Cannabinoid Effects on Experimental Colorectal Cancer Models Reduce Aberrant Crypt Foci (ACF) and Tumor Volume: A Systematic Review.
Objective: Colorectal cancer represents a heavy burden for health systems worldwide, being the third most common cancer worldwide. Despite the breakthroughs in medicine, current chemotherapeutic options continue to have important side effects and may not be effective in preventing disease progression. Cannabinoids might be substances with possible therapeutic potential for cancer because they can attenuate the side effects of chemotherapy and have antiproliferative and antimetastatic effects. We aim to determine, through a systematic review of experimental studies performed on animal CRC models, if cannabinoids can reduce the formation of preneoplastic lesions (aberrant crypt foci), number, and volume of neoplastic lesions.
Materials and methods: A systematic, qualitative review of the literature was conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. PubMed, Embase, and Scopus databases were searched. We use the following Medical Subject Headings (MESH) terms in PubMed: « colorectal neoplasms, » « colonic neoplasms, » « colorectal cancer, » « polyps, » « rimonabant, » « cannabidiol, » « cannabinoids, » « azoxymethane, » « xenograft, » and « mice. » Only studies that met the eligibility criteria were included.
Results: Eight in vivo experimental studies were included in the analysis after the full-text evaluation. Seven studies were azoxymethane (AOM) colorectal cancer models, and four studies were xenograft models. Cannabidiol botanical substance (CBD BS) and rimonabant achieved high aberrant crypt foci (ACF) reduction (86% and 75.4%, respectively). Cannabigerol, O-1602, and URB-602 demonstrated a high capacity for tumor volume reduction. Induction of apoptosis, interaction with cell survival, growth pathways, and angiogenesis inhibition were the mechanisms extracted from the studies that explain cannabinoids’ actions on CRC.
Conclusions: Cannabinoids have incredible potential as antineoplastic agents as experimental models demonstrate that they can reduce tumor volume and ACF formation. It is crucial to conduct more experimental studies to understand the pharmacology of cannabinoids in CRC better.
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