Australian researchers are now recruiting cancer patients to study how medical marijuana can prevent vomiting and nausea caused by chemotherapy.
During the study, the scientists in New South Wales will use consistent amounts of CBD and THC in oral pharmaceutical-grade capsules supplied by Tilray, a Canadian medical marijuana company.
The first stage of this clinical trial will involve 80 cancer patients at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and other inpatient facilities in NSW. In case the study brings positive results, it will be expanded to a double-blind randomized controlled trial with up to 250 participants at several NSW hospitals.
Associate Professor Peter Grimison in cooperation with the University of Sidney will treat cancer patients whose symptoms after chemotherapy could not be controlled with standard medicines. During the trial, the researchers will evaluate the patients' conditions, monitor their relief after using cannabis, and take measures in case of any side effects. The whole process will be conducted in compliance with the ethical standards for clinical trials.
According to Grimison, who will lead the study, despite a great variety of effective conventional medications for relieving post-chemotherapy symptoms, one-third of cancer patients still experience vomiting and nausea during and after chemotherapy. Though there is currently no clear understanding of how marijuana eliminates chemotherapy side effects, this clinical trial aims to provide definitive evidence to this fact.
Cancer patients who are willing to join the trial must be over 18 years of age, have withstood chemotherapy, and experience significant symptoms of nausea and vomiting despite taking the best conventional medications.
For more information on this trial, please visit the Cancer Institute NSW website or consult your oncologist on the eligibility criteria.