The MANY Advantages of Legalising “Last Resort” Medicinal Cannabis for Cancer Treatment

Next Tuesday the deadline for commenting on what conditions medicinal cannabis can be legally prescribed for in the UK will pass (for some reason this fact appears to have gone largely unnoticed).

At the moment the list of conditions includes chronic pain, intractable nausea and vomiting, spasticity and epilepsy but not cancer treatment.  This is because, despite a significant amount of research proving that cannabis compounds can kill cancer cells in the laboratory, there is evidently not as much as for the other conditions to warrant its inclusion (even for use when all else has failed as a last option).

Traditionally, the process of getting to the level of evidence required for the inclusion of a condition typically involves gold standard randomized controlled trials, which cost £millions.

With cancer rates in general continuing to rise and oncologists having to rely on the decades old treatment options of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for many conditions (only one drug has EVER been developed specifically for a childhood brain tumour), this “gold standard” approach is clearly failing.

Luckily there are those in the scientific community who recognize the limitations of expensive controlled trials and the importance of other approaches such as adaptive clinical trials which evaluate treatments by observing their effects on patients and making changes based on these observations.

I would like to see people being given the option of having medicinal cannabis prescribed to treat their cancer in the first instance although I think at this stage there is something more achievable we should be fighting for – I believe what we currently have is a golden opportunity to advance research into cannabis and cancer

I’m by no means a researcher or scientist but would it be so hard to imagine the benefits of allowing the prescription of medicinal cannabis to patients for whom all other treatments have failed and for this to be done as part of an adaptive clinical trial?

As well as generating much needed clinical research, this would also mean that patients and the parents of children with cancer would have access to medicinal cannabis under the supervision of a doctor as opposed to having to self fund and medicate using drugs of often questionable quality and content.

Finally, who knows, it may end up saving lives…

If you haven’t already, please consider signing our petition to Have Cancer Treatment included in the Medicinal Cannabis Review but hurry, we only have until 4th December.

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Argh! What Should We Do…?

After over two years of reading, fundraising and campaigning having championed and helped fund a £100,000 research project and having seeing William’s case featured in an academic article, it’s like being straight back a square one all over again…

It was the feeling of being so helpless that inspired us to do everything we have in the hope that should his tumour start to grow again we’d have some proper answers as to what it was that shrank his tumour in the first place and what we’d be able to do should his tumour return.

However, we’re still non-the-wiser… Should we increase his CBD? Would a different source of CBD be more effective? Do we need to introduce other cannabinoids? What are genuine sources of affordable cannabinoids? ARGH – it feels like we’ve accomplished nothing over the last two plus years…

…which is why the one thing keeping us going at the moment is the prospect that the culmination of months of public awareness and government decisions surrounding medicinal cannabis may result in us having access to a dependable source of the cannabinoids and the prospect that this may lead to clinical trials happening sooner.

That’s why we started this new campaign (different to the childhood cancer petition we started a while ago) and are so passionate for cancer treatment to be discussed as a condition for which medicinal cannabis could be prescribed.  Please sign and share this petition – we only have until 4th December so please don’t put it off.

Argh

#CannaKeto #Cannabis #KetogenicDiet #MakeWilliamWell #Ependymoma

Have Cancer Treatment Included in Medicinal Cannabis Review

We were so excited when the government announced that it would carry out a review into which conditions medicinal cannabis could be prescribed for, especially since the amount of research required for clinical trials to be carried out into cannabis and cancer has clearly already been met – one clinical trial has already been carried out and two more are in the pipeline (which we assumed would surely at least justify it’s consideration in such a review)…

We were subsequently gutted to read that the draft outline for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) committee* (that will advise on medicinal cannabis prescription), proposes discussion of the following:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Intractible Nausea and Vomiting
  • Spasticity
  • Severe Treatment-resistant Epilepsy

AND NOT CANCER TREATMENT

Please sign our petition to have cancer treatment considered by NICE as something that medicinal cannabis should be prescribed for…

We only have until 4th December 2018 for the draft outline to be changed so please sign and share this petition TODAY by clicking here

For more information and updates please follow our Facebook Page

NICE2

*For more information on the committee, including a list of stakeholder organisations, please click here

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Update

So, scan day came around again and there have been some changes, suffice it to say that I wish we’d realised an increase in his CBD dosage since starting two years ago might have been a good idea… scan again in two months. He’s doing really well in himself and we are really looking forward to Christmas!

#CannaKeto #MakeWilliamWell #Cannabis #Ependymoma #KetogenicDiet

10,000+ Signatures

A huge thank you to all those who have signed and shared our Medicinal Cannabis for Childhood Cancers petition and helped us get over the first magic number of 10,000 which means we can now get an official response from the Government, which is critical in the light of recent developments…

DESPITE A CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT POLICY, CANNABIS STILL WON’T BE PRESCRIBED TO TREAT CANCER

Our next goal is to reach 100,000 so that the petition can be considered for debate in parliament.

Given recent developments, we will now be asking for two main things:

  1. The prescription of medicinal cannabis for childhood cancer patients, as a minimum where standard treatments have failed (regardless of whether the threshold of clinical evidence has been met)
  2. With the advent of an Australian company commencing clinical trials on cannabis and adult brain tumours and the allocation of several million pounds towards research into brain tumours in the UK, we are asking for some of this money to go towards clinical trials into cannabis and childhood brain tumours

PLEASE SHARE OUR PETITION

We need to be pushing this campaign as hard as possible – please help

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10000

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No NHS Medicinal Cannabis for Cancer Treatment…

Not that it’s entirely surprising but as it became legal yesterday for cannabis to be prescribed for medicinal use on the NHS, they produced this article, stating that it is only likely to be prescribed for:

  • children with rare, severe forms of epilepsy
  • adults with vomiting or nausea caused by chemotherapy

Even with this there are suggestions that only certain cannabinoids will be available for certain conditions – the Times produced this article today suggesting that in the case of Billy Caldwell, the boy whose case triggered the reform, he will still not be able to be prescribed tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) since there is “insufficient high quality or clinical evidence in humans to support the suggestion that THC increases the efficacy of anti-epileptic effect when used in combination with cannabidiol [CBD]“*

Clearly more needs to be done.  I am doing everything I can to make sure that others benefit from what we have been through with William and his brain tumour reduction after starting him on CBD and the Ketogenic Diet.

Please follow our progress by clicking the Follow box on this page or by Liking our Facebook Page, helping us spread the word further in our pursuit for wider access to medicinal cannabis, especially for childhood cancer patients.

Also, please consider signing and sharing our Petition – we’re so close to the magic number of 10,000.

Finally, please contact me with any experiences you have had with cannabis and cancer using makewilliamwell@gmail.com

NHS No

*quote from the British Paediatric Neurology Association