Integrative Oncology Digest April 2020

Afrin F, Chi M, Eamens AL, Duchatel RJ, Douglas AM, Schneider J, et al. Can Hemp Help? Low-THC Cannabis and Non-THC Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Cancer. Cancers (Basel) 2020 Apr 23;12(4):10.3390/cancers12041033 PMID 32340151

Cannabis has been used to relieve the symptoms of disease for thousands of years. However, social and political biases have limited effective interrogation of the potential benefits of cannabis and polarised public opinion. Further, the medicinal and clinical utility of cannabis is limited by the psychotropic side effects of (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol ((9)-THC). Evidence is emerging for the therapeutic benefits of cannabis in the treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases, with potential efficacy as an analgesic and antiemetic for the management of cancer-related pain and treatment-related nausea and vomiting, respectively. An increasing number of preclinical studies have established that (9)-THC can inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancerous cells through the modulation of cannabinoid receptors (CB1R and CB2R), but clinical confirmation remains lacking. In parallel, the anti-cancer properties of non-THC cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), are linked to the modulation of non-CB1R/CB2R G-protein-coupled receptors, neurotransmitter receptors, and ligand-regulated transcription factors, which together modulate oncogenic signalling and redox homeostasis. Additional evidence has also demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids, and this may prove relevant in the context of peritumoural oedema and the tumour immune microenvironment. This review aims to document the emerging mechanisms of anti-cancer actions of non-THC cannabinoids.

        Dahmane E, Hutson PR, Gobburu JVS. Exposure-Response Analysis to Assess the Concentration-QTc Relationship of Psilocybin/Psilocin. Clin Pharmacol Drug Dev 2020 Apr 6 PMID 32250059

Psilocybin is being developed for treating major depressive disorder. Psilocybin is readily dephosphorylated to psilocin upon absorption. The potential for psilocin proarrhythmic effect was assessed using a concentration-QTc interval (C-QTc) analysis from an open-label single ascending dose study of psilocybin. Psilocybin doses ranged from 0.3 to 0.6 mg/kg. This trial showed a significant but shallow C-QTc relationship. At the clinical dose of 25 mg, the mean psilocin maximum concentration is 18.7 ng/mL, and the associated mean (upper 90% confidence interval of mean) QTcF change is 2.1 (6.6) milliseconds. Given the short half-life of psilocin of about 4 hours, there would be no accumulation after monthly oral doses used in clinical trials. The upper limit of the 90% confidence interval of the model-predicted mean DeltaQTcF crossed 10 milliseconds at a psilocin concentration of 31.1 ng/mL. At a supraclinical psilocin maximum concentration of about 60 ng/mL, DeltaQTcF remains low, with a mean (upper limit of the 90% confidence interval) of 9.1 (17.9) milliseconds. This analysis enabled the characterization of the C-QTc relationship and prediction of QTc prolongation at the expected clinical and possible higher psilocybin doses.

        Ellingson HM, Vanderah TW. Potential therapeutic treatments of cancer-induced bone pain. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care 2020 Jun;14(2):107-111 PMID 32349095

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The treatment of cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) has been proven ineffective and relies heavily on opioids, the target of highly visible criticism for their negative side effects. Alternative therapeutic agents are needed and the last few years have brought promising results, detailed in this review. RECENT FINDINGS: Cysteine/glutamate antiporter system, xc, cannabinoids, kappa opioids, and a ceramide axis have all been shown to have potential as novel therapeutic targets without the negative effects of opioids. SUMMARY: Review of the most recent and promising studies involving CIBP, specifically within murine models. Cancer pain has been reported by 30-50% of all cancer patients and even more in late stages, however the standard of care is not effective to treat CIBP. The complicated and chronic nature of this type of pain response renders over the counter analgesics and opioids largely ineffective as well as difficult to use due to unwanted side effects. Preclinical studies have been standardized and replicated while novel treatments have been explored utilizing various alternative receptor pathways: cysteine/glutamate antiporter system, xc, cannabinoid type 1 receptor, kappa opioids, and a ceramide axis sphingosine-1-phosphate/sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1.

