Dec 05
Medicinal cannabis trial for chemotherapy begins recruiting patients at Orange Health Service

​Patients from Orange Health Service's Central West Cancer Care Centre will have the opportunity to take part in a world-first medicinal cannabis trial for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

More than 50 per cent of patients receiving common breast and bowel cancer chemotherapy treatment experience significant nausea, with more than one-third experiencing vomiting.

The first stage of the trial will involve 80 patients at several cancer care centres in NSW, including Orange Health Service, and could expand to another 250 patients.

Orange Health Service General Manager Catherine Nowlan said she was very proud to have Orange Health Service participate in the clinical trial.

“This is a very exciting and significant opportunity for Orange Health Service – it is the largest and most definitive trial ever conducted in the world of a plant-derived cannabis medicine for the prevention of nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients," Ms Nowlan said.

NSW is at the forefront of high-quality research into the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis products. This trial is part of the NSW Government's $21 million commitment to medicinal cannabis clinical trials in several key areas as well as associated reforms.

Associate Professor Peter Grimison from Chris O'Brien Lifehouse in Sydney will lead the trial in association with The University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and leading NSW cancer centres.

Medical Oncologist and Principal Investigator for the clinical trial in Orange, Dr Peter Fox said there was very limited high-quality research available on the role of cannabis-derived medicines in treating nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.

“We have come a long way with conventional anti-nausea medication, but one-third of patients continue to suffer from uncomfortable side effects during and after chemotherapy, so we are not quite there yet," Dr Fox said.

“The role of cannabis medicines in alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting is still unclear, and this study aims to provide a definitive answer to this question."

The trial will be using an oral plant-derived, pharmaceutical-grade capsule containing consistent amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). The capsule is the first of its kind in the world and is developed and supplied by Canadian company, Tilray.

Orange Health Service would like to thank the Cancer Care Western NSW Board for their support in the development of the clinical trials service at Orange and acknowledge their contribution in making this clinical trial possible.

For more information on the chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting trial please refer to https://www.medicinalcannabis.nsw.gov.au/clinical-trials/chemotherapy-trial

Media enquiries: Brendan Williams, Media Manager, Western NSW Local Health District via brendan.williams@health.nsw.gov.au