Marijuana does not help in the fight against cancer – emphasizes in an interview with RMF FM prof. Piotr Wysocki, head of the Polish Society of Clinical Oncology. In his opinion, drugs, marijuana derivatives, which are registered and have a specific action support, should be available in our country, but they must be free of all the myths that accompany them. The idea is that patients knew what their action and do not expect miracles.
/ Grzegorz Jasinski (RMF FM) / RMF FM
I have doubts as to promote a derivative of marijuana, but I think that the registered drugs should be available in Poland – says Grzegorz Jasiński prof. Piotr Wysocki. Stresses, however, that these are not the only drugs that act in specific clinical situations. As regards the prevention or reduction in the severity of nausea and vomiting or analgesic medicine it has already drugs which act much better. On the other hand, the use of marijuana in the field of palliative care, it is as if out of range span covered by the oncology concerns palliative medicine.
Grzegorz Jasinski: Does your medical practice, you met a patient who, in the treatment of cancer, in some way helped formulas marijuana?
Prof. Piotr Wysocki: First of all, we have to answer the question of what we know about marijuana and where she can help. It does not help in the fight against cancer. It is a drug substance, which has a boosting effect, and we have evidence that could reduce the severity of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. He can act to relieve pain in certain specific situations. It helps to reduce tension and anxiety in patients and at the same time can stimulate the appetite, especially in patients during cancer treatment, where the appetite is weak. In contrast, there is no data or literature, or hard data from animal studies that the substance is able to cure cancer or cause it to remission.
Of course, people suffering from cancer will They have the right, if you say that even pain relief, facilitate the transition of therapy, even improving the mood of patients who are in dramatic mental state, will have a meaning. He meets you in its practice of people who want a chance to take advantage of this type of preparations …
Noise media that accompanies now the issue of medical marijuana is not associated with supportive care issues, what’s more, we we have drugs more effective in specific situations to support. In contrast, patients come and ask about the possibility of the use of this drug as a potential panacea, which refuses to them, because this drug may be according to information obtained, an effective anticancer drug. And it is not.
There are known preparations based on marijuana, which in the US and Europe are already approved or are in an advanced stage of research. I wrote a few names: Marinol, Cesamed, Syndros, Epidiolex, Cannador, Sativex. Some of them have, for example, to alleviate the effects of cancer chemotherapy, some to help patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, some limit the frequency of seizures. Are these substances are for patients in Poland, on medical grounds available?
These substances are at this moment are not available. Patients can and try to bring these substances from other countries. While in Poland it is not possible to purchase them.
Do you think it should change?
In this regard, what are the substances registered, they should be available, but that just and only for such indications, which have proven activity.
We talk on the occasion of the next steps in the Sejm concerning the legalization of so-called medical marijuana. The project group “Kukiz’15″ goes so far that suggests that each patient could for their own use to cultivate cannabis and prepare derivative products? What do you think as a doctor?
In general, we know that smoking marijuana acts weakening nervous tension, stimulate, improve mood. However, there are data that this is a substance which strongly increases the risk of lung cancer than tobacco. From this perspective, it does not seem to be a completely safe substance, which could be widely used. When it comes to practicing and consumed in this form. On the other hand, I think that drugs that are registered and have specific indications, should also be available in our country, but what is most important, they must be free of all the myths that accompany them. That patients who receive the drug or ask for the drug, knew very well what is concrete action and not expect miracles, but the specific support in certain situations in the course of neoplastic disease.
You mentioned this that these drugs are not available from us, as normal prescription. Is the head of the Polish Society of Clinical Oncology think that the environment oncologists should take action in favor of admission, at least those recorded in the world preparations. So that those who think that the only way to alleviate their suffering, have easier access to them. Whether such actions are possible?
On the part of our environment are verified queries sent to us by the ministry. We clearly indicate, what are the specific indications for these drugs, and in which specific indications, these drugs can be used. On the other hand, we must remember that these are not the only drugs that act in specific clinical situations. When it comes to preventing or reducing the severity of nausea and vomiting, we now have a lot more effective drugs than marijuana derivatives. As regards the analgesic activity, we have a whole class of drugs that work much better and much easier to use than marijuana derivatives. It is not that this drug suddenly be the solution to many problems. It will be an additional element of our first aid kit, which we can use, but it is not indispensable.
How about this take patients, but who ask about preparations based on marijuana? Because naczytali on the internet that actually can “tighten up and get better.”
Indeed, this situation is a surprise and a little disappointment. It seemed that it was inexplicably hidden substance that could cure them or prolong survival. They require clarification. Always manages to explain. When you understand, they are changing their approach and there is no such pressure. They know that this is something that is in addition to the entire treatment process, not something that will change their prognosis.
Do you met with patients who after all, declared that in one way or another gain these preparations, whether in the Czech Republic, or on the internet? Been taking them, despite the fact that as a doctor you they are discouraged, there are further treatment, but it is known that they are trying to resort to another method …
It’s not like I’m talking to this I never have used, because there are obviously some situations in which this drug can act supportively. However, there is a group of patients who try everything. These are people who absolutely exhausted all the possibilities for cancer treatment. It remains really palliative care. These patients get, whether they are already covered hospice care. These are the people who are trying different strategies alternative and also trying marijuana.
It’s me I will come back to the earlier question, or just for those patients environment oncologists could take some action that medicines registered, which action has been confirmed in clinical trials, were available? By bureaucratic barriers have been broken …
In general, the scope of marijuana in the care of hospice, palliative medicine, it is as if the scope of the already nieobejmowanym for oncology, only palliative medicine. We can działaś supportive, but in this respect the leading role played by national consultant in the field of palliative medicine and scientific societies palliative medicine. We as oncologists, we support their initiative, but this is not strictly part of medical oncology, is also a palliative medicine.
And if such efforts have emerged, the professor believes that such support also would there? Because I see, however, a gap in your statements. Does that mean, however, looking at the situation globally, is the professor doubts whether such actions to promote such measures, approved in other countries, would be effective?
Of course, I doubt to promote these measures. Quite another matter is the question of accessibility, and another issue – the promotion. As for availability, I believe that this drug as a substance registered, should be available. As for promotion I have objections. Environment oncologists, national consultant in the field of clinical oncology, Polish Society of Clinical Oncology and other cancer scientific societies are able to work and support the initiative of the Polish Society of Palliative Medicine, the national consultant in palliative medicine, which has already been repeatedly declared in letters to the ministry .