Even though pancreatic cancer accounts for only 3% of all cancers found in the US, its poor survival rate has made it the second deathliest cancer. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute published their recent study in the Frontiers of Oncology scientific journal in late July. They revealed some great news– that a specific chemical compound found in cannabis provided “significant therapy potential” for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The chemical they researched is called a flavonoid. Flavonoids are found in all plants, vegetables, and fruits, providing their vibrant color.

Preliminary Conclusions on Flavonoids and Pancreatic Cancer

Flavonoids naturally account for 0.14% of cannabis plants, making it difficult to research in the past. Scientists are now able to genetically engineer cannabis flavonoids, providing the opportunity to further investigate their advantages. FBL-03G is a derivative from a cannabis flavonoid that researchers tested as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. Wilfred Ngwa PhD reported on their findings, “The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer. This has major significance, given that pancreatic cancer is particularly refractory to current therapies. We were quite surprised that the drug could inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body, representing metastasis, that were not targeted by the treatment. This suggests that the immune system is involved as well, and we are currently investigating this mechanism.”

Subsequent Flavonoid Research and the Future of Cannabis Studies

With the impactful preliminary results, the research team plans to continue preclinical studies through the end of 2020. Once completed, hopefully, they will successfully be translated into clinical studies. The future of cannabis research is looking bright and we’re thrilled to learn more about the capabilities of hemp and marijuana!

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