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Q. I would like you to know about medical marijuana for cancer. In her late 30s, my wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, stage 4a. It was a 6 cm tumor that had grown around the hepatic artery and portal vein.

At first I thought marijuana was just for nausea caused by her chemo, but then I found a study in the journal Cancer Research (July 1, 2006). It showed that cannabinoids specifically fight pancreatic tumor cells.

I changed her diet and started her on a regimen and she is now cancer free. The regimen is being studied at the University of Wisconsin. I hope others can benefit from medical marijuana.  

A. For years, marijuana research was suspected of being a way to rationalize people getting high. But as a recent article in Science News points out, scientists are now starting to take it seriously (June 19, 2010). The article you cite demonstrates that compounds from marijuana make pancreatic tumor cells commit suicide.

Other cancer researchers have followed up with studies on its effectiveness against a range of tumors in test tubes, including breast, colon, glioblastoma brain tumors and lymphoma, a blood cancer. None are yet in clinical trials, but this will be an interesting field to watch. We are delighted your wife got such a good response for such a difficult-to-treat cancer.

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