Cannabidiol enhances cytotoxicity of anti-cancer drugs in human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Sci Rep. 2020 11 26 ;10(1):20622. Epub 2020 Nov 26. PMID: 33244087
Yoon Young Go
Cannabidiol (CBD) has anti-tumorigenic activity. However, the anti-cancer effect of CBD on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains unclear. The cytotoxicity of CBD on HNSCC was analyzed using cell survival and colony-forming assays in vitro. RNA-seq was used for determining the mechanism underlying CBD-induced cell death. Xenograft mouse models were used to determine CBD's effects in vivo. CBD treatment significantly reduced migration/invasion and viability of HNSCC cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. HNSCC mouse xenograft models revealed anti-tumor effects of CBD. Furthermore, combinational treatment with CBD enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs. Apoptosis and autophagy processes were involved in CBD-induced cytotoxicity of HNSCCs. RNA-seq identified decreased expression of genes associated with DNA repair, cell division, and cell proliferation, which were involved in CBD-mediated cytotoxicity toward HNSCCs. We identified CBD as a new potential anti-cancer compound for single or combination therapy of HNSCC.