A little-known ingredient in some popular cancer-fighting cosmetics and creams has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
The ingredient, cashew-based anti-cancer cream, is made by the Japanese company J-Lab and has been available in cosmetic stores for about a year.
But now a new study by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) suggests that its presence may be responsible for a much higher risk of developing cancer in some patients.
“The most important question here is how much is too much,” said Dr. Mark Stauffer, director of BCH’s Center for Health Policy and Innovation.
“I’m not sure how much to add, but we need to be careful.”
“Cannabinoids are very similar to the psychoactive compounds in marijuana,” Staufer said.
“They’re both highly addictive and can produce a high if abused.
So there is an association between THC and cancer.
And the link between marijuana and cancer is very well established.
So it’s hard to say whether or not there’s a direct link to cannabis.”‘
I didn’t know this stuff existed’ The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 819 patients who had been given the anti-inflammatory cream between June 2015 and March 2016.
The researchers compared their symptoms, including the number of headaches, dizziness, muscle spasms, nausea, and fatigue to a control group of people without the cream.
“The most surprising finding was that in those who had received the cream, their cancer rates went up more than 50% over the control group,” Stieffer said.
For patients with multiple tumors, the overall cancer rate was slightly higher, at 6.7%, but the more than half a percent increase in cancer in the cannabis group was not statistically significant.
“We are not looking at any relationship between the cream and cancer, but there is a very strong correlation between the two,” Stierf said.
Dr. Daniela Mazzucato, a senior research associate at BCH, said the findings have some “significant implications for the way we think about this product.”
“I think there are patients who are going to be very interested in this because of its potential to help them reduce the number and severity of their symptoms,” Mazzucci said.
The study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).