Big Pharma... Smoking Pot Doubles Risk of Testicular Cancer

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 5:19pm.

Young men who smoke marijuana are more likely to develop an aggressive form of testicular cancer than those who have never tried the drug, a study has found.

Smoking the drug at least once a week, or using it regularly from adolescence, doubled the risk of a fast-growing form of the disease called nonseminoma, which tends to strike men in their 20s and 30s, researchers said.

The US study is the first to find evidence of a link between cannabis and testicular cancer, which is the most common type of cancer among British men aged 20 to 44. More than 1,900 new cases of the disease are diagnosed in the UK each year, but it responds well to treatment, with nine in 10 men surviving.

The findings suggest that smoking the drug before the age of 18 raises the cancer risk by coaxing immature cells in the testes to become tumours later in life.

Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle investigated the possibility of a link after learning that the testes were one of the few organs in the body to contain receptors for the main psychoactive substance in the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There has also been a rise in testicular cancer cases that has mirrored the rise in marijuana use since the 1950s, they said.

"Our study is not the first to suggest that some aspect of a man's lifestyle or environment is a risk factor for testicular cancer, but it is the first that has looked at marijuana use," said Stephen Schwartz, an epidemiologist and author on the study.

The researchers asked 369 testicular cancer patients if they had any history of marijuana use. A further 979 healthy men were asked about their use of the drug.

After accounting for any family history of the cancer and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, the study found cannabis use emerged as a significant, separate risk factor for the disease.

Being an existing cannabis user raised the risk of cancer by 70%, while men who had used the drug regularly from puberty were twice as likely to develop the disease than those who had not used the drug.

Men naturally produce a cannabinoid-like substance that is thought to protect the testes against tumours. But smoking cannabis may disrupt this and so raise the risk of cancer, the study speculates.

Ecstasy remains class A

The home secretary will reject calls to downgrade ecstasy to a class B drug this week in a move that risks igniting a fresh row with its own drug advisers. Jacqui Smith will be urged to remove ecstasy from the class A category, which it shares with heroin, in a report to be published on Wednesday by the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

The report follows a year-long ACMD review of the health risks associated with ecstasy after a request by the all-party science and technology committee. The Home Office has made it clear it has no intention of reclassifying the drug. In January, the government upgraded cannabis to class B, against ACMD advice.

Ian Sample - February 9, 2009 - source GuardianUK

That's Big Pharma USA for ya! More pot smokin' mongering. ~ S.I.A.

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 5:19pm.


yobe | Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:33am

Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2007) — The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.

They say this is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), inhibits EGF-induced growth and migration in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressing non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Lung cancers that over-express EGFR are usually highly aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy.

THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.

"The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer," said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine.

Acting through cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain and anxiety control, and inflammation. Although a medical derivative of THC, known as Marinol, has been approved for use as an appetite stimulant for cancer patients, and a small number of U.S. states allow use of medical marijuana to treat the same side effect, few studies have shown that THC might have anti-tumor activity, Preet says. The only clinical trial testing THC as a treatment against cancer growth was a recently completed British pilot study in human glioblastoma.

In the present study, the researchers first demonstrated that two different lung cancer cell lines as well as patient lung tumor samples express CB1 and CB2, and that non-toxic doses of THC inhibited growth and spread in the cell lines. "When the cells are pretreated with THC, they have less EGFR stimulated invasion as measured by various in-vitro assays," Preet said.

Then, for three weeks, researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice that had been implanted with human lung cancer cells, and found that tumors were reduced in size and weight by about 50 percent in treated animals compared to a control group. There was also about a 60 percent reduction in cancer lesions on the lungs in these mice as well as a significant reduction in protein markers associated with cancer progression, Preet says.

Although the researchers do not know why THC inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes cancer growth.

Preet says much work is needed to clarify the pathway by which THC functions, and cautions that some animal studies have shown that THC can stimulate some cancers. "THC offers some promise, but we have a long way to go before we know what its potential is," she said.
Adapted from materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research.

Jonathan | Mon, 02/09/2009 - 7:23pm

There have been several (independent) studies showing that those who smoke tobacco on a regular basis and DO NOT smoke marijuana have a much higher risk of developing cancer than those who DO smoke marijuana and tobacco together.

I will find something soon to post regarding the medicinal uses of marijuana. Next and coming... a bunch of reasons why smoking marijuana is GOOD for you! These reasons also happen to be why Big Pharma will do all they can to make you think that pot is bad!