Cannabis News Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  Marijuana Compound May Fight Lung Cancer
Posted by CN Staff on April 17, 2007 at 10:33:01 PT
By Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter 
Source: HealthDay  

medical USA -- While smoking marijuana is never good for the lungs, the active ingredient in pot may help fight lung cancer, new research shows.

Harvard University researchers have found that, in both laboratory and mouse studies, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cuts tumor growth in half in common lung cancer while impeding the cancer's ability to spread.

The compound "seems to have a suppressive effect on certain lines of cancer cells," explained Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

According to the researchers, THC fights lung cancer by curbing epidermal growth factor (EGF), a molecule that promotes the growth and spread of particularly aggressive non-small cell lung cancers. "It seems to go to (EGF) receptor sites on cells and inhibit growth," said Horovitz, who was not involved in the study.

The findings are preliminary, however, and other outside experts urged caution.

"It's an interesting laboratory study (but) you have to have enough additional animal studies to make sure the effect is reproducible and to make sure that there are no overt toxic effects," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. "It's a little more than tantalizing because it's a compound that we know has been in humans and has not caused major problems."

The findings were to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Los Angeles.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world. Lung tumors that over-produce the EGF receptor tend to be extra-aggressive and don't respond well to chemotherapy.

THC is the main active ingredient of Cannabis sativa --marijuana. It has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in cancer, but specific information on its action against lung cancer has so far been limited.

In the new study, the researchers first showed that two different lung cancer lines, as well as samples from patient lung tumors, produced the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

Endocannabinoids -- cannabinoids produced naturally in the body -- are thought to have an effect on pain, anxiety and inflammation when they bind to cannabinoid receptors.

Next, the researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice implanted with human lung cancer cells. After three weeks of treatment, tumors shrank by about 50 percent in animals treated with THC, compared to those in an untreated control group, the researchers reported.

The findings may shed light on a question that has been puzzling Horovitz: Why hasn't there been a spike in lung cancer in the generation that smoked a lot of marijuana in the 1960s.

"I find it fascinating, wondering if the reasons we're not seeing this spike is that THC inhibits lung cancer cells," he said. "It would be very ironic, although you certainly wouldn't tell somebody who smoked cigarettes to add marijuana."

A second set of findings presented at AACR suggested that a viral-based gene therapy could target both primary and distant tumors, while ignoring healthy cells.

When injected into 15 mice with prostate cancer, this "smart bomb" therapy eliminated all signs of cancer -- effectively curing the rodents. Researchers at Columbia University, in New York City, said the therapy also worked in animals with breast cancer and melanomas.

And in a third hopeful trial reported at the meeting, German researchers at University Children's Hospital, in Ulm, said they've used measles viruses to treat brain tumors. In mouse experiments, the virus attached to the tumor from the inside out, the team said.

More information:

For more on lung cancer, head to the American Lung Association.

Note: In cells and in mice, THC shrank tumors, scientists say.

Source: HealthDay (CT)
Author: Amanda Gardner, HealthDay Reporter
Published: April 17, 2007
Copyright: 2007 ScoutNews LLC.
Contact: editors@healthday.com
Website: http://www.healthday.com/

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Comment #30 posted by whig on April 18, 2007 at 02:06:56 PT
advice
Talk to a doctor who is willing to make recommendations when appropriate.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #29 posted by whig on April 18, 2007 at 02:05:22 PT
John Tyler
I don't think preventive medical cannabis is a concept that exists in law.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #28 posted by John Tyler on April 17, 2007 at 20:54:28 PT
How often?
So my question is, as a preventive measure, how often should one take medical cannabis? Once a month? Once a week? Twice or three times a week? It will be rough handling the side effects, but with a little help from my friends, I think I can get through it and be healthy.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #27 posted by charmed quark on April 17, 2007 at 19:59:31 PT
Brochitis
There have been decades of studies trying to find a link between smoking cannabis and lung disease. The properly done studies have found no connection with obstructive disorders or cancer. Most found a slight reduction in lung cancer, which fits in well with this study. It's funny, because in the older studies they always tried to explain away the lung cancer reduction as perhaps being a flaw in the study.