        Ford CG, Vowles KE, Smith BW, Kinney AY. Mindfulness and Meditative Movement Interventions for Men Living With Cancer: A Meta-analysis. Ann Behav Med 2020 Apr 20;54(5):360-373 PMID 31773148

BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-based interventions, Tai Chi/Qigong, and Yoga (defined here as meditative cancer interventions [MCIs]) have demonstrated small to medium effects on psychosocial outcomes in female breast cancer patients. However, no summary exists of how effective these interventions are for men with cancer. PURPOSE: A meta-analysis was performed to determine the effectiveness of MCIs on psychosocial outcomes (e.g., quality of life, depression, and posttraumatic growth) for men with cancer. METHODS: A literature search yielded 17 randomized controlled trials (N = 666) meeting study inclusion criteria. The authors were contacted to request data for male participants in the study when not reported. RESULTS: With the removal of one outlier, there was a small effect found in favor of MCIs across all psychosocial outcomes immediately postintervention (g = .23, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.02 to 0.44). Studies using a usual care control arm demonstrated a small effect in favor of MCIs (g = .26, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.42). However, there was insufficient evidence of a superior effect for MCIs when compared to an active control group, including attention control. Few studies examined both short-term and long-term outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence for MCIs improving psychosocial outcomes in male cancer survivors. However, this effect is not demonstrated when limited to studies that used active controls. The effect size found in this meta-analysis is smaller than those reported in MCI studies of mixed gender and female cancer patient populations. More rigorously designed randomized trials are needed that include active control groups, which control for attention, and long-term follow-up. There may be unique challenges for addressing the psychosocial needs of male cancer patients that future interventions should consider.

        Gonzalez D, Cantillo J, Perez I, Farre M, Feilding A, Obiols JE, et al. Therapeutic potential of ayahuasca in grief: a prospective, observational study. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2020 Apr;237(4):1171-1182 PMID 31938878

RATIONALE: Recent studies have assessed the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca for the treatment of depression with promising preliminary results. OBJECTIVES: Here, we examine the course of grief over 1 year of follow-up in a bereaved sample that attended a center in Peru to participate in indigenous Shipibo ayahuasca ceremonies. We also explore the roles of experiential avoidance and decentering as mechanisms of change. METHODS: Bereaved participants who attended the ayahuasca center responded to an online survey that included the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief, Symptom Assessment-45, WHO Quality of Life-Bref, Acceptance and Action Questionnaire, and Decentering. Baseline assessment was completed by 50 individuals (T0). Of these, 39 completed the post-assessment at 15 days (T1), 31 at 3 months (T2), 29 at 6 months (T3), and 27 at 12 months (T4) after leaving the retreat. Pearson's analysis was performed to examine the relationship between the severity of grief and mechanisms of change during the period of T0 and T1. RESULTS: A significant decrease in Texas Revised Inventory was observed at all time points (T1: Cohen's d = 0.84; T2: Cohen's d = 1.38; T3: Cohen's d = 1.16; T4: Cohen's d = 1.39). We found a relationship between experiential avoidance (r = 0.55; p < .01), decentering (r = - 0.47; p < .01), and a reduction in the severity of grief. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the ceremonial use of ayahuasca has therapeutic value by reducing the severity of grief. Acceptance and decentering are both psychological processes that mediate the improvement of grief symptoms.

