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Cannabis may help combat cancer

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nl5haze View Drop Down
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  Quote nl5haze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Cannabis may help combat cancer
    Posted: 19 October 2004 at 13:57
Cannabis may help combat cancer-causing herpes viruses
The compound in marijuana that produces a high, delta-9 tetrahydrocannbinol or THC, may block the spread of several forms of cancer causing herpes viruses, University of South Florida College of Medicine scientists report.

The findings, published Sept. 15 in the online journal BMC Medicine, could lead to the creation of antiviral drugs based on nonpsychoactive derivatives of THC.

The gamma herpes viruses include Kaposi's Sarcoma Associated Herpes virus, which is associated with an increased risk of cancer that is particularly prevalent in AIDS sufferers. Another is Epstein-Barr virus, which predisposes infected individuals to cancers such as Burkitt's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease.

Once a person is infected, these viruses can remain dormant for long periods within white blood cells before they burst out and begin replicating. This reactivation of the virus boosts the number of cells infected thereby increasing the chances that the cells will become cancerous.

The USF team, led by virologist Peter Medveczky, MD, found that this sudden reactivation was prevented if infected cells were grown in the presence of THC. While cells infected with a mouse gamma herpes virus normally died when the virus was reactivated, these same cells survived when cultured in the laboratory along with the cannabinoid compound – further evidence that THC prevents viral reactivation.

Furthermore, the researchers showed that THC acts specifically on gamma herpes viruses. The chemical had no effect on another related virus, herpes simplex-1, which causes cold sores and genital herpes.

Small concentrations of THC were more potent and selective against gamma herpes viruses than the commonly used antiviral drugs acyclovir, gancicyclovir and foscamet, said Dr. Medveczky, a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.

The USF researchers suggest that THC selectively inhibits the spread of gamma herpes viruses by targeting a gene these viruses all share called ORF50.

Dr. Medveczky emphasized that more studies are needed. "We have not evaluated the effect of THC in an animal model yet so we do not recommend people start using pot to prevent or treat cancers."

In fact, Dr. Meveczky said, THC has also been shown to suppress the immune system so smoking marijuana could "do more harm than good" to patients whose immune systems are often already weakened.

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  Quote FunkyFarmers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2005 at 14:30

Cannabis against Cancer

 

While there is still no real cure for cancer, every day researchers move a step closer to finding that cure. Twenty-five-year old Natalya Kogan, a Ph.D. candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working under the supervision of Prof. Raphael Meshulam, recently proved that extract from the cannabis plant is able to help heal cancer within the organism.

Kogan, who immigrated from the Ukraine 10 years ago, developed a new compound known as guinniodic cannabinoids, which is similar to several anti-cancer medications such as Daunomycin. Whereas Daunomycin produces negative side effects in the heart, Kogan’s tests have proven the new compound to be much less harmful, even reducing the volume of cancer, which it did during animal testing.

What makes guinniodic cannabinoids compound so different is that it forms a complex with the enzyme Topoisomerase II, which is responsible for mitosis (when two new nuclei form with the same number of chromosomes as the nucleus from which they’re formed). This specifically stops the division of cells and growth of the tissues, as compared to most of today’s anti-cancer substances that are less selective in their action. These substances also reduce the blood supply to the cancer tissue.

While Kogan continues her research to discover mechanisms and modes of action for these substances, in the interim the substances themselves have a high potential for future anticancer medications. Kogan received the Kaye-Innovation Prize from the university for her research



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  Quote BLunTeD4LifE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 April 2006 at 01:50
really interesting stuff...
Roll that sh*t... Light that sh*t... Smoke that sh*t!!!!
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  Quote FunkyFarmers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 June 2006 at 13:56

Question Marijuana Unlikely to Cause Head, Neck, or Lung Cancer

By Peggy Peck
WebMD Medical News

May 8, 2000 (Boston) -- Marijuana, unlike tobacco and alcohol, does not appear to cause head, neck, or lung cancer, says a researcher from Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore who presented findings from a study here recently at a meeting of internal medicine physicians.

There has been an ongoing debate about whether marijuana is as dangerous as tobacco in terms of cancer development. Daniel E. Ford, MD, tried to sort out the evidence by the lifestyles -- including marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol use -- of 164 persons who were newly diagnosed with head, neck, or lung cancer compared to a group of 526 healthy persons living in the same area. The average age of patients was 49, while the average age of the healthy volunteers was 44. The cancer patients were all treated at four Baltimore-area hospitals, and the "controls" (healthy comparison group) were selected from a large group of people living in the Baltimore area who had been participating in an ongoing study. Ford tells WebMD that he wanted to find out whether the cancer patients were more likely to smoke marijuana or tobacco or to drink than were the healthy volunteers.

According to Ford, he thought he would find an association between marijuana use and cancer, but "that the association would fall away when we corrected for tobacco use. That was not the case. The association was never there." And that surprised him because of the way marijuana is smoked: deep inhalations, with the smoke held in for effect. "It seemed natural that there would be some connection," he tells WebMD.

Based on these findings, Ford says that cancer prevention efforts should "remain focused on tobacco and alcohol, two known carcinogens."

He says his conclusions differ from another study reported recently. That study linked marijuana use to cancer, but Ford says he thinks the difference can be explained by the fact that the healthy volunteers in that study "had very, very low use of marijuana." That contrasts to his study, in which "we were investigating the effect of marijuana as it is commonly used in the community," he says. Use of all substances -- tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana -- was common among both cancer patients and controls, he says.

"We attempted to assess both lifetime and current use of substances," he says. Participants were also asked to differentiate between use of marijuana cigarettes, marijuana pipes, or consumed marijuana. Distinctions were also made between weekend and weekday use of marijuana, he says.

"Ever use of marijuana was 66% among controls and 60% among the cases," he says. "Daily marijuana use for a month or more was not associated with increased risk, nor was age at first use, depth of inhalation, or use of a pipe." Surprisingly, using marijuana was not associated with increased cancer risk, even among those who never used tobacco, he says.

During the discussion period after the presentation, several people suggested that lack of quantity may explain why no association was found, because the number of marijuana cigarettes smoked is much lower than the number of tobacco cigarettes smoked. "It is true that we can't really correlate pack-years," says Ford, "and it should be noted that about 30% of the marijuana smokers never smoke cigarettes."

While this study suggests that marijuana has no link to head, neck, and lung cancer, a multicenter study released in March at an American Heart Association meeting linked marijuana use to increased risk of heart attacks. Murray A. Mittleman, MD, PhD, director of cardiovascular epidemiology at Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital in Boston, told WebMD that marijuana smokers experience a 4.8-fold increase in the relative risk of heart attack during the first hour after smoking. The risk returns to normal after an hour, he said.

Vital Information:

New research shows that marijuana use is not associated with an increased risk of head, neck, or lung cancers.

One researcher argues that cancer prevention efforts should remain focused on tobacco and alcohol, both known carcinogens.

Although there is no evidence that marijuana smoking increases the risk of cancer, studies have shown that marijuana smokers have a nearly five-fold increased risk of having a heart attack during the first hour after smoking.

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  Quote RainbowJah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 August 2009 at 15:30
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