Miracle drug cannabis hemp destroys cancer
New mechanisms of anti-cancer effect in the hemp plant discovered
Researchers at the University of Rostock were able to prove by experiments that specific ingredients of the hemp plant can destroy cancer cells. The pharmacologists report on their research journal "Biochemical Pharmacology". In it, they describe how cannabinoids obtained stimulate the destruction of tumor cells because they are called a protein „ICAM-1“ form on the surface of cancer cells. The scientific work could be helpful in the perspective treatment of cancer.
New modes of action discovered
As recently as twenty years ago, cannabinoids in the cannabis plant were placed in a sole context because of the intoxicating effect, especially with drug abuse. However, with the detection of specific cannabinoid binding sites on cells as well as the discovery of a body's own cannabinoid in humans, these substances have been very much in the interest of medical research since the beginning of the 1990s. Cannabinoids are used, among other things, in the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. In addition, studies have shown that cannabis stimulates the appetite of cancer patients and thus significantly influences the course of therapy. Now further positive aspects for the cancer therapy could be found. However, there is still research in this area „in its infancy“.
Cancer cells are bursting
Dr. Burkhard Hinz, Director of the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology at the University of Rostock, reports that the named substance ICAM-1 „the binding of killer cells of the immune system“ allows. The body's killer cells actually cause the cancer cells to burst in the process. In addition, cannabinoids via ICAM-1 inhibit a downstream signaling pathway, enabling cells to form blood vessels that promote cancerous tumor growth. But so far the results are results in basic research. "We are still a long way from putting that into clinical therapy." However, the study results indicate that the hemp plant material „potentially therapeutically useful effects“ contains. In a previous research, the scientists had already shown that "the increased protein formed by cannabinoids inhibits the migration of tumor cells into the surrounding tissue and thus the formation of metastases."
The researchers of the University of Rostock are not the only ones who have found out effective properties of the cannabis plant. Throughout the world, scientific teams are exploring the benefits of hemp. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another component of the plant. It has been proven for some time that it relieves nausea and vomiting and, in the absence of appetite, stimulates hunger again. In studies, the positive properties could be determined in the course of the cytostatic therapy. Another substance called cannabidiol relieves spasticity and good already in the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis. Recently, a special MS drug containing the medical drug has been approved.
Cannabinoids against the onset of metastases
Cannabinoids have been in the interest of experimental and clinical research since the early 1990s. A current focus is cannabidiol, an ingredient in the hemp plant that does not affect the psyche and is already used to treat spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. „The analysis of the anti-cancer effect of cannabinoids has not yet exceeded the stage of experimental research. However, the growing knowledge of the various targets of these agents in the development of tumors raises the hope that cannabinoids may represent a long-term pharmacological option for tumor therapy“, says Prof. Hinz. "Among other things, they are said to have an analgesic and appetite-controlling effect," said Hinz. The professor and his team were able to prove years ago that cannabinoids can slow down the migration of tumor cells into the surrounding tissue. Emigration is therefore feared because it can cause metastases, which in turn are responsible for the cancer in other parts of the body. The work of the Rostock research group on the pharmacology of cannabinoids is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). (Sb)