Prof. Dr. Tamara Lah Turnsek

Direktorin des NIB, Abteilung Genetische Toxikologie und Krebsbiologie, Slovenien

VORTRAG: Cannabis und Krebs: Wissenschaft versus Vorurteil und Missbrauch

Prof. Tamara Lah Turnšek hat einen BS in Organischer Chemie und einen Doktortitel in Biochemie, beides von der Universität in Ljubljana. Seit 1996, ist Prof. Lah Turnšek Direktorin des "National Institute of Biology" (NIB) in Ljubljana und leitet somit die drittgrößte öffentliche Forschungsreinrichtung für Naturwissenschaften in Slowenien. Sie hat die Abteilung für Genetische Toxikologie und Krebsbiologie gegründet und ist auch Leiterin des gleichnamigen Forschungsprogrammes. In den letzten Jahren hat sie sich auf die Erforschung von Gehirntumoren und der Rolle von Stammzellen im Tumorwachstum und -therapie fokussiert.

In Ihrem Vortrag wird sie Einblicke in Ihre Forschung, die sich um Cannabis als Arzneimittel für Krebspatienten beschäftigt, und deren Ergebnisse geben:

The future is not bright: In 2030 every other male in every third female on this planet will become cancer patient, according to the predictions of World Health Organization. Therefore, new therapies and adjuvants to the current therapies are desperately needed. As nature has been always offering the remedies from an enormous diversity of substances, also for neoplastic diseases, it is on us, humans to decode the messages, that their chemistry in hiding. Among the plant-derived substances, investigated so far, hemp i.e. marihuana looks like a Cindarellla. This is mainly due to its special, additional psychoactive effects, but of only of one component out of over hundred cannabinoid components, the delta-tetrahidrocanabinol. On the other extreme, cannabis is nowadays not considered as a forbidden drug, but appreciated as panacea that eliminates all the health problems, what is scientifically proven only for limited pathological states. The truth is thus somewhere between the two extremes and scientists and oncologist are trying to find it!

The notion that cannabinoids inhibit growth in invasiveness of tumor cells continues to be solidified, based on cellular experiments in vitro and in animal studies, but unfortunately  still not sufficient human clinical studies. Several types of cancers are in focus of research for cannabinoids’ anti-tumour potential, among them the most lethal brain tumours – glioblastoma and pancreatic cancer, whereas colon, breast and lung carcinoma are investigated due to their high incidences. The state of the art on the differential effects of cannabinoids on these types  cancer will be discussed. Also, the potential interactions of most frequently used cannabinoids and the standard chemotherapeutics in these cancers will be reviewed.

In conclusion, despite several decades of demonization, cannabis - this mysterious herb thus paves the way to modern medicine.

 

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