On 5th September, the first patient entered the University Hospital 12 de Octubre in Spain as part of an independent clinical trial researching the efficacy of cannabis as a treatment for brain cancer. This unique trial is the culmination of a 10 year civil society collaboration between the scientific sector and the medical cannabis community.
Over the next 18 months, the trial will study the synergistic anti-tumour effect observed in the pre-clinical stage of combining Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) with traditional cancer treatments using temozolomide and radiotherapy.
Conducted across eight specialised neuro-oncology medical sites in Spain, the study will recruit 30 patients and be led by esteemed coordinating investigator Dr. Juan Manuel Sepúlveda Sánchez from GEINO and collated by MFAR. Dr Sepúlveda shared that despite biological evidence accumulating on the cannabinoid’s have on anti-tumour activity, “no clinical trials have been conducted to prove this hypothesis in patients, perhaps due to the lack of commercial interest in these drugs”
This trial is finally allowing this to be studied through a unique collaboration through the support of the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour. The partners involved in the initiative are scientists from Complutense University of Madrid, Canadian medical cannabis provider Tilray Medical which prepared the pharmaceutical-grade medication for the trial (THC/CBD, 1:1, p.o.), and and the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour Foundation charity, which is providing independent funding for the trial.
The Medical Cannabis Bike Tour began raising funds to support the work of the Complutense University team, since 2013. Headed up by Dr Manuel Guzmán and Dr Guillermo Velasco, the team was researching the effects of cannabinoids on cancer cells and the potential as a brain cancer treatment.
It was founded by Luc Krol from the Netherlands based cannabis genetics seed bank, Paradise Seeds and Matej Munih from Snail Rolling Papers. The Medical Bike Tour Foundation mobilized the European cannabis community, attracting significant sponsorship from the industry over the course of five events, all of the proceeds are funding the clinical trial.
Luc Krol said, ”The world was very different when we began the MCBT 10 years ago. In the pre-legalization era, the term ‘medical cannabis’ was still seen by many people as a fantasy. However we believed in the outstanding work of doctors Velasco and Guzman and their team and asked the cannabis community to support it. The fact that the MCBT can independently fund a clinical trial in the name of science, not profit, is amazing thanks to the sponsors and riders who made it happen. We hope this trial will reflect the hope illuminated by the scientific research for the participants involved.”
Over 400,000 Euros was raised over the course of the bike tours which have taken place in Spain, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Italy, Czechia and Austria – all documented on YouTube and Facebook.
The involvement of GEINO (Spanish Group of Neuro-Oncology Research) paved the way for the trial to become a reality, with Tilray Medical coming on board to provide EU-GMP certified medical cannabis THC and CBD products for administering to patients.
This unique partnership has come together in a groundbreaking initiative, working together for the benefit of cancer treatment research as the trial investigates the potential benefits of medical cannabis.