Worth Repeating: Cannabinoids Kill Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Editor’s note: Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
Sometimes we all need a hero…
This post is dedicated to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent.
Your announcement was a moment in which you could actually hear medical marijuana history turning the corner…
When medical science comes to the aid of human suffering and triumphs over dogma and profits.
“They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications.
“In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works…”
Thank you, Dr. Gupta, for your expanded research into non-DEA/NIDA controlled cannabinoid science and allowing it to speak for itself, as opposed to allowing the politics of self-serving biased interests of greed that make profits from the immorality of prohibition.
Your courage to speak truth to power has broken the dam; the era of cannabinoid medical science has been officially sanctioned as the new medical paradigm for direct human cancer testing on a large scale.
Prohibition is a form of ignorance that takes away your right as a human for hope of a possible life-saving treatment where no other good treatment options exist … and is profoundly cruel.
Marijuana prohibitionists are driven by “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy” due to the health-producing effects of medical marijuana.
Marijuana is not for everybody, but it shouldn’t be against the law. It was humanity’s first medicine, and the only medicine to be able to make the claim that it has never taken a life: the gold standard for all medical treatment.
The whole world has lost 70 years of progress to the ignorance, racism, and greed we call marijuana prohibition, which is presently blocking a possible cure for pancreatic cancer and many other cancers in general. This is now an open secret… Don’t believe me? Listen to the guys to whom you sold the patent for cannabinoids, which is still owned by the American people.
Patent Title: Cannabinoids act as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants
There is no downside or possible harm to all of this. To give cancer patients the hope of a safe, proven treatment option that they can grow themselves, saving billions in health care costs, is just common sense. This is a fundamental human right not granted by any government: to make your own health decisions when seeking medical care of your own choice.
Pancreatic Cancer and Plant Cannabinoids
“The development of cannabinoid derivatives is a renaissance in medicine…” Source: International Journal of Cancer Feb. 2008
The statistics for pancreatic cancer are grim. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the eighth worldwide. Pancreatic cancer has an extremely poor prognosis. Of all stages combined, the one-and five-year relative survival rates are 25 percent and 6 percent, respectively; for local disease the five-year survival is approximately 15 percent.
The AMPK system is the cancer cell’s energy thermostat
The five research studies below all conclude that cannabinoids have the powerful ability to limit or stop pancreatic cancer cells’ ability to produce energy from glucose, and also to stop that glucose from being used within the Krebs cycle. Energy is needed by the cancer cell to run, repair and grow itself. After glucose production stops, cannabinoids then activate an internal self-destruct signal within cancer cells to commit suicide though cannibalizing themselves in a process called autophagy, eating themselves as a last chance energy source, remarkably leaving healthy cells untouched.
The main player here is an enzyme called 5 AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK for short. It is a “chemical e-mail” which transmits instructions to the internal metabolism energy systems in the cancer cell. It appears that cannabinoids stop AMPK from doing its job of maintaining energy regulation, which kills the cancer cell.
The AMPK system within is a combination signaling pathway and energy sensor that maintains energy homeostasis. It keeps the fuel coming to the cancer cell by using ATP supplies, including fatty acid oxidation and autophagy.
In short, cannabinoids kill pancreatic cancer by shutting down the cancer’s ability to make and use energy, thus shutting down the cancer cells’ internal energy grid and making them starve to death while disassembling and eating themselves for fuel.
The Backstory — The U.S. Government’s Cannabinoid Recommendations as of 2013
“The Federal government’s continuing attack on people prescribed medical cannabis by their doctors is hypocritical considering the benefits reported by its own National Cancer Institute.”(Source: “In Case You Missed It, Government Confirms And Reports That Marijuana Prevents Or Cures Certain Cancers”
From: The National Cancer Institute – Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®) 7/2013
“Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis…”
“One review summarizes the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their non-transformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death…”
“The potential effects of medicinal cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology the health care provider may recommend medicinal cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct anti-tumor effect.”
Above is the same type of National Cancer Institute Cannabis and Cannabinoids PDQ® update that appeared on March 17, 2011 but was censored and removed 11 days later: that was two years ago.
# 1 . “Cannabinoids in pancreatic cancer: correlation with survival and pain” Source: International Journal of Cancer / Feb. 2008
“The development of cannabinoid derivatives is a renaissance in medicine, since natural cannabinoids had been used by many societies until their prohibition at the beginning of the last century due to their addictive potential.”
“However, the potential for addiction and psychotropic side effects seems to be by far overestimated, especially for patients with malignant tumors, for whom pain control, stable weight and quality of life are the main measures of medical care.”
“In recent years, there has been increasing interest in cannabinoids due to their antineoplastic, anticachectic and analgesic potential. Growth inhibitory activities of cannabinoids have been demonstrated for various malignant.”
“In the present report, we show that cannabinoids induce apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cell lines in vitro and exert a remarkable growth-inhibiting effect in models of pancreatic cancer in vivo.
“Conclusion: Our results also show that cannabinoids exert a strong inhibitory effect on the spreading of pancreatic tumor cells not only to adjacent locations such as spleen but also to distal tissues such as liver, diaphragm, stomach, and intestine, thus suggesting that these agents may also decrease the propagation of pancreatic tumor cells. Cannabinoid treatment increases apoptosis in pancreatic tumors but not in normal pancreatic tissue.”
