Cannabinoids as a Potential New and Novel Treatment for Melanoma: A Pilot Study in a Murine Model.

Cannabinoids as a Potential New and Novel Treatment for Melanoma: A Pilot Study in a Murine Model.

Publication date: Mar 01, 2019

Malignant melanoma is a complex malignancy with significant morbidity and mortality. The incidence continues to rise, and despite advances in treatment, the prognosis is poor. Thus, it is necessary to develop novel strategies to treat this aggressive cancer. Synthetic cannabinoids have been implicated in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, reducing tumor growth, and reducing metastasis. We developed a unique study focusing on the effects of treatment with a cannabinoid derivative on malignant melanoma tumors in a murine model.

Murine B16F10 melanoma tumors were established subcutaneously in C57BL/6 mice. Mice were then treated with intraperitoneal injections of vehicle twice per week (control-group 1, n = 6), Cisplatin 5 mg/kg/wk (group 2; n = 6), and Cannabidiol (CBD) 5 mg/kg twice per week (group 3; n = 6). Tumors were measured and volume calculated as (4π/3) cD7 (width/2) cD7 (length/2). Tumor size and survival curves were measured. Results were compared using a one-way ANOVA with multiple comparison test.

A significant decrease in tumor size was detected in mice treated with CBD when compared with the control group (P = 0.01). The survival curve of melanoma tumors treated with CBD increased when compared with the control group and was statistically significant (P = 0.04). The growth curve and survival curve of melanoma tumors treated with Cisplatin were significantly decreased and increased, respectively, when compared with the control and CBD-treated groups. Mice treated with Cisplatin demonstrated the longest survival time, but the quality of life and movement of CBD-treated mice were observed to be better.

We demonstrate a potential beneficial therapeutic effect of cannabinoids, which could influence the course of melanoma in a murine model. Increased survival and less tumorgenicity are novel findings that should guide research to better understand the mechanisms by which cannabinoids could be utilized as adjunctive treatment of cancer, specifically melanoma. Further studies are necessary to evaluate this potentially new and novel treatment of malignant melanoma.

Simmerman, E., Qin, X., Yu, J.C., and Baban, B. Cannabinoids as a Potential New and Novel Treatment for Melanoma: A Pilot Study in a Murine Model. 21796. 2019 J Surg Res (235):

Concepts Keywords
ANOVA Adjunctive treatment cancer
Cancer Metastasis
Cannabidiol Melanoma
Cannabinoid RTT
Cannabinoids Health
CBD Psychoactive drugs
Cisplatin Medicine
Control Group Cancer
Derivative Synthetic cannabinoids
Incidence Effects of cannabis
Intraperitoneal Equine melanoma
Malignant Melanoma
Multiple Comparison
Survival Curve
Synthetic Cannabinoids


Type Source Name
disease MESH Melanoma
disease DOID Melanoma
pathway BSID Melanoma
disease MESH malignancy
disease DOID cancer
disease MESH growth
disease MESH metastasis
drug DRUGBANK Cisplatin
drug DRUGBANK Cannabidiol
disease MESH multiple
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
drug DRUGBANK Medical Cannabis


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