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Chemical component may help pain in breast cancer patients

Chemical component may help pain in breast cancer patients
7th October 2011

Patients with breast cancer may be spared the onset of pain associated with drugs used in chemotherapy, according to a new study.

Researchers have found that a chemical component of the marijuana plant could prevent pain during chemotherapy, particularly in cases of breast cancer.

"We found that cannabidiol completely prevented the onset of the neuropathic, or nerve pain caused by the chemo drug Paclitaxel, which is used to treat breast cancer," explained Sarah Jane Ward, research associate professor in Temple's Center for Substance Abuse Research.

The discovery follows further advances in chemotherapy announced in March.

Researchers at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSUHSC) identified a protein that protects cancer cells from treatment, meaning that work can now be initiated to re-sensitise malignant cancer cells to chemotherapy and radio therapy treatment.

The work at the LSUHSC also determines how researchers can minimise unnecessary side effects associated with cancer treatment.

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