        Iovoli AJ, Ostrowski A, Rivers CI, Hermann GM, Groman A, Miller A, et al. Two- Versus Four-Times Weekly Acupuncture-Like Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Treatment of Radiation-Induced Xerostomia: A Pilot Study. J Altern Complement Med 2020 Apr;26(4):323-328 PMID 31985266

Background: Xerostomia occurs in the majority of patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy for head and neck cancer (HNC). Acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (ALTENS) treatment has been studied as an encouraging modality to improve salivary function and related symptoms. The purpose of this study was to compare ALTENS treatment by using a four-times weekly schedule for 6 weeks versus a twice-weekly schedule for 12 weeks with a validated xerostomia scale at 15 months from the start of ALTENS treatment. Materials and Methods: This single-center randomized study was conducted in 30 patients treated with radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy for HNC between 2014 and 2017, who had at least grade 1 or 2 symptomatic dry mouth (xerostomia) according to CTEP NCI Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE version 4.0). These patients were randomly assigned to receive ALTENS four-times weekly for 6 weeks or two-times weekly for 12 weeks. The University of Michigan 15-item Xerostomia-related Quality of Life Scale (XeQoLS) was administered at 6, 9, 15, and 21 months from the start of ALTENS treatment. A random-effects generalized linear model was used to model the overall XeQoLS score at the 15-month endpoint; adjusted for a random time effect, a fixed treatment arm, and interaction of time and treatment. Comparison between arms was based on a 0.05 nominal significance level. Results: XeQoLS decreased for all patients (although not statistically for each arm) from a mean of 22 and 21 at baseline (in the four times per week and twice weekly arms) to 12 in both arms at 15 months, with no difference between arms (p = 0.68). There were no attributable grade 1-3 adverse events. Arms were balanced for age, gender, race, and baseline xerostomia. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that both ALTENS regimens are safe, well tolerated, and appear to be equally effective. We now routinely make ALTENS units available for home use.

        Kovalchuk O, Kovalchuk I. Cannabinoids as anticancer therapeutic agents. Cell Cycle 2020 May;19(9):961-989 PMID 32249682

The recent announcement of marijuana legalization in Canada spiked many discussions about potential health benefits of Cannabis sativa. Cannabinoids are active chemical compounds produced by cannabis, and their numerous effects on the human body are primarily exerted through interactions with cannabinoid receptor types 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2). Cannabinoids are broadly classified as endo-, phyto-, and synthetic cannabinoids. In this review, we will describe the activity of cannabinoids on the cellular level, comprehensively summarize the activity of all groups of cannabinoids on various cancers and propose several potential mechanisms of action of cannabinoids on cancer cells.

        Lu W, Giobbie-Hurder A, Freedman RA, Shin IH, Lin NU, Partridge AH, et al. Acupuncture for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial. Oncologist 2020 Apr;25(4):310-318 PMID 32297442

BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is one of the most debilitating long-term side effects in breast cancer survivors. We conducted a randomized controlled pilot trial to assess the feasibility, safety, and effects of an acupuncture intervention on CIPN in this population. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Women with stage I-III breast cancer with grade 1 or higher CIPN after taxane-containing adjuvant chemotherapy were randomized 1:1 to an immediate acupuncture (IA) arm or to a waitlist control group (CG). Participants in the IA arm received 18 sessions of acupuncture over 8 weeks, then received no additional acupuncture. Patients in the CG arm received usual care over 8 weeks, followed by nine sessions of acupuncture over 8 weeks. Measures including Patient Neurotoxicity Questionnaire (PNQ), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Neurotoxicity subscale (FACT-NTX), and Brief Pain Inventory-short form (BPI-SF) were collected at baseline and at 4, 8, and 16 weeks after enrollment. RESULTS: Forty women (median age, 54) were enrolled (20 to IA and 20 to CG), with median time between completion of chemotherapy and enrollment of 14 months (range 1-92). At 8 weeks, participants in the IA arm experienced significant improvements in PNQ sensory score (-1.0 +/- 0.9 vs. -0.3 +/- 0.6; p = .01), FACT-NTX summary score (8.7 +/- 8.9 vs. 1.2 +/- 5.4; p = .002), and BPI-SF pain severity score (-1.1 +/- 1.7 vs. 0.3 +/- 1.5; p = .03), compared with those in the CG arm. No serious side effects were observed. CONCLUSION: Women with CIPN after adjuvant taxane therapy for breast cancer experienced significant improvements in neuropathic symptoms from an 8-week acupuncture treatment regimen. Additional larger studies are needed to confirm these findings. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a toxicity that often persists for months to years after the completion of adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer. In a randomized pilot trial of 40 breast cancer survivors with CIPN, an 8-week acupuncture intervention (vs. usual care) led to a statistically and clinically significant improvement in subjective sensory symptoms including neuropathic pain and paresthesia. Given the lack of effective therapies and established safety profile of acupuncture, clinicians may consider acupuncture as a treatment option for mild to moderate CIPN in practice.

