Pubdate: Tue, 29 Feb 2000
Source: Daily Record and Sunday Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2000 Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd.
Contact:  Anderston Quay, Glasgow, Scotland, G3 8DA


CANNABIS could be a cure for brain cancer, according to research
results out today.

Experiments on rats have shown that the main chemical in the illegal
drug can sometimes wipe out the deadly tumours.

Other rats with the cancer had their lives extended by more than a

MSPs are already calling for a review on using cannabis for medical
treatments and the findings will bring more pressure on the Government.

Thousands of patients with brain cancer will be given new hope by the

The tumours usually kill, with victims surviving less than a year
despite a variety of treatments.

But Spanish scientists found cannabis pumped into the tumours cleared
the cancer in more than a third of the test rats.

The drug also prolonged the life of another third by up to 40 days but
was ineffective in the rest.

The cancer has not come back in any of the survivors.

More research is planned as doctors say they do not fully understand
how the cannabis cure works.

They believe it may stimulate the body's immune system to attack the
cancer cells.

Cannabis supporters claim it can help treat cancer, glaucoma, AIDS,
multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and some pains.

But brain tumor expert Mr Vakis Papanastassiou, of Glasgow's Southern
General Hospital, warned the drug could harm some patients.
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