Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) has announced positive results from its initial proof of concept study into the anti-cancer effects of its THC-rich medical cannabis formulation.
The study was conducted on behalf of Zelda by cannabis cancer researchers at Complutense University of Madrid, led by Professor Cristina Sánchez and Professor Manuel Guzmán.
The study compared the anti-tumour responses of pure tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) versus the Zelda formulation of THC-rich oil and at the same time compared the potency against a standard chemotherapy drug, Lapatanib, a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor of HER2 and EGFR, both receptors known to play an important role in breast cancer.
The study was carried out in immune-deficient mice hosting xenografts (tissue grafts) of human breast cancer, HER2+ adenocarcinoma. Treatment was delivered orally and tumour volume was measured daily. The positive results provide support to continue the study of Zelda formulations as anti-cancer therapeutics in their own right or in combination with current chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimes.
A series of follow-on studies are in progress that will include mechanism of action studies, testing other formulations of Zelda cannabinoids and also testing against other cancer cell lines including HER2+ cells resistant to HER2-targeted treatments and triple-negative breast cancer cells.
“These preliminary results are very exciting and strongly point in favour of using whole-plant extracts over single cannabinoid molecules. We are in the process of designing and conducting a series of follow-on experiments in coming months which will continue to add to our body of knowledge in this field,” said Professor Sánchez.