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Cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer anorexia; where have we been, where are we going?

Emily Seymour-Jackson



Year of study:

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In recent years, cannabis has received a lot of attention with regards to its medicinal affects in cancer. Cancer cachexia, defined by significant weight loss and anorexia, is an incredibly common symptom in advanced cancer patients. This presentation reviews published work on the potential uses of cannabinoids and areas for future development. The mechanisms leading to cancer cachexia, which involve various chemical reactions triggering high levels of inflammation, have provided us with areas that we can target with cannabinoids. We find however that the evidence is mixed, with some smaller trials suggesting an increase in appetite and cessation of weight loss, but other RCTS showing no significant changes.

I am a third year medical student at the University of Glasgow, having previously gotten a BSc in Medical Sciences at University of St Andrews. My interest in my research arose during the pandemic when I spent time working in Palliative Care during my summers, and started to lear about the unique research being done to improve quality of life in terminal cancer patients. My passions in medical care revolve around improving patient quality of life and healthcare provision. I currently also work in A&E as a medical support worker and love the exhilaration of critical care. My interests outside medicine include acting, in fact my part time job involved being the medical hands double for Outlander for a number of years! I also enjoy art, baking and horse riding. When I’m not working I can often be found on the sofa with my dogs or catching up on some of my favourite series.

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