The only negative that I've seen in several studies is an association with bronchitis, which matches what I saw way back when. This is why I think vaporization should be the preferred method of inhalation.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #26 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 18:49:29 PT
Strike "intuitively obvious"
Nothing is intuitively obvious. It could feel like sunshine and roses. Depends on your perspective, though I think most people would agree it can be irritating. Here's the way to rephrase.

"Some lung tissue irritation is likely due to smoke particles entering the lungs and making contact with lung tissue."

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #25 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 18:46:33 PT
Taylor121
Here is how I would rephrase what you said in order to agree:

"Some lung tissue irritation is intuitively obvious due to smoke particles entering the lungs and making contact with lung tissue."

Certainly, it's not just obvious to intuition, but to the experience of many.

Damage is something quantifiable. This is not damage.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #24 posted by Storm Crow on April 17, 2007 at 18:44:43 PT
40 years of smoking pot....
Yes, I have smoked cannabis (no tobacco) for 40 years. My lungs were messed up- morning coughing and expectorating, wheezing, my lungs "crackled" when I breathed- the whole 9 yards. (OK, so I'm a pot head and I love the stuff- but it also gets rid of my migraines!) It took less than 2 weeks of vaporizing to get them clear. No more wheezing or coughing! I would think that after such prolonged usage, if there were any REAL damage, it would not have cleared up so fast. Just my personal observation.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #23 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 18:44:38 PT
Damage
I'm not sure this word makes sense here, though. It's not damage, it's irritation. That isn't the same thing.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #22 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 18:40:23 PT
Taylor121
What you say sounds reasonable to me.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #21 posted by ekim on April 17, 2007 at 17:32:43 PT
William F. Buckley Jr -- Wife Died yesterday RIP
this is for William as he has stood tall for the end to cannabis prohibiton.

The Whale

If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Faralon Islands (outside the Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help.

Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her ... a very dangerous proposition. One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.

They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed gently around - she thanked them.

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their entire lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate...to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you.

And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

(Note: Humpback whales are 40 - 50 feet long and weigh over 39 tons)

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #20 posted by Taylor121 on April 17, 2007 at 16:49:47 PT
Well
I agree the study I cited didn't have proper controls, but it appears they got something right and that is the lack of emphysema from cannabis. I think that some lung tissue damage is intuitively obvious due to smoke particles entering the lungs and making contact with lung tissue.

Here is how I see it from the literature I've looked at. Cannabis smoke causes some lung tissue damage over time from heavy marijuana usage, but does not appear to cause lung cancer, emphysema, or other life threatening lung diseases. However, cannabis can cause bronchitus and coughs due to lung tissue irritation and damage. These problems can be avoided with a vaporizer.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #19 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 16:32:33 PT
Rabbit chases snake up into tree...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shcw9FteUVM

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #18 posted by Dankhank on April 17, 2007 at 16:31:12 PT
nausea
yes, to combat the effects of incipent distress, I medicated.

I will go to the 420 in bolder to compensate ...

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #17 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 16:30:21 PT
Chickens stop rabbits from fighting...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D35uQCtr4EY

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #16 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 16:25:54 PT
Even Asthmatics benefit
Consider that.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #15 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 16:19:29 PT
Frankly
There is no evidence of harm to lung tissue caused by cannabis, beyond temporary irritation and discomfort.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #14 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 16:18:13 PT
Taylor121
Those studies that tended to show a correlation did not control for concomitant use of tobacco or other drugs.

No studies that I am aware of have ever shown a causal harm due to cannabis which properly accounts for other potential causal factors.

Any harm, of any kind, to anyone.

Please advise if you are aware of one.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #13 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 16:15:10 PT
BGreen
I wasn't meaning to speak down to you. I was writing also to the silent readers among us, in response to what you wrote, and in agreement.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #12 posted by Taylor121 on April 17, 2007 at 15:52:41 PT
whig
"Upon what evidence? Any shred?"

Let's not kid ourselves. Here's a meta study: http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2007/02/21/hscout601877.html You will notice that marijuana doesn't cause emphysema, but it can lead to some complications. This should be obvious to everyone here that marijuana smoke can mess with lung tissue.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #11 posted by BGreen on April 17, 2007 at 15:23:55 PT
What's your point, whig?
Do you think I'm ignorant?

I'm not some mentally retarded person who's mad because I can't have cookies for breakfast.

