The answer to 1984... is 1776

Monday, January 11, 2010

CANCER: marijuana as an alternative to chemotherapy? BBC NEWS

Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'

The CBD compound found in cannabis is non-toxic
A compound found in cannabis may stop breast cancer spreading throughout the body, US scientists believe.

The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute team are hopeful that cannabidiol or CBD could be a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy.

Unlike cannabis, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties so its use would not violate laws, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics reports.

The authors stressed that they were not suggesting patients smoke marijuana.

They added that it would be highly unlikely that effective concentrations of CBD could be reached by smoking cannabis.

This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects
Lead researcher Dr Sean McAllister

CBD works by blocking the activity of a gene called Id-1 which is believed to be responsible for the aggressive spread of cancer cells away from the original tumour site - a process called metastasis.

Past work has shown CBD can block aggressive human brain cancers.

The latest work found CBD appeared to have a similar effect on breast cancer cells in the lab.

Future hope

Lead researcher Dr Sean McAllister said: "Right now we have a limited range of options in treating aggressive forms of cancer.

"Those treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be effective but they can also be extremely toxic and difficult for patients."

"This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects."

Dr Joanna Owens of Cancer Research UK said: "This research is at a very early stage.

"The findings will need to be followed up with clinical trials in humans to see if the CBD is safe, and whether the beneficial effects can be replicated.

"Several cancer drugs based on plant chemicals are already used widely, such as vincristine - which is derived from a type of flower called Madagascar Periwinkle and is used to treat breast and lung cancer. It will be interesting to see whether CBD will join them."

Maria Leadbeater of Breast Cancer Care said: "Many people experience side-effects while having chemotherapy, such as nausea and an increased risk of infection, which can take both a physical and emotional toll.

"Any drug that has fewer side-effects will, of course, be of great interest."

But she added: "It is clear that much more research needs to be carried out."

Editors note:
The demonizing of marijuana has been designed from the very start.
A friend of mine recently noted that (paraphrase) "this isn't new, everyone knows the benefits"

Yes, but the fact that those positive studies were destroyed in the 40's-60's and replaced with government propaganda shows us where it started.
soon the criminalization and moral ineptitude of the police state followed and ultimately it (the war on drugs) only served to strip our individual rights and throw millions of non violent offenders in jail.... and resulted in the complete dissoluteness of our society. Prohibition does not work, in actuality it creates the crime.

and it was all done by design.

Doctors and pharmacists continue to get away with murder.

Isn't it interesting that when victims are killed with pharmaceutical medicines, doctors and pharmacists are never held responsible for their roles in such deaths? If you run over someone with a car and kill them, you're held responsible. If you accidentally shoot your best friend in a hunting accident, you're held responsible (unless you're the U.S. Vice President, of course). If you have a swimming pool in your back yard, and a drunken neighbor drowns in your pool, you're also held responsible. But somehow, if you're a doctor or pharmacist, and you prescribe a fatal dose of toxic chemicals to a patient, you're off the hook!

Doctors and pharmacists have been getting away with murder for so long that no one even remembers what it's like to hold them responsible for their actions. Let's face it: They're in the business of dealing poisons. And when you deal in poison, there needs to be a level of personal responsibility that's adhered to by working professionals. But instead of professionalism, what we're seeing in this case is the complete abandonment of any such notion. When the patient dies, they simply "lose the paperwork" to cover their tracks.

Admittedly, being a pharmacist is a difficult job. Stress runs high, and there are countless details to remember about drug safety, drug interactions, proper dosages and so on. But the primary reason the job is so difficult is because the pharmaceuticals they're dealing with are so toxic in the first place.

Oops, we're sorry

In such a high stress, chemically-dangerous environment, errors are bound to happen sooner or later. But that's no excuse to disown any responsibility for those errors. If a structural engineer makes a mistake and people die in a hotel collapse, for example, that person is held responsible for their professional mistakes. Why are pharmacists and doctors so often given a free pass when their own mistakes cause people to die?

In this case, the victim's family only got an apology. "North Bristol NHS Trust would like to take this opportunity to repeat its sincere apologies and condolences to Mrs McKenna's family and friends," said Dr Chris Burton, Medical Director of North Bristol NHS Trust.

(In other words, "Oops, sorry. Your family member is dead and all we have to offer is this lousy apology.")

Dr Burton went on to say, "Patient safety is our priority and following Mrs McKenna's death, we made immediate and significant changes to our procedures around prescribing and issuing Idarubicin."

So they waited until someone died to beef up their safety procedures. And why not? When there are no criminal charges, no fines and no taking responsibility for their mistakes, there's really no incentive to avoid mistakes in the first place, is there?

Keep all this in mind if you or a loved one is considering chemotherapy. Keep in mind the simple fact that you can be killed by chemotherapy and no one will be held responsible for your death. If you die, they'll just say, "Oops!" and issue a weak apology. Then it's back to business as usual, making big money while patients buy the farm.

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