        Luis A, Marcelino H, Rosa C, Domingues F, Pereira L, Cascalheira JF. The effects of cannabinoids on glioblastoma growth: A systematic review with meta-analysis of animal model studies. Eur J Pharmacol 2020 Jun 5;876:173055 PMID 32145324

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most frequent and aggressive malignant brain tumour, with a poor prognosis despite available surgical and radio-chemotherapy, rising the necessity for searching alternative therapies. Several preclinical studies evaluating the efficacy of cannabinoids in animal models of GBM have been described, but the diversity of experimental conditions and of outcomes hindered definitive conclusions about cannabinoids efficacy. A search in different databases (Pubmed, Web of Science, Scopus and SciELO) was conducted during June 2019 to systematically identify publications evaluating the effects of cannabinoids in murine xenografts models of GBM. The tumour volume and number of animals were extracted, and a random effects meta-analysis of these results was performed to estimate the efficacy of cannabinoids. The impact of different experimental factors and publication bias on the efficacy of cannabinoids was also assessed. Nine publications, which satisfied the inclusion criteria, were identified and subdivided in 22 studies involving 301 animals. Overall, cannabinoid therapy reduced the fold of increase in tumour volume in animal models of GBM, when compared with untreated controls. The overall weighted standardized difference in means (WSDM) for the effect of cannabinoids was -1.399 (95% CI: -1.900 to -0.898; P-value<0.0001). Furthermore, treatment efficacy was observed for different types of cannabinoids, alone or in combination, and for different treatment durations. Cannabinoid therapy was still effective after correcting for publication bias. The results indicate that cannabinoids reduce the tumour growth in animal models of GBM, even after accounting for publication bias.

        Madsen MK, Fisher PM, Stenbaek DS, Kristiansen S, Burmester D, Lehel S, et al. A single psilocybin dose is associated with long-term increased mindfulness, preceded by a proportional change in neocortical 5-HT2A receptor binding. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2020 Apr;33:71-80 PMID 32146028

A single dose of the serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) agonist psilocybin can have long-lasting beneficial effects on mood, personality, and potentially on mindfulness, but underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we for the first time conduct a study that assesses psilocybin effects on cerebral 5-HT2AR binding with [(11)C]Cimbi-36 positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and on personality and mindfulness. Ten healthy and psychedelic-naive volunteers underwent PET neuroimaging of 5-HT2AR at baseline (BL) and one week (1W) after a single oral dose of psilocybin (0.2-0.3 mg/kg). Personality (NEO PI-R) and mindfulness (MAAS) questionnaires were completed at BL and at three-months follow-up (3M). Paired t-tests revealed statistically significant increases in personality Openness (puncorrected = 0.04, mean change [95%CI]: 4.2[0.4;infinity]), which was hypothesized a priori to increase, and mindfulness (pFWER = 0.02, mean change [95%CI]: 0.5 [0.2;0.7]). Although 5-HT2AR binding at 1W versus BL was similar across individuals (puncorrected = 0.8, mean change [95%CI]: 0.007 [-0.04;0.06]), a post hoc linear regression analysis showed that change in mindfulness and 5-HT2AR correlated negatively (beta [95%CI] = -5.0 [-9.0; -0.9], pFWER= 0.046). In conclusion, we confirm that psilocybin intake is associated with long-term increases in Openness and - as a novel finding - mindfulness, which may be a key element of psilocybin therapy. Cerebral 5-HT2AR binding did not change across individuals but the negative association between changes in 5-HT2AR binding and mindfulness suggests that individual change in 5-HT2AR levels after psilocybin is variable and represents a potential mechanism influencing long-term effects of psilocybin on mindfulness.

        Meng H, Dai T, Hanlon JG, Downar J, Alibhai SMH, Clarke H. Cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer pain management. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care 2020 Jun;14(2):87-93 PMID 32332209

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: An increasing number of patients are turning to cannabis and cannabinoids for management of their palliative and nonpalliative cancer pain and other cancer-related symptoms. Canadians have a legal framework for access to medical cannabis, which provides a unique perspective in a setting lacking robust clinical evidence. This review seeks to delineate the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer pain management and offers insight into the Canadian practice. RECENT FINDINGS: A cohort study using nabiximols on advanced cancer pain in patients already optimized on opioids, over 3 weeks, demonstrated improved average pain score. A large observational study of cancer patients using cannabis over 6 months demonstrated a decreased number of patients with severe pain and decreased opioid use, whereas the number of patients reporting good quality of life increased. SUMMARY: Good preclinical animal data and a large body of observational evidence point to the potential efficacy of cannabinoids for cancer pain management. However, there are relatively weak data pointing to clinical efficacy from clinical trial data to date. In Canada, the burgeoning cannabis industry has driven the population to embrace a medicine before clinical evidence. There remains a need for high-quality randomized controlled trials to properly assess the effectiveness and safety of medical cannabis, compared with placebo and standard treatments for cancer-related symptoms.

        Murphy-Beiner A, Soar K. Ayahuasca's 'afterglow': improved mindfulness and cognitive flexibility in ayahuasca drinkers. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2020 Apr;237(4):1161-1169 PMID 31927605

RATIONALE: There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the therapeutic potential of ayahuasca for treating depression and anxiety. However, the mechanisms of action involved in ayahuasca's therapeutic effects are unclear. Mindfulness and cognitive flexibility may be two possible psychological mechanisms. Like other classic psychedelics, ayahuasca also leads to an 'afterglow' effect of improved subjective well-being that persists after the acute effects have subsided. This period may offer a window of increased therapeutic potential. OBJECTIVE: To explore changes in mindfulness and cognitive flexibility before and within 24 h after ayahuasca use. METHODS: Forty-eight participants (54% female) were assessed on measures of mindfulness (Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ)), decentering (Experiences Questionnaire (EQ)), and cognitive flexibility (Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS)), and completed the Stroop and Wisconsin Picture Card Sorting Task (WPCST) before drinking ayahuasca, and again within 24 h. RESULTS: Mindfulness (FFMQ total scores and four of the five mindfulness facets: observe, describe, act with awareness, and non-reactivity) and decentering (EQ) significantly increased in the 24 h after ayahuasca use. Cognitive flexibility (CFS and WPCST) significantly improved in the 24 h after ayahuasca use. Changes in both mindfulness and cognitive flexibility were not influenced by prior ayahuasca use. CONCLUSIONS: The present study supports ayahuasca's ability to enhance mindfulness and further reports changes in cognitive flexibility in the 'afterglow' period occur, suggesting both could be possible psychological mechanisms concerning the psychotherapeutic effects of ayahuasca. Given psychological gains occurred regardless of prior ayahuasca use suggests potentially therapeutic effects for both naive and experienced ayahuasca drinkers.

        Nissim RS, Roth A, Gupta AA, Elliott M. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Intervention for Young Adults with Cancer: A Pilot Mixed-Method Study. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol 2020 Apr;9(2):256-261 PMID 31621473

Purpose: Group mindfulness-based interventions are emerging as a promising, nonstigmatizing, and cost-effective strategy that may improve the well-being of individuals living with cancer. This study is a pilot pre-post mixed-method study to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of an 8-week Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy group for Young Adults with Cancer (YA-MBCT). Methods: We approached young adults with cancer, who enrolled in YA-MBCT groups, offered at a large cancer hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Feasibility and acceptability were assessed through attendance rate and a postintervention satisfaction scale. Psychosocial outcomes were evaluated with a pre-post questionnaire package, with validated self-report measures, assessing depression, anxiety, perceived stress, quality of life, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Qualitative interviews were completed among a subset of participants to gain additional feedback. Results: Participants were 70 young adults with cancer, recruited from five YA-MBCT groups. Sixty participants (85%) attended a minimum of six of eight sessions, and overall satisfaction rates were high. All psychosocial outcomes demonstrated statistically significant changes (p 0.5). Qualitative interviews (n = 14) demonstrated overall positive views about the intervention, and provided insight into unique age-specific benefits, including reducing fear of cancer recurrence, improving body image, and creating a sense of belonging. Conclusion: The YA-MBCT is feasible and acceptable among young adults with cancer, with the potential to improve psychosocial outcomes. Our preliminary results should be replicated with larger studies with an active control group.

        Pratt M, Wieland S, Ahmadzai N, Butler C, Wolfe D, Pussagoda K, et al. A scoping review of network meta-analyses assessing the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions. Syst Rev 2020 Apr 30;9(1):97-020-01328-3 PMID 32354348

BACKGROUND: Network meta-analysis (NMA) has rapidly grown in use during the past decade for the comparison of healthcare interventions. While its general use in the comparison of conventional medicines has been studied previously, to our awareness, its use to assess complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) has not been studied. A scoping review of the literature was performed to identify systematic reviews incorporating NMAs involving one or more CAM interventions. METHODS: An information specialist executed a multi-database search (e.g., MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane), and two reviewers performed study selection and data collection. Information on publication characteristics, diseases studied, interventions compared, reporting transparency, outcomes assessed, and other parameters were extracted from each review. RESULTS: A total of 89 SR/NMAs were included. The largest number of NMAs was conducted in China (39.3%), followed by the United Kingdom (12.4%) and the United States (9.0%). Reviews were published between 2010 and 2018, with the majority published between 2015 and 2018. More than 90 different CAM therapies appeared at least once, and the median number per NMA was 2 (IQR 1-4); 20.2% of reviews consisted of only CAM therapies. Dietary supplements (51.1%) and vitamins and minerals (42.2%) were the most commonly studied therapies, followed by electrical stimulation (31.1%), herbal medicines (24.4%), and acupuncture and related treatments (22.2%). A diverse set of conditions was identified, the most common being various forms of cancer (11.1%), osteoarthritis of the hip/knee (7.8%), and depression (5.9%). Most reviews adequately addressed a majority of the PRISMA NMA extension items; however, there were limitations in indication of an existing review protocol, exploration of network geometry, and exploration of risk of bias across studies, such as publication bias. CONCLUSION: The use of NMA to assess the effectiveness of CAM interventions is growing rapidly. Efforts to identify priority topics for future CAM-related NMAs and to enhance methods for CAM comparisons with conventional medicine are needed. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:

        Thompson AL, Grenald SA, Ciccone HA, BassiriRad N, Niphakis MJ, Cravatt BF, et al. The Endocannabinoid System Alleviates Pain in a Murine Model of Cancer-Induced Bone Pain. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2020 May;373(2):230-238 PMID 32054717

Metastatic breast cancer is prevalent worldwide, and one of the most common sites of metastasis is long bones. Of patients with disease, the major symptom is pain, yet current medications fail to adequately result in analgesic efficacy and present major undesirable adverse effects. In our study, we investigate the potential of a novel monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) inhibitor, MJN110, in a murine model of cancer-induced bone pain. Literature has previously demonstrated that MAGL inhibitors function to increase the endogenous concentrations of 2-arachydonylglycerol, which then activates CB1 and CB2 receptors to inhibit inflammation and pain. We demonstrate that administration of MJN110 significantly and dose dependently alleviates spontaneous pain behavior during acute administration compared with vehicle control. In addition, MJN110 maintains its efficacy in a chronic-dosing paradigm over the course of 7 days without signs of receptor sensitization. In vitro analysis of MJN110 demonstrated a dose-dependent and significant decrease in cell viability and proliferation of 66.1 breast adenocarcinoma cells to a greater extent than KML29, an alternate MAGL inhibitor, or the CB2 agonist JWH015. Chronic administration of the compound did not appear to affect tumor burden, as evidenced by radiograph or histologic analysis. Together, these data support the application for MJN110 as a novel therapeutic for cancer-induced bone pain. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: Current standard of care for metastatic breast cancer pain is opioid-based therapies with adjunctive chemotherapy, which have highly addictive and other deleterious side effects. The need for effective, non-opioid-based therapies is essential, and harnessing the endogenous cannabinoid system is proving to be a new target to treat various types of pain conditions. We present a novel drug targeting the endogenous cannabinoid system that is effective at reducing pain in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer to bone.

        Wilford JG, McCarty R, Torno L, Mucci G, Torres-Eaton N, Shen V, et al. A Multi-Modal Family Peer Support-Based Program to Improve Quality of Life among Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study. Children (Basel) 2020 Apr 20;7(4):10.3390/children7040035 PMID 32326026

BACKGROUND: Pediatric brain tumor (PBT) survivors and their families are at risk for diminished psychosocial and quality of life outcomes. Community-based programs that leverage peer support in the context of integrative modalities such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) represent a promising avenue for meeting the multidimensional needs of survivors and their families. METHODS: Parents and children were enrolled in a 12-week program that included weekly group TCM, a moderated private Facebook support group designed through social support and modeling theory, and weekly parent-only health behavior education and yoga. Process measures and quantitative and qualitative survey data was collected to gauge participant adherence, acceptability, and satisfaction, as well as exploratory outcomes. RESULTS: Eleven parents completed surveys at all time points. Six of nine families attended at least 80% of the group TCM sessions, and eight of nine families interacted in the Facebook support group at least five days a week. Parents reported high levels of satisfaction and perceived benefits for the program. Baseline emotional distress, health behaviors, and QoL measurements improved during the three-month intervention. Qualitative data indicated parents perceived both in-person and the Facebook group peer support contributed to the benefits of the program. CONCLUSION: This feasibility study demonstrated that a multimodal peer support-based intervention that included in-person and online group interaction is feasible and acceptable to parents of pediatric brain tumor patients. Further research on interventions for caregivers that include in-person and online group-based peer support is warranted, with the goal of exploring similar outcomes in other childhood cancer diagnoses.

        You E. Nontraditional and Home-Based Self-management Interventions in Cancer Patients With Pain: A Mixed-Method Systematic Review. Holist Nurs Pract 2020 May/Jun;34(3):138-149 PMID 32282489

One or 2 decades ago, oncologists focused on only cancer treatments or acute care related to cancer. Since cancer care is considered as long-term cares, cancer patients require self-management (SM) ability or skill to manage their symptoms and daily cares. This mixed-method review is to evaluate quantitative and qualitative studies, which were conducted using non-traditional SM interventions for cancer pain based. This review also explores the process of SM in the chronic care model (CCM). PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and Wiley were used from 2011 to 2018. A total of 16 quantitative and 2 qualitative studies were included for this review. All interventions are divided into 3 types, which are educational and/or counseling programs, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy, and exercise. Ten of the included 16 studies were statistically significant on pain management: 3 CAM studies (100%), 1 exercise study (100%), and 6 of the 12 educational and/or counseling studies (50%). The CAM and exercise were statistically effective in improving cancer pain in the review. However, uncertainty remains regarding the strength of the evidence, due to the small number of studies included and lack of consistent methodologies. The application (5A) of SM support may help cancer patients to manage their pain.