Thursday, April 9, 2009

THC May fight Brain Cancer

According to researchers in Spain, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) promotes  the death of brain cancer cells. The details of this research appeared in the April 1, 2009 edition of the scientific Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Researchers in Spain have discovered that THC causes brain cancer cells to undergo a process called autophay in which the cell breaks down and essentially digests itself. The spanish research team discovered that cannabinoids such as THC had anticancer effects in mice with human brain cancer cells and also in people with brain tumors. THC shrank the tumor growth in both mice and humans. Two patients enrolled in a clinical trial were administered THC directly to the brain as an experimental treatment for a highly aggressive brain tumor - recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. Progress was measure from taking biopsies before and after treatment. After receiving the THC, there was evidence of increased autophagy activity.

The patients did not have any toxic effects from the treatment. Previous studies evaluating the effect of THC for the treatment of cancer have also shown the therapy to be well tolerated by cancer patients.

See full articl at WebMD here