I know there are good people and good medicine out there, even if you didn't point that out. I'm also quite aware of the investment companies set up solely to profit off of a lifetime of drugs and treatments that will never cure anything.

These people don't invest in cures. It just isn't cost effective.

All of this leads to the royal screwing of the aforementioned "good" people.

Besides, none of what you said even remotely explains the blanket rejection of cannabis as medicine, even by most of these so-called "good" people.

That was my original point, and is still my point.

The Reverend Bud Green

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #10 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 14:39:29 PT
Who supports the American Lung Association?
The pharmaceutical industry finances all of these groups, because no one else in our economy has the financial means to do so as they do. Do you understand how profitable they are?

There are exceptional firms, as in any industry. Let each be judged on its own acts, and preserved if justified. We do not want to wreck civilization, we want to save it.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 17, 2007 at 14:39:22 PT
BGreen
Sick! Oh yes. We got them done and sent yesterday and it was exhausting. I'm serious when I say that we get so down about giving our money to a system that goes to war for profit. I only wish we could give it to a charity instead. We should be able to direct our taxes to a bonifide charity and that would be beneficial.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 14:34:30 PT
BGreen
There are many fine doctors, and many good medicines. But the pharmaceutical industry is not motivated by helping patients, it is a purely profit-driven enterprise.

Think about that.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by BGreen on April 17, 2007 at 14:30:01 PT
Research's finally catching up to what we've known
"It's an interesting laboratory study (but) you have to have enough additional animal studies to make sure the effect is reproducible and to make sure that there are no overt toxic effects," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. "It's a little more than tantalizing because it's a compound that we know has been in humans and has not caused major problems."

Animal studies? Are you kidding me? How about a study of the MILLIONS of HUMAN ANIMALS that have used cannabis, many of them for their entire adult life, with absolutely NO apparent health compromising deleterious effects on their bodies, let alone cancer.

The American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, et al. have flat out rejected cannabis as a medicine despite massive evidence to the contrary. It's not just plausible but evidently probable that disease is a cash cow these associations and societies can't afford to eliminate.

How sick is that?

The Reverend Bud Green

P.S. Speaking of sick, am I the only one who spits up stomach acid while preparing their taxes?

I'll tell you what, Tum's have met their match with me today. :(

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 14:28:52 PT
2008
Do not vote for Republicans. That is my advice.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 17, 2007 at 13:02:18 PT
Assembly Committee Moves To Legalize Marijuana
April 17, 2007

New York -- A bill legalizing medical marijuana passed the Assembly's health committee today.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, chairman of the Health Committee, now has to pass through the Assembly's Codes Committee.

But the big catch, of course, is the Republican-controlled Senate.

As of now, there is no companion bill. An aide to the state Senator Kemp Hannon, chairman of the Senate's Health Committee, was surprised to hear about the Assembly's move and said the Senator may or may not comment on the issue.

-- Azi Paybarah

Copyright: 2007 The New York Observer, L.P.

http://thepoliticker.observer.com/2007/04/assembly-committee-moves-to-legalize-marijuana.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 11:29:55 PT
Vaporize, folks
It's so obvious and clear.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by whig on April 17, 2007 at 11:29:11 PT
How it starts
"While smoking marijuana is never good for the lungs"

Upon what evidence? Any shred?

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 17, 2007 at 10:48:16 PT
OT: An Israeli Flower Among The 'Weeds'
By Kelly Hartog

April 17, 2007

When the hit American cable show Weeds introduced the character of Yael Hoffman - a sexy, provocative Israeli rabbinic school administrator - the TV blogosphere went into overdrive, causing one avid fan to write: "She's played by a real Israeli actress with a genuine Israeli accent."

Complete Article: http://tinyurl.com/28date

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on April 17, 2007 at 10:43:43 PT
Let the truth be known...
"Cannabis 'may' fight cancer? As all cannabis users can attest cannabis definitly fights cancer..."

Research seems to indicate—that cannabis is the cure for cancer and that the US gov't suppressed this information for over 30 years (and continues to do so, and world-wide), then the body count alone will make this the biggest holocaust in recorded history. Virtually all federal drug policy makers of both parties since 1975—including legislators, presidents and the DEA—will be complicit and criminally liable.

[ Post Comment ]

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