Antitumorigenic Effects of Cannabinoids beyond Apoptosis

A 2010 study:

According to the World Health Organization, the cases of death caused by cancer will have been doubled until the year 2030. By 2010, cancer is expected to be the number one cause of death. Therefore, it is necessary to explore novel approaches for the treatment of cancer. Over past years, the antitumorigenic [inhibit the formation of tumors] effects of cannabinoids have emerged as an exciting field in cancer research. Apart from their proapoptotic [causing cancer cells to die instead of multiply] and antiproliferative action, recent research has shown that cannabinoids may likewise affect tumor cell angiogenesis [blood vessel growth], migration, invasion, adhesion, and metastasization. This review will summarize the data concerning the influence of cannabinoids on these locomotive processes beyond modulation of cancer cell apoptosis and proliferation. The findings discussed here provide a new perspective on the antitumorigenic potential of cannabinoids.

Interesting highlights:

…recent data support the hypothesis that cannabinoid receptors together with endogenously produced agonists contribute to an endogenous defense mechanism against tumorigenesis [pot prevents the formation of tumors]

Collectively, cannabinoids may act antiangiogenic by disposing tumor cells to decrease the production of proangiogenic factors and/or by direct modulation of endothelial cells. Therefore, cannabinoid receptor agonists as well as cannabinoid quinones with topoisomerase II inhibitory activity may provide a promising tool for antiangiogenic strategies in cancer treatment. [pot inhibits the growth of blood vessels necessary for tumor growth]

In summary, the currently available data suggest an antimigratory potency of cannabinoids [pot prevents the migration of tumors], with the underlying signal pathways still requiring further investigation.

Watch Run From the Cure to learn more about marijuana’s potential as a cancer fighting agent: