According to a 2013 patent application the United States has an invention related to the use of phytocannabinoids, either in an isolated form or in the form of a botanical drug substance (BDS), as a prophylactic or therapeutic treatment of cancer.
The type of cancer to be treated is a cancer of the: prostate, breast, skin, glioma, colon, lung or a bone or lymph metastasis. The phytocannabinoids may be used in combination with other cancer treatments according to the application.
Cancer is a class of diseases that occurs because cells become immortalised; they fail to heed customary signals to turn off growth which is a normal function of remodeling in the body that requires cells to die on cue. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, can become defective and when this happens malignant transformation can take place.
The immortalised cells grow beyond their normal limits and invade adjacent tissues. The malignant cells may also metastasize and spread to other locations in the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Cancer cells often form a mass known as a tumor.
An immortalised cell line is a population of cells from a multicellular organism that would normally not proliferate indefinitely but, due to mutation, have evaded normal cellular senescence and instead can keep undergoing division. The cells can, therefore, be grown for prolonged periods in vitro.
Cannabinoids have been shown to have an anti-proliferative effect on different cancer cell lines. The cannabinoids THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG and CBC and the cannabinoid BDS THC and CBD were tested on eight different cell lines including DU-145 (hormone-sensitive prostate cancer), MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer), CaCo-2 (colorectal cancer) and C6 (glioma cells).
The data for each cannabinoid in each different type of cancer varied but generally the best data were observed with CBD or CBD BDS. The IC50 values for all the cannabinoids on the DU-145 were quite high inferring that none of the cannabinoids tested were particularly effective in the inhibition of hormone-insensitive prostate cancer (Ligresti, 2006).
Government-approved phytocannabinoids claims:
1. A method of treating a patient comprising administering a therapeutically effective amount of a cannabis plant extract comprising a phytocannabinoid containing component and a non-phytocannabinoid containing component, wherein the phytocannabinoid containing component comprises at least 50% (w/w) of the cannabis plant extract and in which the principle is not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD), and the non-phytocannabinoid containing component comprises at least 15% (w/w) of the cannabis plant extract and further comprises a monoterpene fraction comprising a principle monoterpene which is selected from myrcenes or pinenes and a sesquiterpene fraction comprising a principle sesquiterpene which is selected from caryophyllenes or humulenes to the patient.
40. A method of treating a patient with hormone insensitive prostate cancer comprising administering an effective amount of one or more phytocannabinoids, wherein the one or more phytocannabinoids are selected from the group consisting of:
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) in either an isolated form or in the form of a botanical drug substance (BDS); Cannabidivarin (CBDV) in either an isolated form or in the form of a BDS; Tetrahydrocannabivarinic acid (THCVA) in the form of an isolated phytocannabinoid; Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) in the form of a BDS; Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) in the form of a BDS; Cannabigerol (CBG) in the form of a BDS; and Cannabichromene (CBC) in the form of a BDS to the patient.
48. A method of treating a patient with prostate cancer comprising administering an effective amount one or more phytocannabinoids in combination or as an adjunct therapy with a chemotherapeutic agent and/or an anti-androgen, wherein the one or more phytocannabinoids are selected from the group consisting of: Cannabigerol (CBG) in the form of a BDS; and Cannabidiol (CBD) in the form of a BDS to the patient.
57. A method of treating breast cancer comprising administering a therapeutic amount of a phytocannabinoid acid cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) to a patient.
61. A method of treating a patient with aberrant crypts in the colon or colon polyps, comprising administering a therapeutically effective amount of an isolated cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabidivarin (CBDV), CBD botanical drug substance (BDS), CBG BDS and/or CBDV BDS to the patient.
64. A method of treating a patient with a glioma comprising administering a therapeutically effective amount of a combination of the phytocannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) together with temozolomide, wherein a sub-effective dose level of the phytocannabinoids and/or the temozolomide is used.