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Cancer cells being treated by medicinal cannabis

Cancer treatment

The role of medicinal cannabis in the treatment of cancer

There is an urgent need to discover more effective treatments of aggressive cancers that have a poor response to current therapies and, consequently, low patient survival rates. 

Current and upcoming research projects

Research to date shows that cannabinoids can alleviate the nausea and wasting seen in cancer and HIV patients. Cellular studies and early human evidence indicates their potential in inhibiting various tumours and overcoming the resistance that develops to standard chemotherapeutic agents.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is one example of an aggressive cancer that is poorly treated by current therapies. Our researchers are currently screening the efficacy of multiple cannabinoids in MM and in other types of cancer such as pancreatic cancer and brain cancer. Eventually we hope that these results can be translated into early human trials of cannabinoid therapies in various forms of difficult-to-treat cancers.

We are also planning a study in conjunction with clinical colleagues in Sydney to track the experiences, wellbeing and longevity of cancer patients who obtain cannabinoid products under the TGA’s Authorised Prescriber Scheme and Special Access Category B Scheme.