Cannabis Is "An Effective Treatment" For Cancer Patients, Israeli Study Concludes.
Thursday, 02 February 2012
Tel Hashomer, Israel: Some two-thirds of Israeli cancer patients authorized to use cannabis report long-term, symptomatic improvement from the plant, according to clinical data presented in January at a conference of the Israeli Oncologists Union and reported in several international media outlets.
The study concluded that cannabis is an "effective" treatment for certain symptoms of the disease cancer and recommended, "The treatment should be offered to the patients in earlier stages of cancer."
In the trial, the most common types of cancer for which medical marijuana was prescribed was lung cancer (21 percent), breast cancer (12 percent) and pancreatic cancer (10 percent).
The study focused primarily on the use of cannabis to relieve various symptoms of cancer or cancer treatment, such as pain and nausea, but did not evaluate whether marijuana therapy could potentially suppress the proliferation of the disease. In preclinical trials, various cannabinoids -- including THC and CBD (cannabidiol) -- have been shown to selectively target and eliminatemalignant cells and cancerous tumors.
To date, some 6,000 Israelis possess government authorization to use cannabis therapeutically. Patients authorized by the federal program may either cultivate cannabis at home or they may obtain marijuana from one of the nation's 12 licensed cannabis farms.
Last summer, the Israeli Health Ministry formallyacknowledged the therapeutic utility of cannabis and announced newly amended guidelines to more effectively govern the state-sponsored production and distribution of medical marijuana. The Ministry estimates that as many as 40,000 patients will eventually have access to medicinal cannabis once the Israeli program is fully implemented.
For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. NORML's literature review of the anti-cancer properties of cannabis and cannabinoids is available online at:http://norml.org/library/item/gliomascancer.