The Complutense University of Madrid is currently investigating cannabinoid treatments and their potential ability to kill glioma cells which are responsible for roughly 80% of all cases of malignant brain tumors.
Professors Manuel Guzman and Guillermo Velasco lead the research team looking into alternative treatments for this grim condition. Glioblastoma has a median survival time of 16 months for those who seek out procedures such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Research on cannabinoid therapy and the role it plays in glioblastoma is going on in other places as well. An article published on the NCBI under the title, “Cannabinoids in Glioblastoma Therapy: New Applications for Old Drugs” emphasizes that “glioblastoma (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor and one of the deadliest types of solid cancer overall.” The conclusion of this study gives formidable evidence supporting cannabinoid therapy as a potential treatment for GBM cancers.
“In conclusion, cannabinoids show promising anti-neoplastic functions in GBM by targeting multiple cancer hallmarks such as resistance to programmed cell death, neoangiogenesis, tissue invasion or stem cell-induced replicative immortality. The effects of cannabinoids can be potentially enhanced by a combination of different cannabinoids with each other or with chemotherapeutic agents. This requires, however, a detailed understanding of cannabinoid-induced molecular mechanisms and pharmacological effects. Ultimately, these findings might foster the development of improved therapeutic strategies against GBM and, perhaps, other diseases of the nervous system as well.”-NCBI
What the Research Shows Thus Far
So far research performed by the team at the Complutense University of Madrid has determined not only that cannabis could be a potential treatment for brain cancer, but that cannabinoids kill cancer cells and not the brain like many would lead you to believe. In 2014, Professor Guillermo Velasco and Manuel Guzman determined that when THC is applied directly to glioblastoma cells, they cease growth and die.
A compound known as VEGF is what provides the body the ability to grow new blood vessels. VEGF aka “Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor” is essential to a cancer cells life cycle. When cancer cells start to grow, they require this compound to produce their own blood vessels. When THC is present, however, VEGF decreases, and therefore the tumor does not receive blood supply. By doing this, the cancerous cells essentially begin to commit suicide and die from starvation.
A Pending Clinical Trial
Researchers are currently in the works of launching a clinical trial which will include 30 to 40 patients from Spanish hospitals that have been diagnosed with glioma. Funding for this research is coming through many crowdfunding efforts throughout Europe. This includes large donations from the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour.
The pilot study concluded that eight out of nine patients saw positive responses to THC based cannabinoid treatments which makes the thought of a larger clinical trial and the results it can produce very intriguing.