One of the most invasive forms of breast cancer, TNBC (triple negative breast cancer), has historically been challenging to treat because of the lack of receptors in the body. The estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) are all the targets of breast cancer treatment. Unfortunately, patients who have the TNBC form of breast cancer do not have any of these receptors, making cancer aggressive and challenging to treat.
CBD is a non-psychotropic compound found in the cannabis plant. This is the first study to confirm that CBD significantly inhibits epidermal growth factor (EGF)‐induced proliferation and chemotaxis of breast cancer cells and inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in different mouse model systems. A 2015 study published in the journal Molecular Oncology, reports the effect of cannabidiol (CBD) in treating TNBC.
The research was performed in two phases. First, human TNBC cells were treated in a laboratory environment with different strengths of CBD to see if the CBD would stop cell growth and colonization. Secondly, mice were injected with tumor producing cells, and once the tumors formed, the mice were given CBD injectables. The size of the tumors was measured throughout the study. No human subjects were involved in this study.
In the cell phase, results showed that human TNBC cell lines treated with CBD had a reduction in the number of viable cells. Also, CBD stopped the cancer cells from colonizing. The results were dose-dependent, meaning that the higher doses of CBD resulted in fewer live cells. CBD also prevented cells from migrating. According to the study results, CBD “has the ability to inhibit the proliferative, migratory and invasive ability of TNBC cells.”
In the phase of the study using the mice as subjects, results showed that CBD interfered with tumor growth. The control group of mice did not receive treatment for tumors, and the tumors of the test group were treated with CBD. On the subsequent measurement of the tumors both in circumference and weight, the tumors of the treated group were much smaller than the control group.
The study concluded that CBD had a positive effect on the growth, migration and invasion properties of aggressive breast cancer strains. The study advocates the use of CBD in breast cancer patients, especially those with highly aggressive and metastatic cancer cells including TNBC patients.”