Study: Cannabinoids Can Reduce the Viability of Human Bladder Cancer Cells

The results of newly published research “indicate that cannabinoids can reduce human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cell viability”.

The research is published in the recent issue of the Journal of Cannabis Research, and it was epublished by the National Library of Medicine. Conducted by researchers at  Dalhousie University in Canada, the study is titled Anticancer properties of cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and synergistic effects with gemcitabine and cisplatin in bladder cancer cell lines.

The study notes that “Several studies have demonstrated anti-tumor effects of components present in cannabis in different models. Unfortunately, little is known about the potential anti-tumoral effects of cannabinoids in bladder cancer and how cannabinoids could potentially synergize with chemotherapeutic agents.” The current study aimed “to identify whether a combination of cannabinoids, like cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, with agents commonly used to treat bladder cancer, such as gemcitabine and cisplatin, can produce desirable synergistic effects. We also evaluated if co-treatment with different cannabinoids resulted in synergistic effects.”

For the study researchers “generated concentration curves with several drugs, including several cannabinoids, to identify the range at which they could exert anti-tumor effects in bladder cancer cell lines.” They tested the cytotoxic effects of gemcitabine (up to 100 nM), cisplatin (up to 100 μM), and cannabinoids (up to 10 μM) in T24 and TCCSUP cells. They also “evaluated the activation of the apoptotic cascade and whether cannabinoids have the ability to reduce invasion in T24 cells.”

Researchers found that “Cannabidiol, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabichromene, and cannabivarin reduce cell viability of bladder cancer cell lines, and their combination with gemcitabine or cisplatin may induce differential responses, from antagonistic to additive and synergistic effects, depending on the concentrations used. Cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol were also shown to induce apoptosis via caspase-3 cleavage and reduce invasion in a Matrigel assay.”

Cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol “also display synergistic properties with other cannabinoids like cannabichromene or cannabivarin, although individual cannabinoids may be sufficient to reduce cell viability of bladder cancer cell lines.”

Researchers conclude: “Our results indicate that cannabinoids can reduce human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cell viability, and that they can potentially exert synergistic effects when combined with other agents. Our in vitro results will form the basis for future studies in vivo and in clinical trials for the development of new therapies that could be beneficial for the treatment of bladder cancer in the future.”

The full text of this study can be found by clicking here.