The latest cancer treatment therapies and the use of medical marijuana

CAR-T therapy is one of the latest hopes for a successful treatment for patients suffering from multiple myeloma, an aggressive form of bone marrow cancer. The therapy uses genetically modified immune cells to treat cancer – manipulating the genes allows the immune cells to better detect and destroy malignant cells in the patient’s blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes. In addition, a recent clinical trial conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany showed that a standard three-component combination of drugs used as the first treatment could be significantly more effective when combined with so-called monoclonal antibodies.

Glioblastoma multiforme is a type of brain tumour that is difficult to treat. A study by scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago shows how combining ultrasound with microbubbles temporarily opens the brain’s protective barrier (blood-brain barrier) to administer the drug more effectively to the patient. First, the patient receives an intravenous fluid injection with microscopic bubbles that fill the body’s blood vessels. Then, ultrasonic waves shake the microbubbles in the targeted brain area, opening up the dense walls of blood vessels. The chemotherapeutic drug can attack the cancer when the blood-brain barrier is breached.

Meanwhile, according to research by experts from RCSI Dublin and Canada’s Cedars Cancer Center, medical marijuana, containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is “a safe and effective adjuvant treatment for pain relief in cancer patients.

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