It has been difficult thinking of how to write this post, which a large part of me, for many reasons, want’s not to write, so I’ll start with a bit of background.
When it became clear, over three years ago, that The Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre in Nottingham wouldn’t consider carrying out research on William’s tumour type (ependymoma) and the cannabinoid THC in the UK we looked elsewhere and found out that there was a research centre in Australia which was already looking into another childhood brain tumour type and the effect of cannabinoids, including THC. By introducing them to the team at Nottingham, who have expertise in ependymoma, it was possible to have William’s tumour type included in the study which has now been published…
We were aware all along that “following the science” wouldn’t necessarily give us the answers we “wanted” but at the same time we just wanted to understand the truth behind whether cannabinoids “work” on childhood brain tumours – you can read the full article by clicking here.
From this research it does not appear that cannabinoids have any anti-cancer effects on childhood brain cancers. But the research was only tested on high risk types of medulloblastoma and ependymoma, identified by the expression of specific genes – without doing the research it’s not possible to say what the effect of cannabinoids would be on other genetic sub-types.
There is, however, strong evidence to suggest that cannabinoids have some effect against adult glioblastoma cells so clinical trials in these types of brain cancers should still take place.
We have long-suspected, though, that it’s a combination of cannabinoids as well as the ketogenic diet, or even just the diet, which have helped William, perhaps alongside conventional treatments. If anything we hope that this research emphasises the fact that cannabinoids are well tolerated, in particular alongside conventional therapies although one cannot completely rule out the potential psychological side effects, particularly in children, as identified in this article.
We also hope that parents will consider diet more in terms of it playing a potentially important role in combating tumours. After all, a research study has already demonstrated a link between ependymoma and anti-cancer effects of the diet – click here to see the article.
I remember you and your friend well, lovely to hear from you. We’ll not give up – it’s still by no means conclusive to us that cannabinoids don’t work. If anything we’ll probably try and focus on the Diet in terms of research for the time being but on cannabinoids when the opportunity arises. Ultimately I want to see research into the combined effects of the diet and cannabinoids. I’m so pleased the tumour growth has halted.
We met in Nov 2019 at your seminar in UK. I am from the USA. My daughter Emily (diagnosed at 8 with an ependymoma and she is now 17) has had three brain surgeries (only one for removal and the other two for her shunt that helps drain her CNS fluid due to tumor blockage) . She has been on a special keto diet and taking Cbd/THC since 2015 with no other treatment. She never had the recommended radiation nor did she have chemo. There is NO doubt FH the CBD/THC has helped keep her alive and stop the growth of her tumor. We have not seen a significant decrease in the tumor but it has halted its growth. She also takes several supplements (EGCG and others) which we also believes plays a role. Don’t ever give up on the role of CBD/THC and it’s effects in childhood cancer!