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Indian J Urol. 2012 Jan;28(1):9-14. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.94942.

The role of cannabinoids in prostate cancer: Basic science perspective and potential clinical applications.

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Universidad de Carabobo, School of Health Sciences, Bárbula, Venezuela.


Prostate cancer is a global public health problem, and it is the most common cancer in American men and the second cause for cancer-related death. Experimental evidence shows that prostate tissue possesses cannabinoid receptors and their stimulation results in anti-androgenic effects. To review currently relevant findings related to effects of cannabinoid receptors in prostate cancer. PubMed search utilizing the terms "cannabis," "cannabinoids," "prostate cancer," and "cancer pain management," giving preference to most recent publications was done. Articles identified were screened for their relevance to the field of prostate cancer and interest to both urologist and pain specialists. Prostate cancer cells possess increased expression of both cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptors, and stimulation of these results in decrease in cell viability, increased apoptosis, and decreased androgen receptor expression and prostate-specific antigen excretion. It would be of interest to conduct clinical studies utilizing cannabinoids for patients with metastatic prostate cancer, taking advantage not only of its beneficial effects on prostate cancer but also of their analgesic properties for bone metastatic cancer pain.


Androgen antagonists; cannabinoids; cannabis; investigational therapies; prostatic neoplasms

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