Phase Two Cannabis Drug Trial for Brain Tumor Gets Approval

Phase Two Cannabis Drug Trial for Brain Tumor Gets Approval

A phase two clinical trial for a cannabis-based drug for treating a very aggressive brain cancer is given permission to start, as The Brain Tumour has confirmed. The public supported the charity in raising £400,000 (approximately $532,800) to finance the three-year trial. This randomized study will examine whether adding Sativex, an oral spray containing cannabinoids, to chemotherapy could increase the lifespan of patients who suffer from recurrent glioblastoma.

The trial is scheduled to begin next year in the UK, and will include 230 patients who suffer from an aggressive form of brain cancer. If it proves successful, the research team believes it could become one of the first additions to NHS treatment for patients who suffer from glioblastoma. The researchers will investigate whether adding Sativex to chemotherapy could increase the patients’ survival rate, which is currently ten months, or improve their life quality.

The lead researcher Susan Short, professor of clinical oncology and neuro-oncology at the University of Leeds, believes that glioblastoma treatment is highly challenging since nearly all brain tumors regrow within a year, even after surgery and chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

There has been a lot of interest in using cannabinoids to treat different cancers for a long time now because of their well-described effects on the brain. It has been shown that glioblastoma brain tumors have receptors to cannabinoids, and these drugs may slow tumor growth. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that they work exceptionally well when used with temozolomide.

Professor Short is excited that the study could answer whether these agents could help treat the most aggressive form of brain tumor. It has been recently shown that a combination of cannabinoids given in the form of an oral spray could be added to temozolomide chemotherapy. Many researchers and patients have shown significant interest in the potential activity of cannabinoids in treating glioblastomas for a while now. This world-first trial could help accelerate these answers.

Photo by David Gabrić on Unsplash

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