The Christie to be involved in new cannabis-based brain cancer medicine trial

Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester Withington, has welcomed The Christie’s involvement in an innovative nationwide clinical trial aimed at giving hope to people living with a glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive brain tumour.

In England, around 2,200 people a year are diagnosed with a (GBM), the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumour in adults. The average survival time is around 12 to 18 months – with almost all GBMs re-growing within a year of initial treatment. There have been no new NHS treatments for glioblastoma patients in nearly 15 years.

The Brain Tumour Charity has launched a new campaign to fund a major UK trial of cannabis-based drug Sativex in treating GBMs, following promising results from a phase I study in 27 patients.

From early 2022, 232 participants will be recruited from a minimum of 15 NHS hospitals across the UK, including The Christie. Two thirds will be given temozolomide chemotherapy plus Sativex, the rest will be given temozolomide plus placebo.

Susan Short, Professor of Clinical Oncology and Neuro-Oncology at the University of Leeds, will lead the three-year phase II trial (ARISTOCRAT), led and co-ordinated by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit, at the University of Birmingham.

The trial will measure whether adding Sativex to chemotherapy extends the overall length of patients’ lives, delays the progression of their disease or improves their quality of life.

Principal Investigator, Professor Susan Short said:

“It’s really exciting we can now run a definitive, well-designed study that will tell us whether Sativex could help treat the most aggressive form of brain tumour.”

Jeff Smith said:

“We urgently need to find new treatments for this devastating form of cancer. It’s great to hear that cannabis-based medicine Sativex may be able to provide some new hope, and I look forward to our local Christie hospital being involved in the trial and hopefully getting some good results.”

If you would like to find out more information or donate to help launch this pioneering trial as soon as possible, you can do so here.

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