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Medicinal cannabis used in medicinal cannabis research project

Novel cannabinoids for cancer

Examining the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids

Testing cannabinoids alone, and in combination with full spectrum cannabis extracts, for efficacy in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma (MM), an aggressive cancer with a poor response to current therapies.

Project overview

Cannabinoids represent promising new therapies for cancer treatment and patient management. While these compounds are already approved in some countries for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and pain relief, they have also displayed a number of anti-cancer properties. Decreased cancer cell growth and metastatic potential have been reported following cannabinoid treatment in laboratory models of glioblastoma, breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer. Very recent results also suggest efficacy of cannabinoid in treating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a very aggressive brain cancer.

Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is an aggressive cancer with a poor response to current therapies. The most effective current standard of chemotherapy combines the use of pemetrexed with cisplatin. However, failure of this treatment is inevitable and there are no proven second-line options, leaving patients with a very grim prognosis and median survival of only 12 months. Therefore, there is an urgent unmet need for more effective treatments.

In this project we are examining the anticancer effects of cannabinoids in preclinical models of mesothelioma. We are testing cannabinoids alone, in combination with full spectrum cannabis extracts, and the current standard of care anti-mesothelioma treatment (pemetrexed and cisplatin) for synergism and efficacy.

Commenced – Feb 2016. The project is ongoing.

Dr Emily Colvin
Dr Amanda Hudson
Associate Professor Viive Howell
Associate Professor Jonathon Arnold
Professor Iain McGregor


Dr Lyndsey Anderson


Drug discovery and preclinical disease models

The Lambert Initiative


Some cannabinoids have been shown to reduce the proliferation of mesothelioma cancer cells in culture.

We are commencing a study assessing the impact of cannabidiol (CBD) alone and in combination with a full-spectrum extract in vivo.

We are looking for PhD students to join our team and work on this important project.