Scientific research into cannabis oil and liver-cancer started

Research into Cannabis Oil and Liver Cancer

The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) will start this year, 2021, a study on the effect of cannabis oil on liver-cancer patients who have exhausted all the avenues of treatment. The purpose of the pilot study, which will have 20 participants, is to see whether cannabis oil can reduce liver-cancer tumours. This is unique, as this type of study has not been carried out before.

In three years from now, Nijkamp and his colleague Frederik Hoogwater, oncologist Derk Jan de Groot and gastroenterologist Frans van der Heide would like to be able to say whether medicinal cannabis oil has an impact on the growth, or rather the regression, of liver-cancer tumours. In this study twenty patients will be enrolled who all have come to the end of their standard treatment but still have a good liver function. The latter is important, because a functioning liver will ‘process’ cannabis oil on the basis of natural processes.

As soon as the correct dose of cannabis oil has been determined and administration has started, a liver scan will be performed for every participant after three, six and nine months. Blood samples will also be taken to study the liver function and to check the presence of tumour markers. No later than in 2024 – or as much sooner as possible – the research team aims to present a clear conclusion.

Anecdotal evidence

The idea for this clinical trial came up more than three years ago, when an UMCG patient with advanced liver cancer showed remarkable results upon using cannabis oil. The tumours in his liver started to disappear gradually after he started taking cannabis oil and now – five years following the diagnosis – he has been given the ‘all clear’. When comparable results were seen in a second patient, Nijkamp and his colleagues started to become excited. “We would have been equally excited if the patients had used fish oil”, tempers Nijkamp.


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