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Zelda Therapeutics progresses medicinal cannabis brain cancer research

Data from this research can be used as the basis for any future clinical trials.

medicinal cannabis leaf with green tablets
Dr Richard Hopkins will start as managing director commencing 1 July 2018

Zelda Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ZLD) continues to progress its paediatric (children) brain cancer research project with the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia.

The research project is focused on the pre-clinical testing of Zelda’s compounds, formulations and protocols on pediatric medulloblastoma cell lines.

Medulloblastoma is a common brain tumour in children and accounts for about 15% of brain cancers in children.

Cannabinoids are having an anticancer effect

Initial results have shown that increasing doses of pure ∆9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or pure cannabidiol (CBD) reduces cancer cell viability in cell-based assays.

That means the cannabinoids are having an anticancer effect by reducing the proliferation of cancer cells.

Furthermore, high doses of THC and CBD in combination with cyclophosphamide (a type of chemotherapy agent) shows an increase in antiproliferative effect.

Additional studies are planned to further understand the nature of this effect.

READ: Zelda Therapeutics attracts experienced biopharmaceutical managing director

Zelda’s chairman Harry Karelis said: “We are very pleased to show that pure cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-cancer effect in these assays which gives us confidence that our systems are working well.

“We look forward to the results from the next phase of our research which will test the effectiveness of our formulations on these same assays providing rigorous comparative data as well as in in vivo models.”

Next phase testing full plant extracts

The next phase of the research project will be testing Zelda’s full plant extracts in these same assays and hoping to achieve better results than the individual pure cannabinoids.

At the same time, these full plant extracts will be tested in animal models hosting human tumours to determine the extent of any anti-cancer effect in these in vivo models.

These in vivo studies will generate invaluable data on the potential for cannabinoids to play a role in future cancer therapy regimes.

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