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Medical cannabis trial for chemo patients announced

26 February 2016
A medical cannabis trial for chemotherapy patients not responding well to traditional anti-nausea and vomiting treatments will begin later this year.
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This is the third cannabis trial, and is part of the NSW Government’s $9 million investment in clinical trials for cannabis products. Trials are well underway for the terminally ill and children suffering from epilepsy.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said that medicinal cannabis clinical trials would help provide relief to people suffering from a range of serious illnesses.

“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and this third trial will assess what role medicinal cannabis can play in controlling nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy,” Mr Baird said.

How the trial will work

An oral cannabis-derived capsule will be used in the third trial, containing Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol, developed and supplied by Tilray, a Canadian medicinal cannabis company.

The NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney will coordinate the research, which will be conducted in collaboration with cannabis experts from the Lambert Initiative at the University of Sydney.

Treatment units in Sydney and rural areas are also likely to be involved.

Participating in the trial

Patient enrolment for the third trial is expected by mid-2016, once ethics approval is given.

Participants must be over 18, be undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and have significant symptoms during their first cycle of chemotherapy despite being given the best standard of care.

A number of cancer care sites in NSW are expected to recruit participants for the trial.

Information on the process for enrolment will be made available closer when the trial begins.

For more information call the cannabis trials help line on 1800 217 257 or email

Visit the Cancer Institute for more information about cancer services.

Read more about the government's Terminal Illness Cannabis Scheme

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