Marijuana May Be Helping Us Treat the Most Aggressive Forms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is not just one disease, in fact, it encompasses many different diseases. HER2-positive breast cancer, for example, is particularly aggressive. Cannabis has shown promise in treating a wide variety of cancers, including ones which are more aggressive in nature. Breast cancer research has turned increasingly towards medical marijuana for answers.

Cannabinoids

A team of Spanish researchers published a study in a journal to determine whether cannabinoids might constitute a new ‘therapeutic tool’ in treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. Anti-tumor potential of THC was analyzed along with synthetic cannabinoid. Researchers investigated effects on mice with a similar form of cancer. In mouse trials, examiners looked at the effects of cannabis on 87 human breast tumors. According to results, THC and CBD had a number of anti-cancer benefits in the mice. Both were found to inhibit cancer growth, reduce the number of tumors, and reduce the severity of growth.

Final Findings

Human cancer tissue was analyzed in the study where researchers found cannabinoids may inhibit cell proliferation and induce programmed cell death, ‘aptosis.’ Cannabinoids also seem to ‘impair tumor angiogenesis,’ which allows tumors to receive more nutrients by causing blood vessels to grow. In 91% of HER2-positive tumors, CB2 receptors were actively expressed and THC, along with CBD, both interact with CB2 receptors to explain the interaction with breast cancer.

More research is obviously needed to determine whether medical marijuana is an effective form of breast cancer treatment, but the results of the Spanish study lend some intrigue to the dialogue around breast cancer and cannabis. Cannabis is currently used to counter nausea and other side effects of chemotherapy, but evidence of anti-cancer protential is growing. If there is scientific research on the horizon which points to treatment for people with aggressive cancers, such as HER2-positive breast cancer, medical marijuana may replace chemotherapy as a follow-up to surgery.

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