The United States officially recognise the therapeutic potentials in oncology of cannabidiol and cannabis for brain cancer
Insys Therapeutics announced that the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (US government agency, regulating food - and pharmaceutical products) has added to the list of orphan drugs one of its products containing cannabidiol indicated for the treatment of glioma (a type of tumour affecting the brain or the vertebral column).
In order to be added to the list of orphan drugs, in general a medicine should be intended for the treatment of a rare disease: a pathology affecting less than 200.000 individuals a year. The pharmaceutical companies may request the inclusion in the list of orphan drugs, submitting a specific application to the FDA.
The demand should contain all the scientific results explaining the usefulness of the drug in fighting a specific disease in detail. Scientific evidence considered valid for the purpose of the application include in vitro studies, preclinical trials carried out on animals and, lastly, all tests carried out on the human being. If the results presented are considered unsatisfactory, the FDA may reserve the right to reject the request.
An orphan drug containing cannabidiol
The fact that an official body like the Food and Drug Administration has allowed a drug containing cannabidiol to be included on the list of orphan drugs represents a milestone.
In fact, the US government of which the FDA represents an official emanation, considered the scientific results that were presented to be so solid as to motivate the application of a cannabidiol containing drug for the treatment of a severe pathology like glioma.
A decision of this kind officially validates the therapeutic utility of cannabidiol. This is therefore a very significant event, while still much research is to be done. More and more studies demonstrate how better therapeutic results can be obtained when all cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant are used together instead of individually. It is also known that organic cannabis extracts – the so-called full spectrum – have better mechanisms of action from many different perspectives.
Cannabis and brain cancer, the evidence
Scientific and anecdotal evidence in support of the treatment of glioma with cannabis are strong. Recently, the group of researchers coordinated by doctor Manuel Guzman, jumped to the headlines all over the world due to a study showing how THC is able to induce cell death programmed in the cells forming the glioma.
It was also demonstrated that cannabidiol is able to inhibit its migration, its growth and its proliferation. In addition, there are many other clinical descriptions of the positive effects of cannabis on gliomas.
This is the case, for example, of Sophie Ryan, a very young patient affected by an optic glioma, of which the surprising results of the therapy based on di cannabinoids were recorded.
The products containing cannabis were initially used only for their acknowledged capability of mitigating the adverse effects of chemotherapy, while it was observed how they intervened and contributed as well in contrasting the disease itself.
While also this additional success in the application of an active principle of cannabis in the medical field is recorded, it should never be forgotten that much research is still to be done. For years now, the use of products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in the oncological field is a factual reality.
Cannabidiol can be used alongside traditional cancer therapies and CBD oil can be taken to reduce nausea and other uncomfortable symptoms affecting individuals fighting, each day and with great strength against, cancer.