Aug 12, 2019

Statement on medicinal cannabis - updated August 2019

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre (ONJ Centre) is a comprehensive cancer centre which has a commitment to providing the best available care to cancer patients and their families. We do this by offering cancer treatments, wellness and supportive care programs and access to clinical trials that evaluate new cancer therapies.

We recognise that many people with cancer, including our champion Olivia Newton-John, have reported beneficial effects from cannabis products. However, the current scientific evidence for the role of cannabis in the management of cancer and its symptoms remains undefined and uncertain, and for this reason cannabis is not routinely prescribed by physicians at the ONJ Centre. Patients should talk to their treating doctor if they have any questions or concerns.

We believe this is an important area for clinical research. We are in the final stages of planning our first cannabis clinical trial at the ONJ Centre so that the potential benefits of cannabis can be evaluated systematically. The trial is scheduled to open in the second half of 2019. We see this as an important contribution that we can make to emerging evidence base for the clinical value of cannabis products. 

Further announcements will be made as our program develops and we encourage those with an interest in this area of research to follow and support us through the ONJ Centre website and our social media.

Prof Jonathan Cebon, Divisional Medical Director, Cancer and Neurosciences, Austin Health and Medical Director, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute

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