Study on cannabis chemical as a treatment for pancreatic cancer may have 'major impact,' Harvard researcher says

  
Via:  tessylo  •  one month ago  •  14 comments

Study on cannabis chemical as a treatment for pancreatic cancer may have 'major impact,' Harvard researcher says

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Study on cannabis chemical as a treatment for pancreatic cancer may have 'major impact,' Harvard researcher says









Abby Haglage, Yahoo Lifestyle   2 hours 6 minutes ago  






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Scientists from Harvard University's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found evidence that a chemical derived from cannabis may be capable of extending the life expectancy for those with pancreatic cancer. (Photo: Pablo PORCIUNCULA BRUNE / AFP)

Pancreatic cancer makes up just  3 percent  of all cancers in America. But with a  one-year survival rate  of just 20 percent (and five-year survival rate of less than 8), it’s predicted to be the  second leading cause of cancer-related death  by 2020.

Headlines about the illness, as a result, tend to be discouraging. But this month scientists from Harvard University’s  Dana-Farber Cancer Institute   have released some much-needed good news. In their  study , published in the journal   Frontiers of Oncology   on July 23, the researchers revealed that a chemical found in cannabis has demonstrated “significant therapy potential” in treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The specific drug, called  FBL-03G , is a derivative of a cannabis “flavonoid” — the name for a naturally-occurring compound found in plants, vegetables and fruits which, among other purposes, provides their vibrant color. Flavonoids from cannabis were  discovered  by a London researcher named Marilyn Barrett in 1986, and were later found to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

But while scientists long suspected that cannabis flavonoids may have therapeutic potential, the fact that they make up just 0.14 percent of the plant meant that researchers would need entire fields of it to be grown in order to extract large enough quantities. That changed  recently  when scientists found a way to genetically engineer cannabis flavonoids — making it possible to investigate their benefits.

Enter the researchers at Dana-Farber, who decided to take the therapeutic potential of one of these flavonoids, FBL-03G, and test it on one of the deadliest cancers through a lab experiment. The results, according to Wilfred Ngwa, PhD, an assistant professor at Harvard and one of the study’s researcher, were “major.”


“The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer,” Ngwa tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “This has major significance, given that pancreatic cancer is particularly refractory to current therapies.”

Ngwa says that the study is the first to demonstrate the potential new treatment for pancreatic cancer. But on top of successfully killing those cells, the scientist found FBL-03G capable of attacking other cancer cells — which was startling even to them. “We were quite surprised that the drug could inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body, representing metastasis, that were not targeted by the treatment,” says Ngwa. “This suggests that the immune system is involved as well, and we are currently investigating this mechanism.”

The significance of that, says Ngwa, is that, because pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed in later stages, once it has spread, and the flavonoids seem to be capable of killing other cancer cells, it may mean the life expectancy of those with the condition could increase.

“If successfully translated clinically, this will have major impact in treatment of pancreatic cancer,” says Ngwa.

The next step for the Harvard researchers is to complete ongoing pre-clinical studies, which Ngwa hopes will be completed by the end of 2020. That could set the stage for testing the new treatment in humans, opening up a new window of hope for a group long in need of it.









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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    one month ago

Scientists from Harvard University's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have found evidence that a chemical derived from cannabis may be capable of extending the life expectancy for those with pancreatic cancer. (Photo: Pablo PORCIUNCULA BRUNE / AFP)

Pancreatic cancer makes up just 3 percent of all cancers in America. But with a one-year survival rate of just 20 percent (and five-year survival rate of less than 8), it’s predicted to be the second leading cause of cancer-related death by 2020.

