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Study shows Cannabinoid improves life expectancy in mice with pancreatic cancer

An exciting new study suggests that cannabinoid cannabidiol might impact life expectancy for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with cannabinoid cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, along with their standard chemotherapy treatment were shown to have nearly three times longer life expectancy than those treated with chemotherapy alone.

This study conducted by Queen Mary University and Curtin University, shows promising results that could be tested on human subjects almost immediately. CBD is already approved for medical use and would be easily available as a treatment option. This study only observed mice with CBD added to their chemotherapy drug, Gemcitabine, and human trials have not been conducted yet. Lead researcher, Professor Marco Falasca, is optimistic about the results saying that “mice with pancreatic cancer survived nearly three times longer if a constituent of medicinal cannabis was added to their chemotherapy treatment.” Clinical trials will need to be conducted to test the effects on human subjects.

Pancreatic cancer is an extremely aggressive type of cancer with a very low survival rate. Only about five percent of those diagnosed can be expected to live beyond five years. Almost ten thousand people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. This study is particularly important because there are currently very few treatments for pancreatic cancer. Most of the treatments for this deadly disease are palliative and do not combat the cancer at all. The survival rate for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer has not seen any improvement for forty years. Any breakthroughs in treatment options would be a boon to the oncology field.

If the study results can be reproduced in humans, CBD may also be used to curb the side effects of chemotherapy. Cannabinoids are often used to ameliorate pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. CBD may also lower inflammation and anxiety. Use of cannabinoids for medical use has been historically controversial, with unclear results. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and other naturally occurring substance in medical cannabis, CBD does not have the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis use and is not a controlled substance, making it a much less controversial medication to prescribe. CBD could possibly make a big impact on the quality of life and length of life of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.