Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research

A new hope for cancer patients?

Farideh A. Javid, Roger M. Phillips, S. Afshinjavid, Roberta Verde, Alessia Ligresti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cannabinoids have been used for many centuries to ease pain and in the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity, and osteoporosis. Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have anti-cancer activity and as cannabinoids are usually well tolerated and do not produce the typical toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies, there is considerable merit in the development of cannabinoids as potential anticancer therapies. Whilst the presence of psychoactive effects of cannabinoids could prevent any progress in this field, recent studies have shown the value of the non-psychoactive components of cannabinoids in activating apoptotic pathways, inducing anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects. The aforementioned effects are suggested to be through pathways such as ERK, Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), all of which are important contributors to the hallmarks of cancer. Many important questions still remain unanswered or are poorly addressed thus necessitating further research at basic pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we address these issues with a view to identifying the key challenges that future research needs to address.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Volume775
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016

Fingerprint

Cannabinoids
Pharmacology
Research
Neoplasms
Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1
Endocannabinoids
1-Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase
Poisons
Huntington Disease
Movement Disorders
Neuralgia
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
Anxiety Disorders
Mood Disorders
Spinal Cord Injuries
Glaucoma
Osteoporosis
Multiple Sclerosis
Parkinson Disease
Atherosclerosis

Cite this

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title = "Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research: A new hope for cancer patients?",
abstract = "Cannabinoids have been used for many centuries to ease pain and in the past decade, the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a number of pathophysiological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity, and osteoporosis. Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids also have anti-cancer activity and as cannabinoids are usually well tolerated and do not produce the typical toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies, there is considerable merit in the development of cannabinoids as potential anticancer therapies. Whilst the presence of psychoactive effects of cannabinoids could prevent any progress in this field, recent studies have shown the value of the non-psychoactive components of cannabinoids in activating apoptotic pathways, inducing anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects. The aforementioned effects are suggested to be through pathways such as ERK, Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathways and hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF1), all of which are important contributors to the hallmarks of cancer. Many important questions still remain unanswered or are poorly addressed thus necessitating further research at basic pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we address these issues with a view to identifying the key challenges that future research needs to address.",
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Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research : A new hope for cancer patients? / Javid, Farideh A.; Phillips, Roger M.; Afshinjavid, S.; Verde, Roberta; Ligresti, Alessia.

In: European Journal of Pharmacology, Vol. 775, 15.03.2016, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T2 - A new hope for cancer patients?

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AU - Phillips, Roger M.

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