Use of cannabis in urological cancer patients: A review to evaluate risk for cancer development, therapeutic use, and symptom management

Authors

  • Shipra Taneja 1. Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada 2. McMaster Institute of Urology, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada 3. Urologic Cancer Centre for Research & Innovation, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, ON Canada
  • Jen Hoogenes McMaster University
  • Marissa Slaven 1. Juravinski Cancer Centre, Juravinski Hospital, Hamilton, ON, Canada 2. Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada
  • Anil Kapoor 1. Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada 2. McMaster Institute of Urology, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada 3. Urologic Cancer Centre for Research & Innovation, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, ON Canada 4. Juravinski Cancer Centre, Juravinski Hospital, Hamilton, ON, Canada

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.7198

Keywords:

Urologic Cancer; Cannabis; Therapeutics; Review

Abstract

Introduction: Recent recreational legalization of cannabis has resulted in an increased interest in the therapeutic effects of cannabis use in cancer patients, with reports of its use in symptom management and as a risk factor for cancer development. The objective of this review was to evaluate the literature on the association of cannabis use with the risk of cancer development, symptom management, and therapeutic management in the urological cancer (UC) patient population.

Methods: A systematic search of databases and trial registries for papers published to March 2020 on cannabis, symptom and therapeutic management, and cancer development in UC patients was conducted. After screening of full-text articles, data were extracted for evaluation. Studies were eligible if they were in the clinical setting, included ≥5 UC patients, reported use of any cannabis variant, and were written in English.

Results: The search retrieved 2456 abstracts, of which 48 full-text articles were reviewed and 21 included in the review. Low-level evidence suggested a correlation between cannabis use and risk for development of testicular cancer. Some support existed for using cannabis for cancer pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea. There was inadequate evidence to substantiate cannabis use as a therapeutic agent for management of UCs. A lack of high-level evidence and robust methodology of the studies limited evaluation of the findings.

Conclusions: Given the paucity of data on cannabis use for therapeutic purposes in UC, large, prospective trials with adequate followup times to observe the effect of cannabis use on UCs are warranted to improve the evidence base.

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Author Biography

Jen Hoogenes, McMaster University

Jen Hoogenes, MS, MSc, PhD

Research Fellow and Clinical Research Coordinator III, McMaster University Department of Surgery, Division of Urology

Published

2021-06-22

How to Cite

Taneja, S., Hoogenes, J., Slaven, M., & Kapoor, A. (2021). Use of cannabis in urological cancer patients: A review to evaluate risk for cancer development, therapeutic use, and symptom management . Canadian Urological Association Journal, 15(12). https://doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.7198