A man diagnosed with bowel cancer was told he had just 18 months to live — however cannabis oil cured it. David Hibbitt, 33, underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery to remove his large bowel. After knowing the cancer was terminal, he decided to try cannabis oil as a last resort and bought it from a local dealer for £50 a gram.
Now he says he has been cancer-free since his last scan in January – and attributes his miracle recovery to the class-B drug. He tied the knot today, with his partner of six years Heather Martin, 26, and is looking forward to the future.
Mr Hibbitt, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said: ‘Friends had told me about cannabis oil and I dismissed it at first. I’ve never been into drugs. ‘But in February last year I was told I only had 18 months to five years to live, and I felt I had to try everything I could. ‘I felt like the chemo was killing me and I had nothing to lose. I couldn’t accept I was going to die.’
He did an online research for options, and discovered a lot of information about cannabis oil – and decided to try it. ”I pay around £50 for a gram from a bloke I know who makes it,’ he said. ‘That lasts me about a month usually. ‘It gets your pretty high and knocks you for six, but it’s nowhere near as bad as chemotherapy. ‘The pain just seemed to disappear and it seems to have done the job.’
Mr Hibbitt after being identified with stage-three bowel cancer underwent treatment at the Christie Hospital, in Manchester. Nonetheless, the cancer returned and he had another operation in July 2013 followed by more chemotherapy. A month after getting the all-clear he found a lump, and was told the cancer was in the lymph nodes in his groin.
Mr Hibbitt, who works in advertising, added: ‘This time they told me there wasn’t a lot they could do. ‘In July, after doing a lot of research, I got some cannabis oil. I was having chemo, and I was getting to a point where I couldn’t really do much, I had no energy. ‘In August I decided I’d had enough and I was going to stop the chemotherapy.
In October he underwent surgery to remove the affected lymph nodes at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. After that he decided against further chemotherapy sessions, instead chose to carry on taking cannabis oil. In January he had a scan and was given the all-clear, paving the way for him to organise his wedding.
Mr Hibbitt, who has a five-year-old son, Ashton, said: ‘We never thought this would happen, it’s great. Fingers crossed now I will grow old. ‘I feel really good and I hope my story will help other people.’ Cancer Research UK says that patients have been using cannabis extracts to treat themselves in the past, but there’s no ‘authentic evidence’ to prove it was safe and effective.
The charity is funding clinical trials into the use of the drug and a synthetic cannabinoid to treat the disease. Dr Kat Arney, from Cancer Research UK, said: ‘We know that cannabinoids – the active chemicals found in cannabis – can have a range of different effects on cancer cells grown in the lab and animal tumours.’ ‘Cancer Research UK is supporting clinical trials for treating cancer with cannabinoid-based drugs in order to gather solid data on whether they benefit people with cancer.’
Seen as a major asthma breakthrough, scientists find root cause of the condition – and hope to devise a new treatment in less than 5 years
Scientists say they have found the root cause of asthma, a breakthrough which probably would lead to a new treatment within five years. Around 95% of asthma sufferers are able to regulate their symptoms with inhalers, but the remaining 5% do not respond to any treatment. Now scientists have discovered a protein within the airways which they suspect activates all asthma attacks.
Intrestingly, a drug already exists which they believe could deactivate the protein. It raises hope that the new treatment may be effective for any asthma patient. The drug worked fine in mice and in human tissue samples in the laboratory, the team said. They have now designed the first clinical trials, which will hopefully begin within 2 years. Lead investigator Professor Daniela Riccardi said: ‘Our findings are incredibly exciting.’
Professor Riccardi made this discovery accidentally when she switched from the study of osteoporosis to the study of the lungs five years ago. She noticed that a protein that triggers the growth of calcium within bones also plays a role in the airways. Further tests showed that asthmatics had far higher levels of the protein – called a calcium sensing receptor or CaSR – than healthy people.
When an asthmatic breathes in triggers like dust, smoke, or pollen, the CaSR molecules provoke the rapid rise of calcium level within the cells of the lung tissue. As a result the cells contract, in turn making the airways spasm, triggering an asthma attack.
Professor Riccardi said: ‘For the first time we have found a link between airways inflammation, which can be caused by environmental triggers – such as allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes – and airways twitchiness in allergic asthma.’ ‘It makes the cells much more sensitive to the asthma triggers – which then make an attack much more likely.’
As a drug already exists which can deactivate the CaSR protein, it could be available to patients as soon as clinical trials are over. The medication – called a calcilytic – was developed 15 years ago to knock out the same protein in osteoporosis. It was a safe drug, nonetheless, was found to be ineffective for osteoporosis patients. But tests done on mice and human tissue showed it’s potent as an asthma treatment.
The team of scientists from King’s College London and the Mayo Clinic in the US, plan to use the drug in a nebuliser. That way it will be turned into a mist and breathed straight into the lungs. Scientists believe the drug will also help tackle chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD – and chronic bronchitis, for which there is currently no effective treatment.
Prof Riccardi said: ‘If we can prove that calcilytics are safe when administered directly to the lung in people, then in five years we could be in a position to treat patients and potentially stop asthma from happening in the first place.’