Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers. Harvard researchers have now been able to show that a chemical found in cannabis has the potential for therapy in its treatment.
The chemical is a derivative of the cannabis flavonoids FBL-03G, as reported by Leafly, a knowledge portal on cannabis as a medicine. Flavonoids are secondary planting agents found in many plants as well as in fruits and vegetables. In 1986, London researcher Marilyn Barrett discovered the flavonoids in the cannabis plant. These were subsequently classified as an anti-inflammatory.
Genetic manipulation enables the study
It has long been suspected that cannabis flavonoids may have therapeutic potential. Since they make up only 0.14 percent of the plant, it has been virtually impossible to extract sufficiently large quantities. Now, scientists at Harvard University have found a way to genetically manipulate cannabis flavanoids for research purposes.
Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute then tested the therapeutic potential of FBL-03G in a laboratory experiment in pancreatic cancer.
Researcher Wilfred Ngwa told Yahoo Lifestyle: “The main conclusion is that the targeted delivery of cannabis flavonoids enabled both the killing of local and metastatic tumor cells. The survival of pancreatic cancer is thus significantly increased».
The researchers published the study on July 23 in the journal Frontiers in Oncology. According to Ngwa, it is currently the first study to show a possible treatment for aggressive cancer.
Cannabis effect in cancer: Research
The Harvard researchers are now hoping to complete ongoing preclinical studies before the end of 2020. After that, the testing of the new treatment could possibly be carried out on humans.