Medical Cannabis To Be Used In World-First Trial To Treat Brain Cancer

A Queensland researcher has teamed-up with internationally renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo to look at whether oral medicinal cannabis could affect tumour growth.

''The standard treatment for a brain tumour is basically surgery, chemotherapy and radiation," said Dr Janet Schloss from Endeavour College of Natural Health.

"So what we're hoping is that the medicinal cannabis can work in conjunction with that standard treatment, to make it work more efficiently, therefore reducing tumour size, reducing further growth and recurrence and extending someone's life."

Eighty-two adults with high-grade gliomas (an aggressive form of brain tumour) are needed for the trial, which is due to begin at the Prince of Wales hospital in Sydney in two weeks.

Current standard treatment for a brain tumour is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Image: provided

Fifty-nine-year-old Lyn Boyle has already signed up.

She was diagnosed five years ago, and struggles with seizures, headaches and confusion.

"The hope at the moment is that a cure is found, but I want to try the medicinal marijuana," she said.

"This is the only thing that gives me hope."

Gliomas can cause many different symptoms including seizures, headaches, inability to speak and decreased vision. Image: provided

It is the first clinical trial worldwide to examine the tolerability and tumour effect from orally ingested cannabis in humans.

"Even if it doesn't work for me, it may help someone else. If it helps anybody else then that makes me happy," said Lyn.

Dr Scholls also hoped to improve a patient's quality of life.

"Really that's what it's based on, the patients themselves. Because we want to get the best result we can," she said.

The trial has ethics approval and New South Wales ministry of health approval.

Patients who wish to take part can email trials@endeavour.edu.au.