Could an illegal drug play a key role in helping women fight breast cancer?
Breast cancer kills more than 41-thousand American women every year. Researchers in a San Francisco lab are working to shrink that number and they are doing it with an unusual weapon, marijuana or at least a compound from it.
"What we found was this compound called canaba dial was particularly effective in inhibiting aggressive breast cancers." says Dr. Sean McAllister, Ph.D., a scientist for CPMC Associates.
Dr. Pierre Desperez, Ph.D. says, "We know this compound extracted from cannabis is non-toxic in patients because it's already been used for different kinds of diseases."
Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center say they have discovered a key gene which enables breast cancer to spread. When they tested the pot compound, they realized it could actually inhibit that gene's destructive path and stop the spread of tumor cells without harming a patient.
Scientists are hopeful this cannabis compound may fight other aggressive cancers as well, including prostate cancer. But for now much more study is needed.