#2. “Cannabinoids induce apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes” Source: Cancer Research / July 2006
“The present study was undertaken to investigate the action of cannabinoids, a new family of potential antitumor agents”
Conclusions: “Cannabinoids also reduced the growth of tumor cells in two animal models of pancreatic cancer. In addition, cannabinoid treatment inhibited the spreading of pancreatic tumor cells. Moreover, cannabinoid administration selectively increased apoptosis expression in pancreatic tumor cells but not in normal tissue. In conclusion, these results presented here show that cannabinoids lead to apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via a CB2 receptor and de novo synthesized ceramide-dependent up-regulation of p8 and the endoplasmic reticulum stress–related genes… These findings may contribute to set the basis for a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.”
# 3. “Cannabinoids inhibit energetic metabolism and induce AMPK-dependent autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells” Source: Cell Death & Disease / June 2013
“They (Cannabinoids) impair tumor progression at different levels, with the most prevalent effects being the inhibition of cell proliferation by apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and autophagy.”
Conclusion: “Altogether, these alterations of pancreatic cancer cell metabolism mediated by cannabinoids result in a strong induction of autophagy and in the inhibition of cell growth.”
“Cannabinoids have a range of interesting activities, including the ability to reduce the growth of tumors such as glioma, breast, prostate, and colon cancer in different animal models.”
#4. “Gemcitabine/Cannabinoid combination triggers autophagy in pancreatic cancer cells through a ROS-mediated mechanism”Source: Cell Death Disease Journal / April 2011
NOTE: Gemcitabine is a new class of nontoxic cancer medication that kills cancer by changing its gene expression; research shows that when cannabinoids added to it as a cocktail, its cancer-killing effects are dramatically increased, as shown in the chart at left.
“The anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids have been described in different tumor systems, including pancreatic adenocarcinoma, but their mechanism of action remains unclear.”
Panc1 cells treated with cannabinoids show elevated AMPK activation …Cannabinoids, in addition to stopping glycolysis (energy) production, also block the metabolic pathway (Krebs cycle), so it inhibits cancer growth in two ways, locking the fuel and shutting down where the fuel is burned.
Conclusion: Altogether, these alterations of pancreatic cancer cell metabolism mediated by cannabinoids result in a strong induction of autophagy and in the inhibition of cell growth.
#5. Texas A&M Scientists Hope To Cure Pancreatic Cancer with Marijuana-Like DrugAugust 3, 2013
“Unfortunately, legal barriers that prevent research on the plant itself (in his studies) have pushed researchers toward only synthetic chemicals that mimic the plant’s effects.”
MARIJUANA PROBIHITION IS A DIRECT HARM TO ALL HUMANS, AS CANCER WILL EVENTUALLY KILL HALF THE WORLD’S POPULATION.
If this man is not allowed free access to any source of marijuana he wants for this research, a legal case for crimes against humanity could be made in a court of law.
Conclusions from Dr. Lu’s research so far…
“Dr. Lu said that pancreatic cancer cells have more type 2 cannabinoid receptors than do healthy cells. Drug molecules that selectively activate this receptor can induce cancer cell death without affecting normal pancreatic cells. When given to mice with pancreatic tumors, the molecule prevented tumor growth and suppressed the spread of cancer to healthy organs. Meanwhile, this class of compounds generates painkillers comparable to morphine’s pain killing effect. His research, in collaboration with other researchers, has had promising results in the testing stage. It will begin the drug development stage with grant support from state and federal resources in the next few years.”
“Drug molecules that selectively activate this receptor can induce cancer cell death without affecting normal pancreatic cells. When given to mice with pancreatic tumors, the molecule prevented tumor growth and suppressed the spread of cancer to healthy organs.”
“…pancreatic cancer cells have more type 2 cannabinoid receptors than do healthy cells…
“Meanwhile, this class of compounds generates painkillers comparable to morphine’s pain killing effect.”
“One of the most exciting and fast emerging areas of research in the field of cannabinoid science centers on the ability of certain cannabinoids to inhibit the growth and vascular supply of cancers of various types … the possibility that cannabinoids, including endocannabinoids, may treat cancer is supported by an ever increasing body of available evidence.”
“Cannabinoids are a class of pharmacologic compounds that offer potential applications as antitumor drugs, based on the ability of some members of this class to limit inflammation, cell proliferation, and cell survival. In particular, emerging evidence suggests that agonists of cannabinoid receptors expressed by tumor cells may offer a novel strategy to treat cancer.”
Source: “Cannabinoids for cancer treatment: progress and promise” Cancer Research /2008
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Editor’s note: Ron Marczyk is a retired high school health eduation teacher who taught Wellness and Disease Prevention, Drug and Sex Ed, and AIDS education to teens aged 13-17.
He also taught a high school International Baccalaureate psychology course. He taught in a New York City public school as a Drug Prevention Specialist.
He is a Registered Nurse with six years of ER/Critical Care experience in NYC hospitals, earned an M.S. in cardiac rehabilitation and exercise physiology, and worked as a New York City police officer for two years.
Currently he is focused on how evolutionary psychology explains human behavior.
To see all of Ron Marczyk’s “Worth Repeating” articles for Toke Signals, click here.