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Cancer Answers is hosted by Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Francine Foss, Professor of Medical Oncology. The show features a guest cancer specialist who will share the most recent advances in cancer therapy and respond to listeners questions. Myths, facts and advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment are discussed, with a different focus eachweek. Nationally acclaimed specialists in various types of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment discuss common misconceptions about the disease and respond to questions from the community.Listeners can submit questions to be answered on the program at canceranswers@yale.edu or by leaving a message at (888) 234-4YCC. As a resource, archived programs from 2006 through the present are available in both audio and written versions on the Yale Cancer Center website.

Connecticut Study Hopes For Answers On Medical Marijuana

Ryan Caron King
Connecticut Public Radio

A groundbreaking study in Connecticut is set to focus on the effects of medical marijuana.

The federal Food and Drug Administration has given the Yale School of Medicine and medical marijuana supplier CT Pharma approval to begin a human drug trial that will study the effectiveness of marijuana-based medicine. 

Yale University School of Medicine’s Dr. Rajita Sinha is the lead investigator for the clinical trial. She hopes the results will yield true scientific answers to a host of questions about medical marijuana.

“How does it work, who does it work for, and what doses do you need?” she said during a news conference about the trial. “Which symptoms can be alleviated, and is there a need for refinement? There are so many questions.”

Sinha said the study will focus on the effectiveness of cannabinoid medicine at alleviating stress and pain symptoms.

The trial will be the first of its kind on human subjects, according to CT Pharma, based in Portland, Connecticut. Researchers will use a double-blind, placebo controlled method, in which one group will be given an oral tablet of medical marijuana provided by CT Pharma, while the other group will receive a placebo.

CT Pharma board chair Michael Fedele told reporters he hopes the study will yield the first FDA-approved marijuana-based medicine to be manufactured in the United States.

“Right now, a company in England has the only FDA-approved, plant-based medical marijuana product in our market,” he said. “That really shouldn’t be the case with respect to American companies.”

Cori Alicea has stage 4 glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. She has been a medical marijuana patient since 2014 and said she welcomes the study.

“It has helped me with every physical ability that I have,” she said. “My right side was completely numb from having the seizures and the surgeries. This medicine has made it so I’m able to live my daily life. It’s exciting to see all of the progress, and I just hope to help others.”

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”

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