Four-year-old William Frost was diagnosed three years ago with an ependymoma brain tumor. Doctors gave up on him in 2016, but his family didn’t. They looked into alternative treatments and discovered CBD for brain tumors.
The two options they pursued were a diet low in carbohydrates (ketogenic) and cannabidiol. After six months, his tumor shrunk by two thirds. Notts TV interviewed his parents. As a result of their experience, they are now backing research by Nottingham scientists who want to investigate the efficacy of CBD for brain tumors in children.
CBD a non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis
The non-psychoactive compound cannabidiol, or CBD, is found in the cannabis plant and will now be tested by the experts to see the effect it has on brain cancer cells in children. This kind of trial is a first, and it will help many families, not only William’s.
William is improving daily and is attending school part-time. Families of children with tumors increasingly turn to cannabidiol at great expense and risk. There is no data as evidence that it works or any indication of what dosage is effective. The study in Nottingham hopes to provide the scientific proof and evidence of efficacy that these families are waiting for.
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Fund raising for research
Steve, William’s dad, said the kind of tumor William has is very unpredictable. The family decided to raise funds for the research to determine whether CBD for brain tumors was what contributed to the reduction of the cancer.
The aim is to raise £100,000 for the research to be done under Professor Richard Grundy from Nottingham University’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. The Astro Brain Tumour Fund contributed £45,000 and the Jessica Hope Foundation gave £10,000.
Tumors biggest killer
Grundy said brain tumors are the biggest killer of children with cancer in the UK, but the problem receives very little of the national funding for research on cancer. Medical sience urgently needs new treatments to not only prolong the life, but also the quality of life of patients with malignant brain tumors. Scientific evidence is crucial to determine if CBD for brain tumors in children works or not.
Healthy cells grow – tumor cells die
To obtain the evidence needed, the research team will grow tumor cells under standard conditions used in labs. Some of the sets of cells will have CBD added and some will not.
The level of death in cells will be measured and the scientists will analyze the tumor cells in each set after seven days. Professor Grundy expects the brain tumor cells and normal cells to grow in the standard conditions and for them to be actively dividing and healthy when the trial starts.
The scientists believe that the normal brain cells will grow in the cannabidiol and remain healthy. On the other hand, they expect the tumor cells to stop growing and die.
CBD for brain tumors
The evidence gained from this study will hopefully lead to further funding and investigation into CBD for brain tumors. Someday, it may lead to proper clinical trials, and much later on, to a real medicine that everyone understands.