[Mb-civic] Cannabis may help combat cancer BBC
hotprojects at nyc.rr.com
Wed Sep 15 18:16:15 PDT 2004
oh good im gonna smoke me up a whole bunch
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Butler" <michael at michaelbutler.com>
To: "Civic" <mb-civic at islandlists.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 7:56 PM
Subject: [Mb-civic] Cannabis may help combat cancer BBC
Cannabis may help combat cancer
The chemical in cannabis that produces a high may help to combat the spread
of cancer, research suggests.
Scientists have discovered the active ingredient,
delta-9-tetrahydrocannibol can block the spread of gamma herpes viruses.
The viruses are linked to an increased risk of the cancers Kaposis sarcoma,
Burkitts lymphoma and Hodgkins disease.
The research, by the University of South Florida, is published in the
online journal BMC Medicine.
Gamma herpes viruses are different from the herpes simplex viruses
responsible for cold sores and genital herpes.
Among those that have been associated with an increased risk of cancer is
Kaposis Sarcoma Associated Herpes Virus.
Once infected, it is almost impossible to get rid of the virus as it lies
dormant for long periods within white blood cells.
However, the virus can snap back into action, and suddenly begin to
replicate itself, bursting out of the cells to infect others. Once a cell
has been infected the chances that it will become cancerous are increased.
The South Florida team found that this sudden reactivation was prevented if
infected cells were grown in the presence of THC.
Cells infected with a mouse gamma herpes virus normally died when the virus
reactivated. But they survived when cultured with the cannabinoid compound,
and thus the spread of the virus - and the potential spread of cancer - was
The researchers were able to show that THC specifically blocked the gamma
herpes viruses - it had no impact at all on the cold sore virus herpes
They hope their findings will lead to the development of new drugs to
neutralise the threat of the viruses.
However, lead researcher Dr Peter Medveczky said more work was needed, and
stressed that it would not be sensible for people with cancers associated
with gamma herpes viruses to start smoking cannabis.
He said THC was known to suppress the immune system - which could do more
harm than good to patients whose immune system was often already weakened.
Dr Medveczky believes THC blocks replication of the gamma herpes viruses by
targeting a gene they all carry called ORF50.
A spokesperson for Cancer Research UK warned that the results should be
treated with caution.
"These are very preliminary results and it is far too early to say whether
the findings will lead to practical strategies for preventing and treating
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/15 07:00:15 GMT
© BBC MMIV
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