A major UK trial into whether a cannabis-based drug could extend life for those with brain tumours is to take place in two hospitals in the South.
The study, led by an expert at the University of Leeds and co-ordinated by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Birmingham, will look at whether adding Sativex – an oral spray containing cannabinoids – to chemotherapy could extend life for people diagnosed with a recurrent glioblastoma, or delay the progression of their disease.
Southampton General Hospital and Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital will be among 15 hospitals recruiting 232 people for the stage 2 trial, to see whether the drug will improve their quality of life.
Researchers said the condition, which is the most common and most aggressive form of brain cancer with around 2,200 people diagnosed each year in England alone, currently has an average survival of less than 10 months.
Participants will then undergo regular follow-up including clinical assessment (every four weeks), blood tests, MRI scans (every eight weeks), and they will complete quality of life questionnaires.
If the trial proves successful, they hope it could represent one of the first additions to NHS treatment for glioblastoma patients in more than a decade.The Brain Tumour Charity has launched an appeal to help raise the £450,000 needed to open the trial as soon as possible.