Smoke 'em if you got 'em, troops - marijuana fights brain cancer

BBC news reports tests done on mice -- researchers said it seems to work the same way on humans --inherent chemicals in marijuana called cannabinoids impede growth of new blood vessels.

Neovascularization -- growth of new blood vessels -- is what a tumor needs to grow -- new blood to feed the growing malignancy. Without the blood, the tumor shrinks and ultimately dies.

Pretty simple concept.

They went after glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer and the hardest to treat. None of the usual therpies -- radiation, chemo, or surgery -- is effective.

So they tested cannabinoids on mice.

The key element in neovascularization is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Relative success can be determined by measuring the VEGF amounts, see if the amount decreases. It worked in mice, reducing the VEGF significantly.

They then took glioblastoma tumors removed from two humans, neither of whom had responded well to any of the above forms of therapy and injected cannabinoids into the samples.

And down went the mean old VEGF levels.

The bad news (for some):
Smoking the weed will not be the drug-delivery method.
On the other hand, companies like Glaxo might just make a nice bid for the plants you're growing under lights in the basement.


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