2006 Dec;20(14):2633-5. Epub 2006 Oct 25.
Cannabinoid receptors as novel targets for the treatment of melanoma.
Melanoma causes the greatest number of skin cancer-related deaths worldwide. Despite intensive research, prevention and early detection are the only effective measures against melanoma, so new therapeutic strategies are necessary for the management of this devastating disease. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of cannabinoid receptor agonists, a new family of potential antitumoral compounds, at skin melanoma. Human melanomas and melanoma cell lines express CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. Activation of these receptors decreased growth, proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis, and increased apoptosis, of melanomas in mice. Cannabinoid antimelanoma activity was independent of the immune status of the animal, could be achieved without overt psychoactive effects and was selective for melanoma cells vs. normal melanocytes. Cannabinoid antiproliferative action on melanoma cells was due, at least in part, to cell cycle arrest at the G1-S transition via inhibition of the prosurvival protein Akt and hypophosphorylation of the pRb retinoblastoma protein tumor suppressor. These findings may contribute to the design of new chemotherapeutic strategies for the management of melanoma.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
- Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use*
- Cannabinoids/therapeutic use*
- Cell Cycle
- Cell Line, Tumor
- Gene Expression Regulation
- Melanocytes/drug effects
- Melanoma/drug therapy*
- Neovascularization, Pathologic/drug therapy
- Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1/genetics
- Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1/metabolism*
- Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2/genetics
- Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2/metabolism*