The Australian Federal Government’s recently handed down 2021-22 Budget included $1.5 million for a trial exploring personalised medicinal cannabis dosing in cancer patients.
Awarded via the Medical Research Future Fund, Dr Hannah Wardill will lead the CANCAN trial to be carried out at University of Adelaide in South Australia. It will primarily target prevention of common symptoms associated with advanced cancer treatments, which are highly toxic.
“The CANCAN trial will show that targeting gut distress, due to mucosal injury, with medical cannabis will improve patient wellbeing and maintenance of intended dosing,” said Dr. Wardill. “It’s also hoped the personalised CBD and THC preparation will prevent and manage clusters of related side effects of cancer therapy including detrimental effects to sleep, appetite, mood, pain and fatigue.”
Dr. Wardill has been a member of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer and the Mucositis Research Group since 2013. She has been awarded the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer International Young Investigator Award, and is also an Australian Young Achiever and Qiagen Microbiome Award winner.
Medicine used in the study is to be supplied by privately held LeafCann Group Pty Ltd, which is based in Adelaide.
“This is another important step in our journey to create high quality, consistent, affordable, person-centred, precision cannabis medicines and comes on the back of other recent significant milestones,” said LeafCann.
The company officially opened a new warehouse in Adelaide last month, which will act as a distribution hub for imported, organically certified medical cannabis products and products designed for use in personalised treatment.
The Australian Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a $20 billion long-term investment supporting transforming health and medical research and innovation. Other medical cannabis trials and studies have been supported by the MRFF in 2020 and also in 2019 for the use of medicinal cannabis for managing pain, symptoms and side effects experienced by cancer patients .
In other recent related news from the Federal Government, the first medicinal cannabis product to be listed under Australia’s PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) was added at the beginning of this month. Cannabidiol (CBD) based Epidyolex is now covered under the PBS for use in the treatment of Dravet syndrome, saving qualifying patients $24,000 a year.