| Anti angiogenic and anti-cancer efficacy of CB2 agonists

Ofra Benny Ph.D. 

It is well-established that cannabinoids affect cancer-associated symptoms. In addition, evidence obtained during the last fifteen years supports the fact that these compounds can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer (1). Cannabinoids have been shown to activate an ER-stress related pathway that leads to the stimulation of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death. Furthermore, cannabinoids inhibit tumor angiogenesis and decrease cancer cell migration. Cannabinoids exert most of their actions by binding to and activating specific Gαi protein-coupled receptors called cannabinoid receptors, CB1 (Central receptor) and CB2 (Peripheral receptor) respectively. CB2 receptor expression is mostly restricted to particular elements of the immune system (enriched area of B lymphocyte). Since angiogenesis and inflammation are key hallmarks in cancer, the involvement of CB2 signalling, as shown before, may provide new insights and introduction of therapeutic targets. In collaboration with Prof.  Mechoulam we are studying the anti-cancer properties of CB2 agonists (3):  first in the cell level and later in physiological in-vivo set up.

  1. Oncotarget. 2014 Aug; 5(15): 5852–5872.
  2. J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Jan;28(1):92-107.
  3. PLoS One. 2016 Jul 14;11(7):e0158779.

Key words: cancer, angiogenesis, CB2 agonists