Orange patients among group using cannabis in cancer trial

Dr  Peter Grimison

Dr Peter Grimison

A doctor who has recruited patients from Orange reports “good progress” in the world-first trial of medicinal cannabis for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Trial leader and oncologist at the Chris O`Brien Lifehouse, Associate Professor Peter Grimison, who is also a visiting medical officer at Dubbo Hospital, said there are “no unexpected or serious side-effects” from the treatment.

“Preliminary results about the effectiveness of the treatment won’t be available until next year, after 80 patients have participated in the trial,” he said.

The trial has been expanded to include patients at Campbelltown, Concord, Royal North Shore, Calvary Mater Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie Base and Wollongong hospitals.

“The trial has been recruiting patients from Orange and Chris O`Brien Lifehouse cancer hospital since December 2016,” said Associate Professor Grimison.

“It is now also recruiting patients from a number of other metropolitan and rural cancer centres around NSW. 

“The trial is recruiting patients with early cancer who are receiving chemotherapy with the aim of curing their cancer, as well as patients with advanced cancer who are receiving chemotherapy with the aim of improving increasing their quality and length of life,” he said.

Meanwhile, the findings and recommendations of the Review of the Medicinal Cannabis Compassionate Use Scheme conducted by NSW chief scientist and engineer, Professor Mary O’Kane AC, have been released.

She has recommended the scheme continue to be available to terminally-ill people and noted that there was now a “safer, legal prescribing pathway for non-terminal patients”.

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