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Potential Applications for Cannabidiol in Combination with Dendritic Cell-Based Cancer Immunotherapies

By July 22, 2019 No Comments

An emerging body of research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may have a therapeutic, anti-tumor effect on certain types of cancers. Researchers have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of CBD in a number of different malignancies.

Jay Pharma seeks to explore the advancement of novel combinations of CBD with chemotherapeutic agents and immunotherapies. Early preclinical data suggests that CBD combinations may improve the activity of certain dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapies, potentially enabling a longer lasting and amplified anti-tumor response.

Cannabinoid Combination with Immunotherapies

Dendritic cells process antigen material and present it on the cell surface to the T-cells of the immune system. A range of cancer immunotherapies involving dendritic cells have been used to generate tumor-specific immune responses that have had variable success in clinical trials.

Some research suggests that CBD may cause dendritic cells to increase their production of IL-12 p70, an interleukin-12 (IL-12) family cytokine that may heighten the immune system’s response against certain cancers.

IL-12 is closely linked to the activity of the immune system and is produced by dendritic cells. IL-12 can bring T-cells and natural killer cells out of dormancy so that a heightened immune response against tumors is possible. By aiding in the generation of CD4+ (T helper cells), IL-12 may also elicit a longer lasting and amplified anti-tumor response.

Injected IL-12 has presented challenges in terms of its toxicity and dosage control and there is a need for generating heightened levels of IL-12, particularly in immunocompromised patients. Some preclinical research suggests that CBD may induce dendritic cells to increase their production of IL-12 p70.

In preclinical studies conducted by Jay Pharma advisors, CBD was evaluated alongside Lenalidomide (LEN), an immunomodulatory agent indicated for the treatment for multiple myeloma. Preclinical results suggest that CBD may enhance the ability of dendritic cells to produce IL12p70, a cytokine that supports the function of T-cells; critically, CBD had little effect on dendritic cell maturation, differentiation, and uptake.

Blood Samples Exhibiting Increased IL12p70 Production

The development of clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of CBD combination therapies may represent an important step towards improving the clinical outcomes in a population of patients with few other effective therapeutic options. Additional research is warranted.