfirinox, prolong survival marginally and are accompanied by adverse effects. Several studies suggest the role of cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents. Cannabinoid receptors are known to be expressed in pancreatic cells, with a higher expression reported in pancreatic cancer patients. Therefore, pharmacological targeting of the endocannabinoid system might offer therapeutic benefits in pancreatic cancer. In addition, emerging data suggest that cannabinoids in combination with chemotherapy can increase survival in transgenic pancreatic cancer murine models. This review provides an overview of the regulation of the expanded endocannabinoid system, or endocannabinoidome, in PDAC and will explore the potential of targeting this system for novel anticancer approaches.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *