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Sydney Cancer patients now have the chance to join a world-first medicinal cannabis trial

Matilda in the chemotherapy chair at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Camperdown. Cancer patients at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Camperdown now have the chance to join a world-first medicinal cannabis trial.

The clinical trial will involve 80 patients and, if successful, will expand to 250 patients in the next year.

The trial aims to ease side effects like nausea and vomit-ing caused by chemotherapy.

It will see patients take a daily tablet for six days after they receive chemotherapy treatment and will last for three rounds of treatment.

Matilda Kuvany-Deane, 21, hopes to be one of the first patients on the trial.

She has been receiving chemotherapy and radiation for soft tissue cancer in her face for almost six months.

Chemotherapy patient Matilda Kubany-Deane, 21, from Waterloo at the Chris OÕBrien Lifehouse, Camperdown. “The treatment is very up and down. One week I will be fine and other weeks are really depressing – but you’ve just got to hold it together,” Ms Kuvany Deane said. “I didn’t think the nausea would affect me as much as it has ... the medication I take to help doesn’t always work. “I feel very on edge ... like I can’t relax when I take it so I am pretty keen to be screened for this trial. I am hanging out for something like this,” she said. With one third of patients suffering from nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, Assoc Prof Peter Grimison of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse said he was really excited about the trial.

Max Dalton, 18, has epilepsy. He is taking part in a world first trial of a cannabis gel that can be rubbed into the arm like sunscreen to reduce seizures. “There have been no trials like this for cannabis to prevent nausea in Australia ... this is the largest trial in the world like this,” he said. “The drug is ... in a tablet rather than a spray. “This type of cannabis is formulated with less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) then other types and more Cannabidiol (CBD) it is a type of cannabis to make people feel relaxed and less anxious.”

Assistant cultivator Emily Errico examines cannabis plants grown by Vireo Health of New York Prof Grimison said they hoped to learn a lot from the trial. “We aim to find out two things — how well it works and what the side effects are.” If you are a patient who is interested in the trial contact your oncologist to be screened.

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