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Can cannabis based mouth spray treat brain tumours? NHS linked first of its kind trial to begin.

The first research of its kind in the world seeks to determine whether using Sativex together with chemotherapy may cure glioblastoma.

Cancer organisations and the NHS are getting ready to look at the possibility of using a cannabis-based mouth spray to treat brain tumours and extend patients' lives.


In a clinical study, doctors will administer the treatment, known as Sativex, coupled with the chemotherapy drug temozolomide to patients throughout the UK who have a recurring brain tumour called a glioblastoma in an effort to eradicate dangerous cells.


It will be the first research of its kind ever conducted.


Although glioblastoma is an aggressive and difficult-to-treat kind of brain tumour, doctors have been able to treat it with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy nearly usually with some success. Those that are diagnosed only have a 12- to 18-month survival span, while those with recurrent glioblastoma only have a 10-month lifespan.

Can cannabis treat brain tumours? Clinic trial research

The first research of its kind in the world seeks to determine whether using Sativex together with chemotherapy may cure glioblastoma.

Cancer organisations and the NHS are getting ready to look at the possibility of using a cannabis-based mouth spray to treat brain tumours and extend patients' lives.


The illness is the most prevalent type of brain cancer in England, where 2,200 people are diagnosed with it each year.


In order to lessen their spasticity, Sativex is already administered to multiple sclerosis patients whose condition has not improved despite therapy. It is one of three cannabis-based medications that the NHS presently uses.


According to Susan Short, professor of clinical oncology and neuro-oncology at Leeds University and the study's principal investigator, "We believe that Sativex may kill glioblastoma tumour cells and that it may be particularly effective when given with temozolomide chemotherapy, so it may enhance the effects of chemotherapy treatment in stopping these tumours from growing and allow patients to live longer." That is what the study will attempt to test, she added.


Early in 2019, 232 patients will be enrolled in the research from at least 15 institutions, including specialised cancer centres, throughout the UK, according to the Brain Tumour Charity, which is supporting it. The chemotherapeutic medication and a placebo will be given to the remaining third, while the other two thirds will get Sativex and temozolomide.


Sativex comprises the psychoactive cannabis delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes users to feel "high," and the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), which can help relieve pain, inflammation, and anxiety.


According to Dr. David Jenkinson, interim chief executive of the Brain Tumour Charity, "We think this research might pave the path for a long-awaited new lifeline that could potentially provide glioblastoma sufferers precious additional months to live and build memories with their loved ones."



"We are particularly delighted that this world-first trial here in the UK might assist to hasten these answers," the statement reads. "We know there is great curiosity in our community concerning the potential activity of cannabis in treating glioblastomas."


Cannabis brain tumours: NHS linked investigation

The experiment comes after a previous investigation, a phase one trial, which included 27 individuals and examined just the safety of combining Sativex with temozolomide. The Aristocrat research, a new three-year trial, will examine the safety of that regimen as well as its effects on patients' outcomes, including how long they live.


The most recent preliminary results were very encouraging, and Jenkinson continued, "We now look forward to understanding whether adding Sativex to chemotherapy could offer life extension and improved quality of life, which would be a major step forward in our ability to treat this devastating disease.


Short said that the preliminary research revealed that the medicine may extend some people's lives. Sativex participants had a higher survival rate a year later than placebo individuals.


"It demonstrated the safety of this combination, despite the fact that some patients experienced nausea, fatigue, and dizziness as adverse effects.


"The purpose of the trial was not to determine whether Sativex provided a greater chance of survival. However, it did imply that some Sativex patients performed better than anticipated and superior to those who just had chemotherapy, the doctor noted. Related: How To Get Prescribed Medical Cannabis UK


The Brain Tumour Charity intends to move on with the experiment, but emphasised that it would depend on the outcome of an appeal to assist defray the trial's £450,000 expenses. After losing 25% of its revenue due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it has discontinued its regular programme of research funding.


The clinical trials division of Cancer Research UK at Birmingham University is in charge of overseeing the new research. The unit's head, Prof. Pam Kearns, emphasised the need of conducting studies like this one to determine if cannabis or its constituent compounds may be used to treat cancer. Sativex and temozolomide, two chemotherapy drugs, are being used in a clinical trial to treat a glioblastoma, a current brain tumour, in an effort to eradicate malignant cells.


It will be the first research of its kind ever conducted. Sativex is a cannabis-based medicine. It is licensed in the UK for people with Multiple Sclerosis muscle spasticity that hasn’t improved with other treatments. Sativex is a liquid that you spray into your mouth.


Although glioblastoma is an aggressive and difficult-to-treat kind of brain tumour, doctors have been able to treat it with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy nearly usually with some success. Those that are diagnosed only have a 12- to 18-month survival span, while those with recurrent glioblastoma only have a 10-month lifespan.

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