DOES CANNABIS BREAST CANCER TREATMENT OFFER HOPE?
Researchers find Cannabis Breast Cancer treatments can work!
Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 10.4% of all cancer incidence among women, making it the second most common type of non-skin cancer (after lung cancer) and the fifth most common cause of cancer death.
Research has shown that cannabis breast cancer treatment can be effective in treating breast cancer and are particularly effective against aggressive forms of the condition.
An in vitro study of the effect of cannabis breast cancer treatment on programmed cell death in breast cancer cell lines found that CBD induced programmed cell death, independent of the CB1, CB2, or vanilloid receptors. Cannabis breast cancer treatment inhibited the survival of both oestrogen receptor–positive and oestrogen receptor–negative breast cancer cell lines, inducing apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner while having little effect on nontumorigenic mammary cells.
Other studies have also shown the antitumor effect of cannabinoids (CBD and THC) in preclinical models of breast cancer. Cannabis breast cancer treatments involving Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) which is an inhibitor of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration (stops them spreading) and have been reported to possess anti-proliferative effects (stops growth or their ability to multiply) on cancer cells.
Olivia Newton John is a little discreet in this interview referring to a ‘natural’ treatment approach. In fact she is using cannabis oil.
CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid within marijuana, but does not cause the psychotropic high of THC. Although some highly successful treatments have been developed, certain breast tumours are resistant to conventional therapies and a considerable number of them relapse.
Experimental evidence accumulated during the last decade supports the fact that cannabis breast cancer treatment with cannabinoids and their derivatives, exhibit anti-cancer properties.
Dr. Pierre Desprez completed his Ph.D. at the University of Lyon in France, and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Drs. Judith Campisi and Mina Bissell
Initially at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on mammary gland dev elopment, breast cancer and cellular senescence in particular. Desprez reports:
“We started by researching breast cancer, but now we’ve found that cannabidiol cannabis breast cancer treatment also works with many other kinds of aggressive cancers; brain, prostate, any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present”.
Results of the current investigation revealed that CBDA inhibits migration of the highly invasive MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells (through a mechanism involving inhibition of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, coupled with an activation of the small GTPase).
In the United States alone, breast cancer affects hundreds of thousands of women and many men every year. Some non-invasive forms of the disease are relatively treatable, but many types are far more aggressive.
CANNABIS TREATMENT FOR BREAST CANCER
Cannabinoids and their role in fighting breast cancer.
Despite ever increasing research and new drug trials certain breast tumours continue to be resistant to conventional treatments.
One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumours. During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage.
A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumours and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumours (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats.
In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo . In addition, other tumours have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.
Breast cancer is comprised of tumours that are distinct in their molecular profiles and these are categorized into five main intrinsic or molecular sub types that are based on the genes a cancer expresses:
Luminal A breast cancer is hormone-receptor positive (oestrogen-receptor and/or progesterone-receptor positive), HER2 negative, and has low levels of the protein Ki-67, which helps control how fast cancer cells grow. Luminal A cancers are low-grade, tend to grow slowly and have the best prognosis.
This breast cancer is hormone-receptor positive (oestrogen-receptor and/or progesterone-receptor positive), and either HER2 positive or HER2 negativewith high levels of Ki-67. Luminal B cancers generally grow slightly faster than luminal A cancers and their prognosis is slightly worse.
This breast cancer is hormone-receptor negative (oestrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor negative) and HER2 negative. This type of cancer is more common in women with BRCA1 gene mutations. Researchers aren’t sure why, but this type of cancer also is more common among younger and African-American women.
A recent study indicated that a proportion of these cells exhibit cannabinoid receptors, making cannabis breast cancer treatment one of the most suitable potential targeted treatments, particularly for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. A further study reported in Molecular Oncology reported in 2015:
“The anti-tumour role and mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid compound, are not well studied especially in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In the present study, we analysed CBD’s anti-tumorigenic activity against highly aggressive breast cancer cell lines including TNBC subtype. We show here for the first time-that CBD significantly inhibits epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced proliferation and chemotaxis of breast cancer cells.”
This breast cancer is hormone-receptor negative (oestrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor negative) and HER2 positive. HER2-enriched cancers tend to grow faster than luminal cancers and can have a worse prognosis, but they are often successfully treated with targeted therapies aimed at the HER2 protein, such as Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab), Perjeta (chemical name: pertuzumab), Tykerb (chemical name: lapatinib), and Kadcyla (chemical name: T-DM1 or ado-trastuzumab emtansine).
This breast cancer is similar to luminal A disease: hormone-receptor positive (oestrogen-receptor and/or progesterone-receptor positive), HER2 negative, and has low levels of the protein Ki-67, which helps control how fast cancer cells grow. Still, while normal-like breast cancer has a good prognosis, its prognosis is slightly worse than luminal A cancer’s prognosis.
Research suggests that cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids (mainly THC and CBD) may be useful in treating all 5 subtypes of breast cancer, with the strongest evidence of therapeutic potential pointing to treatment of HER2-positive and triple-negative breast tumours.
The therapeutic potential of cannabis breast cancer treatment is particularly important for patients with triple-negative breast cancer, as there is no standard therapy that currently exists and prognosis for this group of patients is poor.
