GW Pharma’s cannabis-derived combo med helps brain cancer patients

After failing in an ulcerative colitis test a few years back, GW Pharma’s cannabis-derived orphan drug treatment has had better luck in a small oncology study for an aggressive type of brain tumor.

In the phase 2 study, the U.K. biopharma’s cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) candidate, both of which are active ingredients derived from cannabis, showed positive top-line results from an exploratory placebo-controlled trial in 21 patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, a particularly aggressive brain tumor that has a poor prognosis.

The London-based company’s trial showed that those with recurrent GBM treated with THC:CBD had an 83% one-year survival rate, compared with 53% for patients in the placebo cohort (although the p-value was close at 0.042).

After an initial safety test, the trial went into a controlled phase where 12 patients were randomized to THC:CBD as add-on therapy, compared with nine patients randomized to placebo (plus standard of care).

“Median survival for the

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