MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof Marco Falasca
Head Metabolic Signalling Group
School of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Each year around 9,800 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The disease is particularly aggressive and has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers.
Indeed, the life expectancy for pancreatic cancer patients has barely changed in the last 40 years because there are very few, and mostly only palliative care, treatments available. Given the five-year survival rate for people with pancreatic cancer is less than seven per cent, the discovery of new treatments and therapeutic strategies is urgently needed.
In this study, we decided to concentrate on a protein, named GPR55, found in high levels in pancreatic cancer. Our results show that GPR55 promotes pancreatic cancer progression. Consequently, we decided to use its inhibitor cannabidiol, a naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis, as a pharmacological strategy to block GPR55 activity.
Strikingly, mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with cannabidiol alongside chemotherapy, survived almost three times longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone, our study reports. Continue reading