Monday May 21, 2018

US funded Study Confirms that Chemicals in Marijuana Help Fight Brain Cancer

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a US federal government research institute, has officially announced that marijuana holds the power to kill cancer cells.

Cannabis’ potential medical benefits were accounted in a report issued by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports:

“Recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. Evidence from one animal study suggests that extracts from whole-plant marijuana can shrink one of the most serious types of brain tumors. Research in mice showed that these extracts, when used with radiation, increased the cancer-killing effects of the radiation.”

NIDA also revealed that two chemicals present in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabinoid (CBD), used as medication for cancer patients proved to be effective in the treatment of the fatal form of brain tumors.

The was released shortly after the Senate moved to end the federal ban on medical marijuana by classifying it as a Schedule II drug instead of Schedule I.

Also, it was declared by the Surgeon General of USA, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy in February 2015 that Cannabis offers health benefits. In addition, the NIDA fact sheet on medical marijuana was updated with the potency of CBD, which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, for the treatment of Alzheimers Disease, inflammation and pain to seizures, mental disorders and substance abuse.

“It couldn’t be any clearer that marijuana has medical value. When even NIDA and the surgeon general are acknowledging that marijuana can help people who are suffering, it is time for the Obama administration to reschedule the drug. The attorney general can initiate that process today, and there’s no reason for him not to, especially when polling shows that such a huge majority of Americans supports medical marijuana,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority.

Now, the big question is why the US government still continues the ban on weed for individual use? However, a statement released by the government on Wednesday stated that while it will not stop states that allow medical marijuana from carrying out their programs, it will still arrest marijuana users.

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New Therapy for Drug-Resistant Skin Cancer Suggested by Researchers

A team of researchers has managed to exploit a vulnerability in melanoma or skin cancer that develops resistance to a targeted therapy, providing a potential new therapeutic strategy to selectively kill the drug-resistant cancer cells.

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The reason for increased bleeding is not known. It may be because rivaroxaban is more 'potent', the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology said. (IANS)
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A team of researchers has managed to exploit a vulnerability in melanoma or skin cancer that develops resistance to a targeted therapy, providing a potential new therapeutic strategy to selectively kill the drug-resistant cancer cells.

The study has shown that when cancer cells develop drug resistance, they also acquire a new vulnerability, the Xinhua reported.

The researchers, led by Rene Bernards of the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oncode Institute in Denmark, exposed this new vulnerability in melanoma that has developed resistance to treatment with a BRAF inhibitor — a targeted therapy that blocks a signalling pathway in the cancer cell through which it gets the message to keep on dividing.

Since more than half of all melanoma patients have a mutation in this BRAF gene, the BRAF-inhibitor stops tumour growth in those patients.

But within a few months, the tumour cell adapts the original signalling pathway and becomes active again, and even hyperactive.

The researchers, however, found that the hyperactive resistant melanoma cells produced large amounts of reactive oxygen species, but cancer cells still sensitive to the drug did not do so.

Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.
Representational image, pixabay

The study, published in the journal Cell, found that the abundance of free radicals caused the resistant melanoma cells to stop dividing, but they did not die.

When tested on mice along with an existing drug, vorinostat, which is known to stimulate the production of free oxygen radicals, the researchers saw tumours shrink under the influence of the drug, the report said.

This laid the foundation for a new therapeutic strategy: Treating patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma, as usual, with signal pathway inhibitors.

When the tumour becomes resistant, stop giving those inhibitors and immediately treat the patients with vorinostat to kill the resistant cancer cells.

Also Read: Leukemia Progression in Kids Can be Delayed Through Bone Density Treatment

“It is not a combination drug. It is very important that you first stop the signalling pathway inhibitors because they suppress the free radicals and thus eliminate the effects of vorinostat,” Bernards said. (IANS)

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