Senior Scientist Dr. Sean McAllister, PhD, and colleague Pierre Desprez, PhD, discovered that the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), inhibits breast cancer metastasis.
Dr. McAllister earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and his doctoral degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University.
His doctoral research focused on the interactions of cannabinoids with their endogenous receptors. He completed postdoctoral training at the Forbes Norris Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Centre, before joining CPMCRI in 1999.
“This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects.” – Dr. Sean McAllister.
Cannabis breast cancer treatment can also provide a variety of other benefits in the treatment of cancer, including the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with standard chemotherapeutic treatments and reduction of cancer-associated pain.
Research also shows that, when combined with conventional cancer treatments, cannabinoids are able to induce a synergistic action against cancer and tumour cells, suggesting that the combination of conventional and cannabinoid-based treatments may more powerful than the administration of either treatment alone.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTS OF CANNABINOIDS ON BREAST CANCER
This has so far been limited to pre-clinical trials involving cell cultures and animal models.
Researchers believe that further pre-clinical trials are necessary to identify which patient population is the most appropriate for cannabis breast cancer treatment and which cannabinoids specifically present the best therapeutic option for patients before trials can advance to the clinical stage.
Until these factors are established, it is unlikely that oncologists will be willing to prescribe cannabinoid-based medicine for the treatment of breast cancer, despite the fact that research authors continue to assert the need for health professionals to be aware of cannabinoid research. Susan Weiss Behrend is an advanced practice oncology nurse. She has functioned as a clinical nurse specialist in the areas of medical and radiation oncology.
In a 2013 article published in the Oncology Nursing Forum, associate editor Susan Weiss Behrend concluded:
“Cannabinoids have demonstrated anti tumour activity in pre-clinical breast cancer models. Practicing oncology professionals need to be aware of the clinical potential of these agents” – Susan Weiss Behrend.
According to doctors and patients we have worked closely with over the past decade, breast cancer tumours can be effectively treated with a cannabis breast cancer protocol.
However, specialists in this field offer a word of caution, the ratios of the cannabinoids THC and CBD must be matched to the classification of breast cancer-with certain types of breast cancer, namely those that are oestrogen-positive, the tumour will actually grow if too much THC is used.
CANCERS THAT INVOLVE OESTROGEN
These types of cancer may actually spread in response to large amounts of THC.
Patients with ER+ or triple-positive breast cancer do better with lower ratios of THC to CBD—a ratio 1:1 to 1:4 is preferable, this is according to doctors, patients and also specialists from Complutense University in Madrid that we have worked with and spoken to.
(HER2 or ErbB2) is a protein that is over-copied by certain types of breast cancer.
HER2-positive cancers spread more rapidly than other types of cancer. Triple negative breast cancers do not have oestrogen or progesterone receptors and don’t show overproduction of HER2.
Triple-negative breast cancers spread aggressively because they don’t respond to hormones or drugs that target HER2, but chemotherapy is an option. These types of breast cancer are ER+ and PR+, and they have too much HER2 production. They can be treated with hormones, HER2 drugs, and chemo.
Research has shown that PR+, HER2-positive, and triple-negative breast cancers can be effectively halted with cannabis breast cancer treatment.
Cannabinoid receptors are over expressed in the tumours of particular cancers, such as those of the breast, liver, lungs, and prostate. Cannabinoids from cannabis bind with these receptors and either switch off the cell’s ability to divide and replicate or simply kill it (apoptosis).
In this manner, full spectrum cannabis oils containing both cannabinoids (CBD and THC) can work in tandem with the body’s endocannabinoid system to induce cancer cell death, inhibit cell growth, or prevent the metastasis (spread) of cancer cells. In addition, unlike chemotherapy, cannabis breast cancer treatment can prevent healthy cell damage.
FULL SPECTRUM OIL & CANNABIS BREAST CANCER TREATMENT
Cancers that involve estrogen may actually spread in response to large amounts of THC.
There is a significant role for THC in cannabis breast cancer treatments, studies have suggested that different cannabinoids will fight different forms of breast cancer.
THC has been shown to induce apoptosis in ErbB2–positive breast cancer cells and inhibits tumour growth in animal models. CBD is known to work at the genetic level, blocking expression of the ID-1 gene to inhibit breast cancer metastasis.
However, the ratios of THC and CBD must be matched to the classification of breast cancer, evidence suggests that with certain kinds of breast cancer, namely those that are oestrogen-positive, the tumour will actually grow if too much THC is used.
“Many with breast cancers have been helped with the addition of THC and CBD to their standard treatment plans.
It is important to communicate with your oncologist about all cannabinoids and supplements being taken as there can be potential interactions.
With simple adjustments, the synergy between cannabis, chemotherapy, and radiation is far greater than the sum of its parts.” – Mara Gordon.
Research has shown that PR+, HER2-positive, and triple-negative breast cancers can be effectively treated with cannabis. The protocols recommended for cannabis breast cancer treatment have high THC-to-CBD ratios – A ratio of around 4:1.
Cancers that involve oestrogen, however, may actually spread in response to large amounts of THC. Patients with ER+ or triple-positive breast cancer do better with cannabis breast cancer treatments containing lower ratios of THC to CBD – A ratio 1:1 to 1:4 is preferable.