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David Meiri, PhD

David Meiri, PhD

Grant Status
Active

Institution
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Grant Type
Project Grant

Project Title
Antitumoral Effects of a Distinct Combination of Cannabinoids via Notch1 Pathway in T-ALL

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Blood Cancers, Cannabinoids


About the Investigator:

Dr. Meiri’s laboratory investigates the vast therapeutic potential of naturally-occurring cannabinoids and other bioactive components in various cannabis species. He received his BSc and MSc degrees from Tel Aviv University, where he obtained a PhD in Plant Sciences before turning his focus to cancer research as postdoctoral fellow in the University Health Care Network, Canada. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at the Technion.

About the Research:

Cannabis is already being used by cancer patients, primarily as palliative care to alleviate pain and stimulate appetite while preventing nausea and vomiting. Recently, phytocannabinoids, the unique active compounds of the cannabis plant, have been shown to have therapeutic potential, and accumulating pre-clinal and clinical data suggest the right plant components can actually exert antitumoral effects on specific tumors.

The goal of this project is to identify phytocannabinoids active against T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Dr. Meiri’s team has recently identified a specific cannabis extract that kills T cell leukemia cells in which mutation of the Notch1 oncogene promotes cell proliferation, as occurs in more than half of all cases of adult T-AL. Building on those results, they have isolated three unique phytocannabinoid compounds that, when co-administered, synergistically replicate this effect. They now proposed to optimize therapy of T-ALL with these combined phytocannabinoids, by examining the efficacy and safety of treatment. They will also learn how these compounds affect the Notch signaling pathway, which is dysregulated in a number of cancer types, in experiments that will pave the way for the establishment of a new drug therapy for the treatment of Notch-dependent cancers.

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