Monday, June 2, 2008

Marijuana Chemical Cannabidiol Halts Spread of Breast Cancer Tumors

A non-psychoactive chemical that occurs naturally in the marijuana plant may prevent breast cancer from spreading, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Researchers found that a chemical called cannabidiol (CBD) affects the activity of a gene known as Id-1 in patients with hormone-independent breast cancer. In embryos, Id-1 is responsible for helping cells grow and spread, but is supposed to remain inactive in adults. In human adults, it is found only in metastatic cancer cells, or cancer cells that are spreading throughout the body.

"When [the Id-1 genes] wake up, they are very bad," said senior researcher Pierre Yves-Desprez. "They push the cells to behave like embryonic cells and grow. They go crazy, they proliferate, they migrate."

According to Desprez, shutting off the activity of Id-1 can make cancer far less lethal. Tumors, Desprez says, can be "removed easily by surgery," but if the cancer is spreading then the disease becomes much more difficult to contain.

"[Id-1 is like] an [orchestra] conductor," Desprez said. "If you shoot the violinist, the orchestra just continues to play."

"In this case, you shoot the conductor, and the whole orchestra is going to stop," he said.

Because CBD occurs in only very small quantities in the cannabis plant, the researchers do not recommend smoking marijuana as a cancer treatment. To be effective, CBD will either have to be artificially synthesized or extracted and concentrated.

The chemical's major advantage, according to the researchers, is its apparent non-toxicity.

"Right now we have a limited range of options in treating aggressive forms of cancer," co-author Sean D. McAllister said. "Those treatments, such as chemotherapy, can be effective but they can also be extremely toxic and difficult for patients. This compound offers the hope of a non-toxic therapy that could achieve the same results without any of the painful side effects."

The researchers also expressed hope that CBD will also prove effective against other cancers that rely on Id-1, including brain, colon and prostate cancer.
Marijuana Chemical Cannabidiol Halts Spread of Breast Cancer Tumors

NYSE Arca Morning Update

Stocks trading on NYSE Arca at a price more than 15% away from the previous trade day's consolidated close price. (As of 08:30:00 ET)

Friday's Close Current Price Pct Chng Current NYSE Arca Vol





10 Most Active stocks on NYSE Arca as of 08:30:00 ET

Based on Dollar Volume: Based on Share Volume:
Dollar Volume
Share Volume

NYSE Arca Morning Update

Pre Market Movers

Acorda Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ACOR) shares are up 18% on news of positive drug trials.

GM (NYSEGM) is up over 4% after a positive article in Barrons'.

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) is up almost 4% on news that one of it cancer drugs has new applications.

Harris Bank (NYSE:HRS) is up 3% on comments by its CEO that the bank is not for sale.

Wachovia (NYSE:WB) is off over 3% on news that it has fired its CEO.

Posts from the Before The Bell Category at BloggingStocks

Opening View: Toyota Motor Could Slash U.S. Outlook, General Motors Rises

Checking in on currencies and commodities, the dollar is on the rise once again this morning, with the U.S. Dollar Index up 0.17% at 73. Meanwhile, gold futures are also trading higher, with the August contract up $1.70 at $893.50. Finally, crude futures are off sharply in electronic trading, with the July contract down $1.39 at $125.98 per barrel.

Turning to equities, data released at this weekend's annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology revealed that ImClone's ( IMCL: View sentiment for IMCLsentiment, chart, options) Erbitux drug doesn't get a response in some colorectal cancer patients and that adding it to Genentech's (DNA: View sentiment for DNAsentiment, chart, options) Avastin also doesn't help colorectal cancer patients. Elsewhere, Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR: View sentiment for ACORsentiment, chart, options) shares climbed nearly 30% in electronic trading after a positive Phase III trial of a multiple sclerosis drug.

In automaker news, Toyota Motor (TM: View sentiment for TMsentiment, chart, options) is reportedly considering lowering its U.S. sales forecast due to a worsening outlook for pickup trucks and SUVs, according to the Financial Times. Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota's president, told the Times that while the company hoped to make up for the lost truck and SUV sales this year by selling more smaller cars, he was "not sure" this would be enough to offset the drop in large vehicle sales. "As of now we haven't changed our original annual plan yet, but we may have to scale back," Watanabe said.

Shares of Toyota competitor and Detroit darling, General Motors (GM: View sentiment for GMsentiment, chart, options) rose in pre-market trading after a Barron's article postulated that the stock could rise to $30 per share or even $45 once big cost reductions lift earnings in 2010. "And if the stars align perfectly -- the economy enjoys a second-half uptick and the housing market and consumer confidence turn for the better sooner than expected -- the stock's rebound could be quicker. Even a small improvement in sentiment could bring a disproportionate rise in the stock," the article said.

Opening View: Toyota Motor Could Slash U.S. Outlook, General Motors Rises

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Advanced

Active Share Volume Declined


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.
$21.56 $26.50 22.91% 277,004

Extreme Networks, Inc.
$3.25 $3.45 6.15% 3,500

Capstone Turbine Corporation
$3.76 $3.95 5.05% 109,927

Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
$3.96 $4.08 3.03% 3,800

Golar LNG Limited
$18.37 $18.82 2.45% 5,000

Fuqi International, Inc.
$11.28 $11.50 1.95% 3,200

Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.
$2.52 $2.54 0.79% 14,906

Yahoo! Inc.
$26.76 $26.85 0.34% 12,108

Intel Corporation
$23.18 $23.19 0.04% 53,700

NVIDIA Corporation
$24.70 $24.71 0.04% 5,110

As of 6/2/2008 8:17:10 AM

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Declined

Active Share Volume Advanced


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


ImClone Systems Incorporated
$43.58 $40.85 6.26% 114,924

Shire Limited
$51.56 $49.73 3.55% 55,000

First Solar, Inc.
$267.54 $259.90 2.86% 49,857

ASML Holding N.V.
$29.96 $29.28 2.27% 106,690

JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd.
$21.27 $20.83 2.07% 12,416

LM Ericsson Telephone Company
$27.04 $26.49 2.03% 25,625

Logitech International S.A.
$32.93 $32.35 1.76% 27,900

Randgold Resources Limited
$42.40 $41.67 1.72% 4,700

Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
$22.80 $22.44 1.58% 7,265

SunPower Corporation
$81.84 $80.81 1.26% 10,100

As of 6/2/2008 8:17:18 AM

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

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