After being deemed safe in a phase I study, the cannabis-based drug Sativex will undergo a second phase to study its effect on aggressive brain tumors.
Earlier this year, the encouraging results from a study on patients with recurrent glioblastomas were published, in which the tolerance to the treatment with cannabinoids combined with chemotherapy was confirmed. This study has helped move along a new one that will develop next year in the United Kingdom in order to determine the efficacy of cannabis to stop the growth of these tumors, kill the cancer cells and help patients live longer, it is the first study of its kind in the world.
Sponsored by The Brain Tumor Charity and under the coordination of the Cancer Research Unit in Birmingham University, the ARISTOCRAT study will last three years and plans to recruit 232 patients in 15 hospitals throughout the country, recruiting one group of participants that will receive the treatment with chemotherapy (Tezomolamide) along with Sativex (oral spray with THC and CBD approved by the FDA), while another group will receive treatment with chemotherapy and a placebo to then undergo a series of blood and image tests, in addition to questionnaires to evaluate their quality of life and compare the results.
Glioblastomas are the most prevalent brain tumors in adults, patients diagnosed only live for 10 to 12 months and despite the efforts that doctors can do in regards to treatment and surgery, these tumors are persistent and recurrent. In this matter, this study will reveal if cannabis could be the solution that many patients and relatives have been eagerly waiting for.