Cannabidiol (CBD) has been tested on pancreatic cancer which is almost untreatable, with chemotherapy achieving just a 7 per cent five-year survival rate. But when the substance is added, the rate trebles.
Researchers from Queen Mary University in London have so far tested cannabidiol only on laboratory mice, but if similar results can be seen in people, it could be "in use in cancer clinics almost immediately," said lead researcher Marco Falasca.
There are no side effects with CBD, unlike chemotherapy that can cause common reactions such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and the researchers hope that it may even reduce the severity of these reactions.
The researchers think that CBD is a major breakthrough in cancer treatment, and especially for pancreatic cancer. It's one of the most aggressive types of cancer and has one of the lowest survival rates. Life expectancy hasn't improved in around 40 years, the researchers say, because none of the current treatments available can reverse the disease and can provide palliative care where only the patient's level of pain and discomfort can be improved.
"This is a remarkable result," Prof Falasca added.
(Source: Oncogene, 2018; doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0390-1)