A new study published in the journal Oncogene found that mice with pancreatic cancer who were treated with both cannabidiol (CBD) and chemotherapy had an improved survival rate of three times those who were treated with chemotherapy alone, reports Science Daily.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 55,440 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018. Of those diagnosed, it is estimated that about 44,330 will die. The disease accounts for about 3 percent of all U.S. cancers and about 7 percent of cancer deaths. Alternately, the article states that about 9,800 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.K every year.
The study, led by Queen Mary University of London and Curtin University, Australia, tested the impact of CBD on the use of Gemcitabine, a commonly used chemotherapy drug.
Professor Marco Falasca from Queen Mary University of London and lead researcher called the results “remarkable.”
“Cannabidiol is already approved for use in clinics, which means we can quickly go on to test this in human clinical trials. If we can reproduce these effects in humans, cannabidiol could be in use in cancer clinics almost immediately, compared to having to wait for authorities to approve a new drug.”
Falasca’s comment about CBD already being approved for use in clinics is referring to clinics in the U.K. According to MSN, the Food and Drug Administration just approved the first prescription CBD-based medication in the United States to specifically treat two rare forms of epilepsy just last month.
“Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven per cent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed.”
CBD does not contain the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is present in cannabis and is responsible for associated psychoactive effects. Simply put, cannabis gets you high. CBD does not.
Researchers stated that CBD may be able to improve quality of life for pancreatic cancer patients and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in general, researchers said, as it is known for improving, or reducing, side effects associated with chemotherapy such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
However, Science Daily notes, the findings of this recent British study are currently associated with pancreatic cancer in mice only. Clinical trials are still needed to determine if CBD use in conjunction with chemotherapy treatments would improve life expectancy rates for humans diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
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