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Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2016 Dec 29;70(0):1309-1320. doi: 10.5604/17322693.1227443.

Cannabinoids - a new weapon against cancer?

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1
Katedra Biochemii Klinicznej, Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum.

Abstract

Cannabis has been cultivated by man since Neolithic times. It was used, among others for fiber and rope production, recreational purposes and as an excellent therapeutic agent. The isolation and characterization of the structure of one of the main active ingredients of cannabis - Δ9 - tetrahydrocannabinol as well the discovery of its cannabinoid binding receptors CB1 and CB2, has been a milestone in the study of the possibilities of the uses of Cannabis sativa and related products in modern medicine. Many scientific studies indicate the potential use of cannabinoids in the fight against cancer. Experiments carried out on cell lines in vitro and on animal models in vivo have shown that phytocannabinoids, endocannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and their analogues can lead to inhibition of the growth of many tumor types, exerting cytostatic and cytotoxic neoplastic effect on cells thereby negatively influencing neo-angiogenesis and the ability of cells to metastasize. The main molecular mechanism leading to inhibition of proliferation of cancer cells by cannabinoids is apoptosis. Studies have shown, however, that the process of apoptosis in cells, treated with recannabinoids, is a consequence of induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy. On the other hand, in the cellular context and dosage dependence, cannabinoids may enhance the proliferation of tumor cells by suppressing the immune system or by activating mitogenic factors. Leading from this there is a an obvious need to further explore cannabinoid associated molecular pathways making it possible to develop safe therapeutic drug agents for patients in the future.

PMID:
28100841
DOI:
10.5604/17322693.1227443
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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