Finally a Clinical Trial into Cannabis and Cancer…

Up until now the stock response relating to cancer and cannabis research has been that ‘it may work in the lab but there have been no clinical trials’… up until now!

Although it’s a pre-clinical trial into the effects of cannabis into an adult brain tumour in conjunction with a conventional therapy, it’s still a step in the right direction – and it shows positive results…

#makewilliamwell #cannabidiol #ependymoma #ketogenicdiet

Cannabidiol and Children – Is It Safe?

CBD And Children – Is It Safe?

I was approached a few weeks ago by the author of this article who was interested in featuring William’s story.  It has been published on the website of a company* that sells the drug although I think it is very objective and from reading other articles by the author (see below) I’m confident in its authenticity.

CBD – The Myths and Facts

When is it OK to Give Children Cannabis

Why Whole Plant Cannabis Matters

#makewilliamwell #cannabidiol #ependymoma #ketogenic

*We are not affiliated with them and cannot recommend their products one way or another

New School

It has been a busy month moving to a different part of the country hence the lack of posts but it all started with the good news of another stable scan. William has gone on to settle well into his new school and we have finally moved into a new house!

As well as to keep people informed of William’s progress, the purpose of this blog is to try and help other children in a similar situation to William. I firmly believe that the only reason William is still alive is due to the Ketogenic Diet and Cannabidiol we put him on after doctors told us that William would only have a few months left to live (over a year and a half ago)…

Being honest and open about what we are doing has never been easy. Although the research into CBD that we advocated is now being undertaken, it will take years before anything comes of it

The more people who are aware of William’s story, the greater the number of children that may benefit so please consider liking and sharing etc. this and subsequent blog posts so that we can reach as many people as possible…

#makewilliamwell #childhood_cancer #ependymoma #CBD #cannabis #ketogenic_diet

We’re Moving… Why Aye Man!

We’re moving and just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been so supportive whilst we have been going through all of this in Nottinghamshire.

The last four years since William’s diagnosis have been especially difficult being so far from Family and whilst he’s doing well we’re taking the opportunity to move closer to Friends & Family in Newcastle.

As well as to say thank you, we also wanted to wish all of William’s supporters a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cannabis & Cancer Presentation at St. George’s, University of London

In this blog post I’d like to give a laypersons summary of a presentation I attended on Cannabis and Cancer. It was one of St. George’s, University of London ‘spotlight on science’ series of presentations, designed to engage the public in science.

Dr. Wai Liu, who’s work focuses on developing novel approaches against cancer, including cannabis compounds and their potential anti-cancer properties, headed up the presentation with input from his colleagues, including the eminent Professor of Oncology Angus Dalgelish.

The presentation started off with an overview of what cancer is, the mechanisms involved and what controls cell growth before moving on to an introduction to immunotherapy. There was then an introduction to cannabis, in particular Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), which was followed by a specific focus on CBD.

What is Cancer?

In addition to describing cancer as being an uncontrolled growth of cells and explaining the potential causes of such growth, the mechanism of how signals enter a cell were described. These signals, which tell the cell what to do (eg grow), pass through a series of proteins and these proteins can mutate and cause uncontrolled cell growth, i.e. cancer.

Signal Pathways

The mutated proteins can give rise to one or more ‘hallmarks’ of cancer – the mechanism which causes cells to grow uncontrollably. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to act against a specific hallmark but none can act on all.

Hallmarks of Cancer (and what can be used against them)

The Immune System

The immune systems is our body’s way of dealing with cells which shouldn’t be in our bodies. Through various mechanisms, our own cells hunt down and destroy these cells. Normally they would act on cancer cells although they have their own mechanisms to defend themselves such as hiding, blocking the attack or even just turning off the body’s immune response.

Decades ago a man called William Coley discovered a way of using the body’s defence mechanisms by injecting people with bacteria after it was found that patients who had an infection after surgery to remove a tumour had a better prognosis.

Fast forward to today and non-harmful strains of BCG are being used to treat bladder cancer. Furthermore immune cells can now be removed from the body, engineered to recognise cancer cells an then used to kill them – click here for more information.

Cannabis and Cancer

Cannabis is predominantly made up of two ‘phytocannabinoids’ – CBD and THC as mentioned above. As also mentioned above, cells have signal pathways which control growth. Both THC and CBD have been proved in the laboratory to alter these signal pathways and affect the growth of cancer cells.

However, since different cancers can be caused by the mutation of different proteins, the effect that THC and CBD have will depend on the type of cancer they are being used on.  In particular, cancers of the blood and brain appear to be specifically susceptible.

The team at St George’s, University of London (SGU) have been involved in investigating the effects of phytocannabinoids on cancer cells. Here are some of their research papers, some of which were alluded to as part of the presentation:

Cannabidiol (CBD)

So, both CBD and THC have been shown to kill cancer cells.  This part of the presentation focussed in particularly on CBD.  Much of it was in relation to the paper Enhancing the activity of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids in vitro through modifications to drug combinations and treatment schedules.  The paper identified a particular protein which is affected by CBD and was found to be preventing cancer cells, in this case lukemia cells, from multiplying but was not found to be killing the cells… however

The paper also found that the introduction of a break in the administration of CBD can kill cancer cells, i.e. “the cytotoxicity can be restored if the treatment regimen is altered to include a ‘recovery’ phase by culture in drug-free medium, as this allows the cell to re-engage cell cycling and thus undergo cell death”.

Professor Angus Dalgleish

As someone with a significant amount of experience in drug development, and co-author of many of the papers written about cannabis and cancer at SGU, Professor Dalgleish gave a very interesting presentation.  In his opinion there is a strong case for moving the research on cannabinoids, in particular CBD, from lab-based to clinical trials although this can cost well in excess of £20,000,000. He also discussed the volume of anecdotal evidence he has collected which he hopes soon to publish – perhaps this approach will help speed along the commencement of these trials.

The following links were given at the end of the presentation:

Cancer, Cannabinoids and Cancer – the evidence so far

Why anti-cancer properties in cannabis must be investigated


I thought the presentation was extremely informative and am excited about the prospect of CBD moving closer towards clinical trials.  With the amount of lab-based evidence, coupled with strong anecdotal evidence, there is such a strong case for moving the research on as quickly as possible.

Needless to say my opinion is that the effect of CBD on childhood brain tumours should be the primary focus of investigation – given that only three cancer drugs have ever been developed for childhood cancers, and given how little money goes into brain tumour research, surely kids like William deserve a break and for their cancers to be given the spotlight when it comes to such a promising new drug.


After the presentation (from left to right) – Dr Wai Liu, Benjamin (another parent of a child with a brain tumour), Prof. Angus Dalgleish and me!

Brain Tumour Signs & Symptoms

It was around 4 year’s ago that we were noticing the symptoms in this film. We had to resort to attending A&E for William to be diagnosed after several visits to the doctor.

Please help spread awareness – brain tumours are pretty rare but you never know, someone who needs to see it just might…

please like and share

#makewilliamwell #altCR #ependymoma #thebraintumourcharity #CBTRC