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Comparison of orally administered cannabis extract and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in treating patients with cancer-related anorexia-cachexia syndrome: a multicenter, phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial from the Cannabis-In-Cachexia-Study-Group

Cannabis-In-Cachexia-Study-Group, Florian Strasser, Diana Luftner, Kurt Possinger, Gernot Ernst, Thomas Ruhstaller, Winfried Meissner, You-Dschun Ko, Martin Schnelle, Marcus Reif & Thomas Cerny

abstract PURPOSE: To compare the effects of cannabis extract (CE), delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and placebo (PL) on appetite and quality of life (QOL) in patients with cancer-related anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Adult patients with advanced cancer, CACS, weight loss (> or = 5% over 6 months), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) < or = 2 were randomly assigned (2:2:1) to receive CE (standardized for 2.5 mg THC and 1 mg cannabidiol) or THC (2.5 mg) or PL orally, twice daily for 6 weeks. Appetite, mood, and nausea were monitored daily with a visual analog scale (VAS); QOL was assessed with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (composite score: questions 29 and 30). Cannabinoid-related toxicity was assessed every 2 weeks. RESULTS: Of 289 patients screened, 243 were randomly assigned and 164 (CE, 66 of 95 patients; THC, 65 of 100 patients; and PL, 33 of 48 patients) completed treatment. At baseline, groups were comparable for age (mean, 61 years), sex (54% men), weight loss (32% > or = 10%), PS (13% ECOG = 2), antineoplastic treatment (50%), appetite (mean VAS score, 31/100 mm), and QOL (mean score, 30/100). Intent-to-treat analysis showed no significant differences between the three arms for appetite, QOL, or cannabinoid-related toxicity. Increased appetite was reported by 73%, 58%, and 69% of patients receiving CE, THC, or PL, respectively. An independent data review board recommended termination of recruitment because of insufficient differences between study arms. CONCLUSION: CE at the oral dose administered was well tolerated by these patients with CACS. No differences in patients' appetite or QOL were found either between CE, THC, and PL or between CE and THC at the dosages investigated.
   
citation Cannabis-In-Cachexia-Study-Group , Strasser F, Luftner D, Possinger K, Ernst G, Ruhstaller T, Meissner W, Ko Y D, Schnelle M, Reif M, cerny t. Comparison of orally administered cannabis extract and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in treating patients with cancer-related anorexia-cachexia syndrome: a multicenter, phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial from the Cannabis-In-Cachexia-Study-Group. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2006; 24:3394-400.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 20-7-2006
journal title Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (24/21)
ISSN electronic 1527-7755
pages 3394-400
PubMed 16849753
DOI 10.1200/JCO.2005.05.1847
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