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Insights into Cancer: Medicinal Cannabis and Cancer 2019

Once a month, the Simms/Mann–UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology presents Insights Into Cancer, a free public lecture series for cancer patients, their families and the community. Each lecture features a leading professional who provides up-to-date information, practical advice and answers to cancer-related questions.

March 12, 2019

Medicinal Cannabis and Cancer: 2019

For at least 4,000 years, cannabis has been used for its medical properties by civilizations throughout the world, including the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Indian Hindus, Assyrians, Greeks, Persians, and Romans. For most of history, the effects of cannabis on the human body were little understood. Then, in the 1990’s, scientists discovered endocannabinoids, the natural cannabis-like molecules produced by the human body, and we learned that cannabis exhibited its effects, in part, by mimicking our endocannabinoids. We now know the endocannabinoid system is involved in a wide variety of processes, including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function

The cannabis plant produces cannabinoids, which have demonstrated a wide spectrum of potential therapeutic use. For example, synthetic THC (Marinol) is FDA approved for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and appetite and weight loss related to HIV/AIDS. In addition, early evidence has shown cannabinoids to have a range of effects that may be therapeutically useful, including antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-tumor, anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and sleep modulating effects.

In this lecture, Dr. Chen will address palliative care pain and symptom management, cannabinoid pharmacology, the short and long-term impacts of cannabis use on cognitive and psychological functioning, and potential impacts on the immune system. Dr. Lee Rosen will join him for the Q&A to answer questions about cannabis use for cancer patients.

Jeffrey Chen, M.D., M.B.A., is the Founder and Director of the UCLA Cannabinoid Affinity Group, comprised of over 40 multidisciplinary UCLA faculty. He is a graduate of the specialized dual degree M.D./M.B.A. program at UCLA. He has spent the past four years working at the intersection of academia, industry, nonprofit sector and government to accelerate cannabis research. He has been invited to speak on the topic of cannabis policy, science, and business at institutions ranging from the RAND Corporation to the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine to Senator Feinstein’s Office. Dr. Chen is a David Geffen Fellow, UCLA Wolfen Entrepreneurial Award Recipient, U.S. patent holder, and a published author in cancer research. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University.

Lee Rosen, M.D., F.A.C.P., is a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Director of the Drug Development Program and Co-Director, Outpatient Cancer Center Santa Monica He has a longstanding interest in the treatment of pancreas and other gastrointestinal malignancies, specifically in the area of new drug development. Dr. Rosen completed his residency and fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1996, joining the full-time faculty immediately thereafter. He created and directed the Cancer Therapy Development Program, designed to coordinate translational/clinical research of new cancer treatments.

6:45 – 7:00: Arrival & Refreshments
7:00 – 7:15: Kauser Ahmed, Ph.D, Introduction to Center
7:15 – 7:20: Kauser Ahmed, Ph.D., Speaker Introduction
7:20 – 8:55: Speaker Presentation, Q&A
8:55 – 9:00: Closing

Insights Into Cancer lectures are held in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium, B Level, Room B130, 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

UCLA parking is $12 and is wheelchair accessible. Attendees can park in the medical plaza, or take advantage of the valet parking at the front of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

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