Case study: Remission of metastatic breast cancer may have been due to use of cannabis oil and magic mushrooms

by Bob Yirka , Medical Xpress

Remission of metastatic breast cancer may have been due to use of cannabis oil and magic mushrooms
FDG-PET clinical scans of changes in tumor and metastases at pre and post the first round of treatment to demonstrate changes in clinical outcome. Credit: Drug Science, Policy and Law (2022). DOI: 10.1177/20503245221114323

A small team of medical researchers from the U.K. and the U.S. has found that a cancer patient may have put her cancer into remission by taking cannabis oil and magic mushrooms along with receiving a standard course of chemotherapy. In their paper published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law, the group describes their study of the circumstances surrounding the patient and the possible ramifications of her experiences.

In 2018, a 49-year-old woman was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer—it had metastasized to her lymph nodes, liver and parts of her bones. Her prognosis was bleak, to say the least. She was immediately put on a course of chemotherapy. She also took it upon herself to begin ingesting both cannabis oil and psilocybin, a hallucinogenic alkaloid found in some mushrooms. The latter was given to her via a trained therapist.

The woman kept up the treatments and she was tested several months later—in January of 2019. At that time, her doctors found that all of her tumors had vanished. At that point, the chemotherapy was stopped. The woman continued taking the cannabis oil and psilocybin hoping to avoid a recurrence of the tumors. She came back for testing in September of that year and found that there was still no evidence of cancer. At that point, she chose to reduce the amount of cannabis oil she was taking by approximately half and to stop taking the psilocybin altogether. 

Testing in June of 2020, showed that the cancer had returned. The patient then once again began receiving chemotherapy and also began her cannabis oil and psilocybin regimen. By October 2021, the tumors had been “stabilized.” And that is where the details end. It is not known if she once again cleared her tumors or if things grew worse.

Remission of metastatic breast cancer may have been due to use of cannabis oil and magic mushrooms
FDG-PET clinical scans of changes in tumor and metastases at pre and post the first round of treatment to demonstrate changes in clinical outcome. Credit: Drug Science, Policy and Law (2022). DOI: 10.1177/20503245221114323

The authors of the paper note very clearly that this was just one case study and thus nothing can be claimed about the benefits of cannabis oil and psilocybin in treating cancer. They do suggest, however, that it shows that more research needs to be done to find out if such drugs might be useful in treating some patients. And if that is the case, to find out how they work.


More information: Rayyan Zafar et al, Raising awareness: The implementation of medical cannabis and psychedelics used as an adjunct to standard therapy in the treatment of advanced metastatic breast cancer, Drug Science, Policy and Law (2022).  DOI: 10.1177/20503245221114323

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