There is a lot of interest in the potential of Cannibidiol (CBD) as a therapy for brain tumours. Brain Tumour Action, The Astro Brain Tumour Fund, and fundraising led by Mr Steve Frost have jointly funded research exploring how paediatric brain tumour cells react with CBD.
We have been studying the impact of different concentrations of CBD on 3D tumour cell models and also in conditions without oxygen (as this best mimics the conditions of the tumour in the brain). The research has focussed on ependymoma and paediatric high grade glioma cells. We have found that the cells do die, but there appears to be a cascade of events which lead to the cell death after a single CBD dose and we need to find out more about this.
Some patients currently take cannabis oil as adjuvant therapy for a brain tumour. We plan to replicate how they do this (e.g. 3 days on, 3 days off) in the laboratory, so we can understand its impact on the tumour cells.
Future work in this area may see us strengthen work with other researchers, including those at the University of Western Australia, to explore the effects of CBD on immune reactions.
Finally, we intend to combine our CBD work with our previous study into the Ketogenic diet, to see if the two therapies interact with each other by looking at cells cultured in the absence of glucose and dosed with CBD. It would also be interesting to see if there is any increase in cell death if the cells are exposed to radiotherapy, as radiotherapy causes cellular damage which may enable more damage to be caused to the cell by the ketogenic diet or CBD or both.