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Anticancer mechanisms of cannabinoids

Source: Current Oncology

Published: March 23, 2016



In addition to the well-known palliative effects of cannabinoids on some cancer-associated symptoms, a large body
of evidence shows that these molecules can decrease tumour growth in animal models of cancer. They do so by
modulating key cell signalling pathways involved in the control of cancer cell proliferation and survival. In addition,
cannabinoids inhibit angiogenesis and decrease metastasis in various tumour types in laboratory animals. In this
review, we discuss the current understanding of cannabinoids as antitumour agents, focusing on recent discoveries
about their molecular mechanisms of action, including resistance mechanisms and opportunities for their use
in combination therapy. Those observations have already contributed to the foundation for the development of the
first clinical studies that will analyze the safety and potential clinical benefit of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.