Principal Investigator

Richard T
Awardee Organization

Beckman Research Institute/City Of Hope
United States

Fiscal Year
Activity Code
Early Stage Investigator Grants (ESI)
Not Applicable
Project End Date

A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Benefits of Phytocannabinoids for the Treatment of Chronic Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

Over 15 million cancer survivors live in the US, but unfortunately a large proportion of these patients experience long-term side effects from their treatments. This includes neuropathy, which is typically characterized by abnormal symptoms in the extremities including tingling, numbness, pain, or burning. When severe and chronic, neuropathy can interfere with all aspects of a patient’s life, diminishing their quality of life. Unfortunately for these patients, no therapy has been successful in helping patients entirely eliminate symptoms. With over 30 states legally providing medical cannabis, it has become increasing popular among cancer patients. However, the cancer community has very little data in which to guide patients about its use. By evaluating cannabis’s effect on neuropathy, we will be able to address this important gap in knowledge. Two important compounds found in medical cannabis are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This clinical trial will randomize breast and colon cancer survivors with chronic chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy to two kinds of medical cannabis – CBD versus CBD+THC. Patients will be randomized to CBD, CBD+THC, or placebo and will be treated for 8 weeks. The results of this research are highly relevant to cancer survivors as a whole because the findings could be potentially applied to other cancer related pain syndromes. The data generated from this pilot study will provide important preliminary information needed to properly design a larger randomized clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of cannabis for the treatment of CIPN. By helping patients reduce the symptoms of CIPN, we will help improve their quality of life, their ability to return to work, and their capacity to maintain an active lifestyle, which has increasingly been shown to help reduce the recurrence of cancer.