Women's Health

How Cannabis Can Stop the Progression of Metastatic Breast Cancer

How Cannabis Can Stop the Progression of Metastatic Breast Cancer

How Cannabis Can Stop the Progression of Metastatic Breast Cancer

New news out of California―Researchers have discovered a non-toxic, non-psychoactive compound in marijuana that stops the progression of metastatic breast cancer (MBC). This data has opened up a whole new option to treat breast cancer patients. Lead researcher Sean McAllister, an associate scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, said instead of using toxic chemotherapy or radiation, cannabis could potentially substitute those harsh treatments.

The Id-1 gene

In patients with MBC, there is a specific gene called Id-1. Researchers believe the Id-1 gene is responsible for the metastatic part of MBC. Metastatic is the process that spreads original cancer cells to other parts of the body. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis which is directly linked to inhibiting the Id-1 gene, meaning the breast cancer cannot spread.

Senior researcher Pierre-Yves Desprez said when the Id-1 genes are activated, the situation immediately worsens. They push other cells making them grow, proliferate and migrate. Desprez went on to say cancer is not the problem because it can be removed. The problem occurs when the cancer metastasizes and spreads, which is orchestrated by the Id-1 genes.

Desprez has been working on CBD research in mice for the past twelve years but was unable to have successful results in humans. Together the two are combining forces and have found success in cultured cells. Next, they will begin research on mice, followed by humans. Their results are intriguing and the cancer world is anxious to learn more in the future.

Advocate for cannabis

One Grammy-award winning singer has been an advocate for cannabis use since she was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time in 2017. Olivia Newton-John was originally diagnosed in 1992; she underwent a partial mastectomy, chemotherapy, and breast reconstruction. Then in May of this year, her doctors discovered her breast cancer had metastasized to her lower back.

Olivia Newton-John has established a cancer research center in her home country Australia in 2012. Olivia, along with her physicians, natural therapists, and the medical team at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (ONJ Center) have determined that CBD in cannabis is beneficial to preventing her cancer from metastasizing further. She personally uses cannabis legally in California to fight pain and promote healing.

Prof Jonathan Cebon, Medical Director at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, released a statement in September 2017 stating the ONJ Center is currently planning a research program to explore the benefits of medicinal cannabis. They understand the need for factual research before they can officially promote cannabis as a treatment option. They do however acknowledge that Olivia has spoken about the benefits of cannabis throughout her treatment.

Read on to learn more about medical marijuana's potential to stop the progression of metastatic breast cancer.