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How Marijuana Accelerates Growth of HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer Identified

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  • How Marijuana Accelerates Growth of HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer Identified

    Source: https://health.ucsd.edu/news/release...dentified.aspx

    How Marijuana Accelerates Growth of HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer Identified
    January 13, 2020 | Yadira Galindo

    University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers have identified the molecular mechanism activated by the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient that causes people to feel the euphoria or “high” associated with cannabis — in the bloodstream that accelerates cancer growth in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

    “HPV-related head and neck cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States. While at the same time, exposure to marijuana is accelerating. This is a huge public health problem,” said Joseph A. Califano III, MD, senior author and professor and vice chief of the Division of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. These cancers begin in the cells that line the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose and throat. Approximately 30 percent of cases of this disease are related to HPV infection, and it is these cases, in particular that are on the rise. Califano suggested increased marijuana use may be a driving factor.

    Previous studies have linked daily marijuana exposure to an increased prevalence of HPV-related throat cancer. However, a mechanism linking cannabis exposure to increased growth of the cancer was unknown.

    Reporting in the January 13, 2020 online edition of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers outline how the presence of THC in the bloodstream activates the p38 MAPK pathway, which controls programed cell death called apoptosis. When activated, p38 MAPK prevents apoptosis from occurring, thus allowing cancer cells to grow uncontrollably....

  • #2
    I saw concerns raised by head and neck surgeons years ago about marijuana users getting these devastating cancers at an early age compared to tobacco users. If the THC is the cause, that raises concerns about its medical use.
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

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