Doctors are now recruiting patients in a world-first medicinal cannabis trial in NSW for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The clinical trial will involve 80 patients in the first stage and could expand to another 250 patients across NSW.
Associate Professor Peter Grimison from Chris O'Brien Lifehouse in Camperdown will lead the trial in association with The University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and leading NSW cancer centres.
Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward said this is the largest and most definitive trial ever conducted in the world of a plant-derived cannabis medicine for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients.
"The trial will play a critical role in developing a better understanding of how cannabis products may provide relief for cancer patients," Goward said.
"NSW is leading the way in high-quality research into the use of medicinal cannabis products, with this trial part of the NSW Government's $21 million commitment to support medicinal cannabis clinical trials and reforms.
"The trial will be using an oral plant-derived, pharmaceutical-grade capsule – the first of its kind in the world – containing equal amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD), developed and supplied by Canadian company Tilray," Goward said.
Associate Professor Peter Grimison said there was very limited high-quality research available on the role of cannabis-derived medicines in treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
"We have come a long way with conventional anti-nausea medication, but one-third of patients continue to suffer during and after chemotherapy, Professor Grimson said.
"The role of cannabis medicines in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is still unclear, and this study aims to provide a definitive answer to this question."