Medical Cannabis Could Increase Survival Rate of Pancreatic Cancer Patients

According to a new study published in journal Oncogene, Cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the main components of cannabis—might help pancreatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy live longer. Scientists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) discovered mice undergoing chemotherapy for the illness survived nearly three times longer if CBD is also included in their treatment.

Funded by the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, researchers examined the effect on CBD on mice with the disease, receiving Gemcitabine (a common chemotherapy medication). The mice were treated with this mix of drugs had a median average of 56 days, compared to 23.5 days for those who relieved on chemotherapy alone and 20 days for those left untreated.

Lead researcher Professor Marco Falasca said, “The life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available. Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven percent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies are urgently needed.”

It appears the combination of CBD and Gemcitabine block the GPR55 protein, which delays the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. However, this protein is only a main driver in a third of pancreatic cancer patients, so not everyone would benefit.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there will be an estimated 55,440 new cases of pancreatic cancer by the end of the year. Unfortunately, while using cancer treatments such as surgical resection and chemotherapy, only 8.5 percent of pancreatic cancer patients survive within five years of diagnosis.

If further studies demonstrate that CBD is effective in improving cancer treatment, this could result in immediate use in cancer clinics. Not only may CBD prove effective in improving survival rates for pancreatic cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but also help offset some of chemotherapy’s side effects.

For more information about CBD, contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine today.