Pubdate: Thu, 05 Jan 2006
Source: Hindustan Times (India)
Copyright: 2006, Hindustan Times Ltd.
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


A new study conducted by scientists at Complutense University in Spain
suggests that cannabis extracts may shrink brain tumours and other
cancers by blocking the growth of the blood vessels which feed them.

According to New Scientist, Manuel Guzman and colleagues have
demonstrated how the cannabis extracts block a key chemical needed for
tumours to sprout blood vessels.

The team tested the effects of marijuana extract, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
in 30 mice and found that it inhibited the expression of several genes
related to the production of a chemical called vascular endothelial
growth factor (VEGF).

VEGF is critical for angiogenesis, which allows tumours to grow a
network of blood vessels to supply their growth. The cannabinoid
significantly lowered the activity of VEGF in the mice and two human
brain cancer patients, the study showed.

According to teammember, Cristina Blazquez, "We saw that the tumours
[in mice] were smaller and a bit pallid. The paleness of the cancer
reflected its lack of blood supply as a result of the treatment. In
the human patients, she says: "It seems that it works, but it's very
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