Cannabis flavonoids: the new anti-cancer molecule

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Scientists at Harvard University recently discovered that a molecule could revolutionize cancer treatment

At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University, researchers have been able to find a particularly promising cannabis molecule. In their survey, they indicate that one of the molecules of cannabis called "flavonoids" would be effective in the treatment against cancer of the pancreas. Knowing that the survival rate from this cancer is only 20%, this discovery raises great hopes.

Flavonoids are found in many plants, fruits and vegetables. However, as part of cancer treatment, its form FBL-03G, is derived only from cannabis.

“In this study, a flavonoid derivative of cannabis demonstrates significant therapeutic potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. »Specifies Michele Moreau.

This discovery would drastically increase the survival rate, which is currently 8% at five years. If pancreatic cancer affects only 3% of all cancer patients in the US, it will be the second leading cause of cancer-related death by 2020.

The most significant conclusion is that the administration of tumor-targeted flavonoids derived from cannabis resulted in local and metastatic destruction of tumor cells, significantly increasing the patient's cancer survival. says Professor Wilfred Nwga.

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However, the flavonoid compound only makes up about 0,14% of the cannabis plant. In order to extract enough to provide treatment, drugmakers will have to cultivate fields of cannabis, which is yet to be won.

In order to solve this problem, scientists are trying to genetically modify the cannabis plant to produce more flavonoids. Success is not yet at the rendezvous, because the plant does not allow itself to be handled so easily.

“The problem with these molecules is that they are present in cannabis at such low levels that it is not possible to try to make the cannabis plant to create more of these substances. Recalls Steven Rothstein, molecular and genetic researcher at the University of Guelph and co-author of a study on the use of flavinoids as pain relievers.

The most important finding is that the administration of flavinoids kills not only pancreatic cancer, but also cancer cells found throughout the body. This could mean that this molecule could be used to treat other forms of cancer.

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“We were very surprised that the drug could inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body, representing metastases, which were not targeted by treatment. This suggests that the immune system is also involved, and we are currently studying this mechanism. »Adds Wilfred Nwga.

In the past, scientists have successfully developed cancer treatments from compounds in cannabis. The main components of the plant, THC and CBD, have been shown to be effective in treating cancer of the lung, blood, skin, and liver, among others. However, because of the financial stakes these molecules remain stuck at the experimental level and are kept in illegality.

The benefits of cannabis compounds are increasingly being validated by scientists. We will probably see diseases like cancer treated in the future not with harmful synthetic drugs, but with compounds found in plants.

Tags : CancerflavonoidMedicalSearchTreatment
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