Headlines about the illness, as a result, tend to be discouraging. But this month scientists from Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have released some much-needed good news. In their study, published in the journal Frontiers of Oncology on July 23, the researchers revealed that a chemical found in cannabis has demonstrated “significant therapy potential” in treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The specific drug, called FBL-03G, is a derivative of a cannabis “flavonoid” — the name for a naturally-occurring compound found in plants, vegetables and fruits which, among other purposes, provides their vibrant color. Flavonoids from cannabis were discovered by a London researcher named Marilyn Barrett in 1986, and were later found to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

But while scientists long suspected that cannabis flavonoids may have therapeutic potential, the fact that they make up just 0.14 percent of the plant meant that researchers would need entire fields of it to be grown in order to extract large enough quantities. That changed recently when scientists found a way to genetically engineer cannabis flavonoids — making it possible to investigate their benefits.

Enter the researchers at Dana-Farber, who decided to take the therapeutic potential of one of these flavonoids, FBL-03G, and test it on one of the deadliest cancers through a lab experiment. The results, according to Wilfred Ngwa, PhD, an assistant professor at Harvard and one of the study’s researcher, were “major.”

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     one month ago

Wonderful news.

 
 
 
MrFrost
3  MrFrost    one month ago
“If successfully translated clinically, this will have major impact in treatment of pancreatic cancer,” says Ngwa.

I hope this works out because mortality rates among people who end up with pancreatic cancer is shockingly low. 

I think the feds should end the ban on weed because it's far less harmful than booze. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  MrFrost @3    one month ago

I think Big Pharma is behind a lot of that.  They can charge mega bucks for synthetic.

I don't think there are any harmful side effects to marijuana.  

 
 
 
katrix
3.1.1  katrix  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    one month ago
I don't think there are any harmful side effects to marijuana. 

Oh, there definitely are. Lung damage, of course. Short term memory loss. Reduced ability for things like driving and operating heavy machinery (Colorado's fatal accident rate has gone up quite a bit since they legalized it). And in excess it can make some people very apathetic.

Compared to alcohol? I'd take its side effects any day.

 
 
 
MrFrost
3.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    one month ago
They can charge mega bucks for synthetic.

They already do and have been for years. Unless something has changed in the last 10 years, it was branded as, "Mirinol". 

I don't think there are any harmful side effects to marijuana.  

Depends on how you take it. Smoking it isn't exactly the best for obvious reasons. But eating it should not have any negative health effects. 

I'll eat the salted caramels once in a blue moon to help me sleep. Rarely i'll use a bong. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.1.3  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  katrix @3.1.1    one month ago

I think the benefits far outweigh any of the side effects

 
 
 
luther28
3.1.4  luther28  replied to  Tessylo @3.1    one month ago
"I don't think there are any harmful side effects to marijuana."
After fifty plus years of fairly consistent consumption I will say that there are certainly side effects, as to the amount of harm I suppose it comes down to the individual. As a coincidence I have finally decided to give it a rest for a bit, if nothing else my lungs could use the rest, about to find out how real reality has become, ugh :)

 
 
 
luther28
3.1.5  luther28  replied to  katrix @3.1.1    one month ago
"Compared to alcohol? I'd take its side effects any day."
Absolutely agree, anyone who has witnessed a passing due to long term alcohol abuse would most likely concur.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.1.6  Vic Eldred  replied to  katrix @3.1.1    one month ago
Oh, there definitely are.

Amen and we have a few generations of proof!

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4  Perrie Halpern R.A.    one month ago

What an amazing find and coming from mother nature, too. 

 
 
 
cjcold
5  cjcold    one month ago

I imagine that I am grandfathered in and will never have to worry about it.

 
 
 
luther28
6  luther28    one month ago

There are many who have had the notion that many cancer cures may lie within botanical treatment, very encouraging news.

In the meantime my pancreas will be happy knowing that my many years of ingestion may have a side benefit to it :)

 
 
 
Split Personality
6.1  Split Personality  replied to  luther28 @6    one month ago

We have come a long way from being hunter gatherers where our diet depended on the seasons and where we wandered.

We went form being opportunistic omnivores to eating processed foods which clog our arteries and likely contribute to cancer, as well as all of the plastic and other pollution caused by industry and nuclear 'accident's...

 
 
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