The CUPID (Cannabinoid Use in Progressive Inflammatory brain Disease) study at
the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth has reached an important milestone with
the news that the full cohort of 493 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) has
been recruited to the study.
CUPID is a clinical trial which will
evaluate whether tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of many compounds found in the
in the cannabis plant (and the main active ingredient) is able to slow the
progression of MS.
This is an important study for people with MS because
current treatments either target the immune system in the early stages of MS, or
are aimed at easing specific symptoms such as muscle spasms or bladder problems.
At present there is no treatment which slows progression of the disease.
The CUPID trial follows an earlier study - Cannabinoids and Multiple
Sclerosis (CAMS) - which suggested a link between THC and the slowing of MS. The
CAMS trial saw participants take THC for a year - the CUPID trial will last for
longer and aims to assess the effect of THC on progressive MS.
taken two years to recruit the 493 participants who will each take part in the
trial for three years, and in some cases three and a half years. After data
cleaning and analysis the results should be available by spring/early summer
Professor John Zajicek from the Peninsula Medical School, who
heads the team carrying out the CUPID study, said: "We are delighted to have
achieved the correct number of patient participants for this trial. Patients
have been recruited from 27 sites across the UK. If we are able to prove beyond
reasonable doubt the link between THC and the slowing down of progressive MS, we
will be able to develop an effective therapy for the many thousands of MS
sufferers around the world."
The CUPID trial is funded by the Medical
Research Council, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Multiple Sclerosis
Chris Jones, chief executive of the MS Trust, commented: "The MS
Trust is delighted to be supporting this study on behalf of people with MS. The
ability to halt progression in MS is what we dream of - the Holy Grail for those
whose condition deteriorates year on year. This study should give us the
definitive answer as to whether cannabinoids will prove to be such an agent."
Dr Laura Bell, research communications officer for the MS Society, said:
"People affected by MS are keen to know whether there's any truth in the
suggestion that elements of the cannabis plant can help ease the symptoms and
slow down progression of the condition.
"The MS Society is supportive of
safe clinical trials investigating the medicinal properties of cannabis and it's
great news that this trial is going ahead. We look forward to the results of
this exciting study."
by Medical News Today from original press
Source: Andrew Gould The Peninsula College of
Medicine and Dentistry