Medical Cannabis as Adjunctive Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer Patients
Cureus. 2021 Sep 30;13(9):e18396. doi: 10.7759/cureus.18396. eCollection 2021 Sep.
The goal of this systematic review was to define a consensus within the current literature regarding the impact/effect of cannabis or cannabinoids on the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer. We conducted a review of PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases, using a comprehensive search strategy, focusing on articles relating to head & neck cancer and cannabis/cannabinoids without a time limit for publication. Two, independent reviewers screened articles based on title/abstract and included the ones selected by both. We then conducted a full-text review and excluded all articles which did not meet inclusion criteria. A single reviewer then assessed studies for methodological quality and extracted relevant data using a premade data collection tool. We identified five studies that met inclusion criteria. Studies were of varying quality and the majority investigated recreational cannabis use with only one study reporting dosing across participants. Lack of standardized cannabis exposure presents a wide array of potential confounding variables across the remaining studies. Meta-analysis was not attempted due to variability in reported outcomes. It is impossible to draw any conclusions regarding the benefit or adverse effects of current medical cannabis products in this patient population. The literature regarding the effect of cannabis/cannabinoids on head & neck cancer patients is limited. However, the current lack of evidence does not definitively disprove the efficacy of cannabis. High-quality studies are necessary for physicians to provide advice to patients who are either using or interested in cannabis as an adjunctive treatment.
Source: ncbi 2
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