Cancer

The Endocannabinoid System may Provide Biomarkers for Endometrial Cancer

Title: Identification of Novel Predictive Biomarkers for Endometrial Malignancies- N-Acylethanolamines

A recent study has demonstrated that specific members of the endocannabinoid system may serve as potential biochemical markers for endometrial cancer. Elevated levels of two products of the endocannabinoid system (N-palmitoylethanolamine and N-arachidonoylethanolamine), reflect the production of endometrial tumors.

By screening for elevated levels of those substances, it may be easier for physicians to more quickly recognize the possible presence of endometrial tumors, leading to a potentially sooner diagnosis and intervention. Further research should be conducted to see if there is an even stronger connection between the dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system and endometrial cancer. 


This study highlights the far-reaching arms of the endocannabinoid system that are still so poorly understood. Until the federal government supports the research of cannabis and helps the general public to recognize it as a medically useful substance, research will continue to be limited and stifled. Government-sponsored research is required to boost the growing data that is currently limited by a reliance on private funding. State governments continue to legalize medical marijuana and recognize the medical and economic benefits of cannabis-based medicines. As local legislature demonstrates the success of medical cannabis programs, many patients continue to look to the federal government to follows suit, to further support our fellow citizens in need. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDThe Endocannabinoid System may Provide Biomarkers for Endometrial Cancer
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Pediatric Oncology Center Justifies the Use of Medical Cannabis

Pediatric oncologists from Minnesota recently published an article justifying their use of medical cannabis as palliative care for their patients.

The majority of patients at the oncology center were approved for medical cannabis use during their first round of treatment, in order to immediately address the negative side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea, pain, and cancer cachexia. The data provided from the center described much higher chemotherapy compliance rates among patients, and that patients have a much better quality of life when utilizing cannabis.

This article highlights a few promising trends and issues with using medical cannabis; one promising trend is the hope for cannabis to provide antitumor effects. Cannabis has been a subject of exploration for antitumor effects and it has shown promising results. But, there are many limitations to the few studies that have been published, leading the authors to defer any definitive conclusions. The center in Minnesota noted that many of the patients diagnosed with brain tumors were especially hopeful that cannabis would aid in curing them of cancer, second to utilizing the drug for nausea. This is a promising trend because it means the greater public is showing interest in the therapeutic possibilities of cannabis and their support and call for research will aid the drive for the federal rescheduling of marijuana. 

Also highlighted in this article is that, of all the patients certified to use medical cannabis, a subset of 24% never actually registered through the state to receive it. The authors have no firm explanation for these circumstances but seem to suspect that the $200 annual certification fee, on top of the cost for each additional dispensed product may be limiting of patients abilities to afford cannabis. Without the backing of the federal government, insurance companies are unable to cover medical cannabis. As the depth and reach of cannabis research grow, there are good reasons for patients to feel optimistic about medical cannabis.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDPediatric Oncology Center Justifies the Use of Medical Cannabis
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Cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer

A literature review from 2009 (10 years ago) summarizes the anti-cancer properties of cannabis, concluding that various cannabinoids might inhibit cancer cell growth and tumor growth. In particular, cannabis shows promise to help treat colon, skin, prostate, and breast cancer. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabinoids in the treatment of cancer
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Cannabidiol May Provide Novel Treatment for Rare Ovarian Cancer

Dramatic response to Laetrile and cannabidiol (CBD) oil in a patient with metastatic low grade serous ovarian carcinoma

A recent case study has examined a patient’s response to the consumption of cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for a rare type of ovarian cancer. Rather than participate in chemotherapy, which has been shown to only be effective in 5% of patients with low grade serous ovarian carcinoma, an 81-year-old decided to take a combination of amygdalin and CBD. Although CBD has only been shown to have effective anti-cancer properties in murine models the featured patient reported a significant decrease in tumor size, revealing that CBD may, in fact, be an effective treatment for patients looking into alternative care methods.

Although proven ineffective, the use of amygdalin highlights alternative therapies derived from naturally occurring chemicals found in common plants. Flavonoids and terpenes are chemical components of cannabis plants, also found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, that are just now being investigated for their therapeutic benefits. The results of those inquiries may prove useful for similar patients suffering from illnesses that are resistant to the usual treatments.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCannabidiol May Provide Novel Treatment for Rare Ovarian Cancer
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Prospective analysis of safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in a large, unselected population of patients with cancer

In a study of 2,970 cancer patients, researchers determined that cannabis as a palliative treatment seems to be well tolerated, effective and a safe option to help patients cope with cancer-related symptoms.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDProspective analysis of safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in a large, unselected population of patients with cancer
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Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol as potential curative agents for cancer. A critical examination of the preclinical literature.

According to multiple mouse-models, THC administered directly into cancerous tumors produces a reduction in tumor sizes.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDTetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol as potential curative agents for cancer. A critical examination of the preclinical literature.
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CBD Overcomes Resistance to current treatment of Human Colorectal Cancer Cells

Oxaliplatin is the most commonly used drug to treat colorectal cancer (CRC), but patients often develop resistance to it. So, researchers conducted a study to determine the effect of CBD in overcoming oxaliplatin resistance in CRC cells. They found that elevated NOS3 phosphorylation is an essential part of the development of oxaliplatin resistance, and CBD successfully decreased NOS3 phosphorylation. This effect resulted in cells overcoming oxaliplatin resistance, which suggests that CBD could be a new strategy to treat colorectal cancer. 

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCBD Overcomes Resistance to current treatment of Human Colorectal Cancer Cells
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Dronabinol: antileukemic activity in acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia with lymphoid differentiation patterns

Study provides rigorous data to support clinical evaluation of THC as a low-toxic therapy option in acute leukemia patients. In related work, full-spectrum, natural derivatives of cannabis may work more effectively than their pharmaceutical counterparts.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDDronabinol: antileukemic activity in acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia with lymphoid differentiation patterns
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Recent Study Finds that Astragalin Prevents Tumor Growth

A Kaempferol-3-O-β-D-glucoside, Intervention Effect of Astragalin on Estradiol Metabolism

A recent study found that a flavonoid known as astragalin possesses a strong anti-tumor effect. High levels of a metabolite formed from the hormone estradiol have been found in tumor tissues leading researchers to search for an inhibitor to prevent estradiol from forming the metabolite. This study has found that astragalin, which is a naturally occurring substance found in a variety of plants and wine, has an effective antitumor mechanism that inhibits the formation of the metabolite.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDRecent Study Finds that Astragalin Prevents Tumor Growth
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Compounds in Citrus Peels Functioning as Preventive Agents for Prostate Cancer

Effect of citrus peel extracts on the cellular quiescence of prostate cancer cells

A recent study has revealed that citrus peel extracts (CPE) have the potential to prevent prostate cancer from recurring in post-therapy cancer patients. A component of CPE, flavonoids, have previously been found to have anticancer effects, but appear to lack the correct structure to prevent tumors in patients with prostate cancer. This specific study found that the citric acid present in CPE was the contributing factor to its anticancer effects but mentioned that flavonoids should continue to be researched for chemopreventive benefits.

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Benjamin Caplan, MDCompounds in Citrus Peels Functioning as Preventive Agents for Prostate Cancer
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