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Clinical trial for patients with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting

Article by NSW Government Health

The NSW Government is undertaking a trial into the role of cannabis-derived medicines in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

This trial is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to develop a better understanding of how cannabis products can provide relief to patients undergoing chemotherapy. Patients on the trial will have not had their symptoms of nausea or vomiting controlled by standard treatments.

The trial research team is being led by Clinical Associate Professor Peter Grimison from Chris O`Brien Lifehouse and the University of Sydney.

This trial forms part of the NSW Government’s $9 million investment in clinical trials for cannabis products. A further $12 million is being invested in the NSW Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation.

About the trial

Many people who undergo chemotherapy respond well to standard therapies to prevent any symptoms of nausea and vomiting that may accompany this important cancer treatment.

However, a percentage of people do not gain complete relief from their symptoms from these therapies.

This trial will assist in understanding the role of cannabis-derived medicines in controlling nausea and vomiting in people who are taking the best current therapies.

People who continue to have significant symptoms during their first cycle of chemotherapy despite being given best standard care will be invited to join the trial. They will participate in the trial while they are receiving chemotherapy.

The research will be using an oral cannabis-derived capsule, containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) developed and supplied by Tilray, a Canadian medicinal cannabis company.

The study (including the use of the medication) will need to be approved by an ethics committee prior to commencing.

The trial will measure participant’s symptoms, their relief from symptoms and any side effects.

The trial will be reviewed by an ethics committee and conducted in accordance with the standard ethical process for clinical trials.

Participating in the trial

Participants invited to join the trial will be over 18 years of age, be undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, and have significant symptoms during their first cycle of chemotherapy despite being given the best standard of care.

A number of cancer care sites in NSW are expected to recruit participants for the trial.

Information on the process for enrolment will be made available closer to the commencement of the trial.

For more information on the trials:

  • call the Cannabis Trials Help Line on 1800 217 257
  • write to Cannabis Trials, NSW Ministry of Health, Locked Mail Bag 961, North Sydney, NSW 2059
  • email the NSW Ministry of Health

For more information about cancer services in NSW visit the Cancer Institute NSW website


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