8.6 Pancreatic Cancer


Ethan Stewart survived metastatic neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer by using large quantities of whole cannabis extracts. His personal story begins with the question "Can Cannabis Cure My Cancer?" and ends with the observation: "My life is all the proof I need"[Stew_2018]. WHile personal stories such of this do not provide replicated evidence, they do command attenntion.

Killing Cancer Cells

THC and CBD induce apoptosis in pancreatic cancer cells[Carra_2006]. Perillyl alcohol and α-bisabolol are cytotoxic against pancreatic cancer[Stayr_1997][Darra_2008].

Apigenin enhances the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine in treating pancreatic cancer[Ryu_2007].

Cytokine Control

Elevated IL-1β predicts pancreatic cancer risk[Maker_2011].

IL-6 is elevated in pancreatic cancer[Feurino_2007]. It plays an essential role in the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma[Lesina_2011]. However, IL-6 also stimulates insulin production in non-cancerous pancreas islets[Krause_2012].

As noted in the article, Taming Inflammatory Cytokines
, CBD, THC, perillyl alcohol, α-Terpineol, 4-terpineol, eucalyptol, and apigenin may all be helpful in lowering IL-6. 

Inhibiting Invasion and Metastasis

BCP, α-Bisabolol, and Geraniol have an anti-proliferative effect against pancreatic cancer[Dahh_2015][Uno_2016][Burke_1997].

Apigenin enhances the anti-proliferative effect of chemotherapy drugs on human pancreatic cancer cells[John_2913].


Stew_2018. Can Cannabis Cure My Cancer\? A Desperate Man Turns to Marijuana Oil and Finds Survival. Article. Ethan Stewart. Santa Barbara Independent. 2018 March 8.

Ryu_2007. Enhanced anti-tumor effect of combination therapy with gemcitabine and apigenin in pancreatic cancer. Abstract.. Lee S H, Ryu J K, Lee K-Y, et al. Cancer Letters. Online 2007 October 29.

Carra_2006. Cannabinoids induce apoptosis of pancreatic tumor cells via endoplasmic reticulum stress-related genes. Full text. Carracedo A, Gironella M, Lorente M, et al. Cancer research. Published 2006 July.

Stayr_1997. Induction of the apoptosis-promoting protein Bak by perillyl alcohol in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma relative to untransformed ductal epithelial cells. Abstract. K R Stayrook K R, McKinzie J H, Burke Y D, et al. Carcinogenesis. 1997 August.

Darra_2008. Insight into the apoptosis-inducing action of alpha-bisabolol towards malignant tumor cells: involvement of lipid rafts and Bid [in vitro study]. Abstract. Elena Darra E, Abdel-Azeim S, Manara A, et al. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics. Online 2008 February 9.

Feurino_2007. IL-6 stimulates Th2 type cytokine secretion and upregulates VEGF and NRP-1 expression in pancreatic cancer cells. Abstract. Feurino L W, Zhang Y, Bharadwaj U, et al. Cancer biology & therapy. Published 2007 July.

Lesina_2011. Stat3/Socs3 Activation by IL-6 Transsignaling Promotes Progression of Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Development of Pancreatic Cancer. Full text. Lesina M, Kurkowski M U, Ludes K, et al. Cancer Cell. Online 2011 April 12.

Krause_2012. Physiological concentrations of interleukin-6 directly promote insulin secretion, signal transduction, nitric oxide release, and redox status in a clonal pancreatic β-cell line and mouse islets. Abstract. Krause M S, Bittencourt A, de Bittencourt Jr P I H, et al. The Journal of endocrinology. Online 2012 July 3.

Maker_2011. Cyst fluid interleukin-1beta (IL1beta) levels predict the risk of carcinoma in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas. Full text. Maker A V, Katabi N, Qin L-X, et al. Clinical cancer research. Online 2011 March 15.

Dahh_2015. The Anticancer, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of the Sesquiterpene β-Caryophyllene from the Essential Oil of Aquilaria crassna [in vitro study]. Full text. Dahham S S, Tabana Y M, Iqbal M A, et al. Molecules. Online 2015 June 26.

Uno_2016. α-Bisabolol Inhibits Invasiveness and Motility in Pancreatic Cancer Through KISS1R Activation [in vitro study]. Abstract. Uno M, Kokuryo T, Yokoyama Y, et al. Anticancer research. Published 2016 February.

Burke_1997. Inhibition of pancreatic cancer growth by the dietary isoprenoids farnesol and geraniol [animal study]. Abstract. Burke Y D, Stark M J, Roach S L, et al. Lipids. Published 1997 February.

John_2913. Interactions between dietary flavonoids apigenin or luteolin and chemotherapeutic drugs to potentiate anti-proliferative effect on human pancreatic cancer cells, in vitro. Abstract. Johnson J L, de Mejia E G. Food and chemical toxicology. Published 2013 October.