1.20 Cannabinoid in the Management of Melanoma: A Potential New and Novel Treatment

E. L. Simmerman1, X. Qin2, J. C. Yu1, B. Baban2  1Augusta University Medical Center,Department Of Surgery / Division Of Plastic Surgery,Augusta, GA, USA 2Augusta University Medical Center,Department Of Oral Biology / Dental College Of Georgia,Augusta, GA, USA


Malignant Melanoma is a complex malignancy with significant morbidity and mortality.  The incidence continues to rise and despite advances in treatment, the prognosis is poor.  Thus, it is necessary to develop novel strategies to treat this aggressive cancer.  Synthetic cannabinoids have been implicated in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation, reducing tumor growth, and reducing metastasis.  We developed a unique study focusing on the effects of treatment with a cannabinoid derivative on malignant melanoma tumors in a murine model.


Murine B16F10 melanoma tumors were established subcutaneously in C57BL/6 mice.  Mice were then treated with intraperitoneal injection of vehicle (PBS) injection (control – group 1, n=6), cisplatin of 5 mg/kg/week (group 2; n=6), and Cannabidiol (CBD) injection of 5 mg/kg twice per week (group 3; n=6) for 14 days.  Tumors were measured and volume calculated as 4π/3) x (width/2)2 x (length/2).  Tumor size and survival curves were measured.  Results were compared using a one-way ANOVA with Multiple Comparison Test.


A significant decrease was detected in tumor size of mice treated with CBD when compared to the control group (p=0.01). The survival curve of melanoma tumors treated with CBD increased when compared to the control group and was statistically significant (p=0.04). The growth curve and survival curve of melanoma tumors treated with cisplatin were significantly decreased and increased respectively when compared with the control. Mice treated with cisplatin demonstrated the longest survival time but the life quality and movement of CBD-treated mice were significantly better.


We demonstrate a beneficial therapeutic effect of cannabinoids, significantly influencing the course of melanoma in a murine model.  Increased survival and less tumorgenicity are novel findings that should guide research to better understand the mechanisms by which cannabinoids could be utilized for treating cancers. Further studies are necessary to evaluate this potentially new and novel treatment of malignant melanoma.