Researchers are now recruiting palliative care cancer patients in Sydney and Newcastle for Australia’s first clinical trial of vaporised cannabis flower bud.
Minister for Medical Research Pru Goward said the groundbreaking trial will enrol approximately 30 adult advanced cancer patients at Sacred Heart Health Service, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, and Calvary Mater Newcastle hospital and could expand to up to 250 patients across NSW.
“The NSW Government has forged a path for finding much-needed answers about whether there is an effective use for medicinal cannabis in palliative care, with the aim of expanding existing treatments to better support our patients,” Ms Goward said.
UNSW Professor Meera Agar, who is leading the trial, said researchers were now screening potential trial participants with the first patients expected to be admitted to hospital in January.
“For people with cancer, the pathways that promote appetite are disrupted so we need to see if vaporised cannabis can improve appetite in this context,” Professor Agar said.
“The trial will also assess whether medicinal cannabis can improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms such as fatigue, low mood, nausea and insomnia.”
The product used in the trial has been produced and supplied by The Netherlands based medicinal cannabis company, Bedrocan BV®.
The trial forms part of the NSW Government’s $21 million commitment to support high- quality medicinal cannabis clinical trials and reforms.