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Medicinal cannabis trial for palliative care cancer patients

22 December 2016
Researchers are now recruiting palliative care cancer patients in Sydney and Newcastle for Australia’s first clinical trial of vaporised cannabis flower bud.
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Researchers are now screening potential participants in the trial, with the first patients expected to be admitted to hospital in January.

Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward said the groundbreaking trial will enrol approximately 30 adult advanced cancer patients at Sacred Heart Health Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, and Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital. It could expand to up to 250 patients across NSW.

“The NSW Government has forged a path for finding much-needed answers about whether there is an effective use for medicinal cannabis in palliative care, with the aim of expanding existing treatments to better support our patients,” Ms Goward said.

UNSW Professor Meera Agar said for people with cancer, the pathways that promote appetite are disrupted so the trial will see if vaporised cannabis can improve appetite in this context. The trial will also assess whether medicinal cannabis can improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms such as fatigue, low mood, nausea and insomnia.

The product used in the trial has been produced and supplied by The Netherlands based medicinal cannabis company, Bedrocan BV®.

The trial forms part of the NSW Government’s $21 million commitment to support high-quality medicinal cannabis clinical trials and reforms.

Patients interested in enrolling in the trial should speak with their treating oncologist or palliative care specialist.

Find out more about the medicinal cannabis trials

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