University of Michigan Researcher Seeks to Explore Viability of CBD Therapies in Treating Rare Brain Cancers
Ann Arbor, MI | November 11, 2019 — Representatives from The Cure Starts Now and the DIPG Collaborative surprised University of Michigan assistant professor Carl Koschmann last Thursday with nearly $160,000 in funding for his research exploring the targetability of specific proteins in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) tumor cells in conjunction with CBD therapies.
The Cure Starts Now, an international pediatric cancer research foundation, expanded into Michigan in mid-2018 with the addition of their Cedar Springs, Michigan-based chapter started by Kimberly Ricker in honor of her son, Brison. Diagnosed with DIPG on January 22, 2016, Brison battled for 23 months before passing just twelve days before his 17th birthday. “We are excited to see funds that we have helped raise through our involvement with the foundation be used for research in our own back yard,” says Kimberly.
Recent work form Dr. Koschmann’s collaborative team indicates specific proteins that are key regulators in pre-natal tissue growth are being reactivated within the DIPG tumor cells resulting in some of the most aggressive features of the cancer. Additionally, there is evidence that shows cannabidiol (CBD), the non-toxic and non-psychoactive member of the endocannabinoid family found in Cannabis Sativa, can reduce these same protein levels and reduce the viability of DIPG tumor cells in vitro. This research could lead to new therapeutic avenues in treating DIPG.
“Receiving support from the DIPG Collaborative means so much to me and my lab. The funding to pursue this project is critical to making progress, and knowing it was crowd-sourced from a collaboration of family foundations affected by this disease is even more amazing for us. We are looking forward to continuing to build connections and fight this disease with the DIPG Collaborative for many years to come.” – Dr. Carl Koschmann