Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Lori Hensley

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Pemberton

Third Advisor

Dr. Chris Mortenson

Abstract

Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is a difficult type of cancer to treat because it is negative for progesterone, estrogen, and HER-2 receptors. Because TNBC is negative for these three receptors, it does not respond to normal hormonal therapies. The purpose of my experiment is to see if different cannabinoids, compounds from the cannabis plants, could be used as alternative treatment options. These experiments employed three different cannabinoids: ajulemic acid, cannabidiol, and hemp oil. Cell viability was measured after 72 hours of treatment using a MTT assay. The results showed that the three cannabinoids could be used to effectively destroy the TNBC cells. We used this data to calculate the median lethal dose (LD-50), the concentration of the cannabinoid that can be given to destroy half of the cells. Our data suggest, cannabinoids could potentially be used as an alternative treatment for TNBC. However, much more testing would need to be done before it could be confirmed as a viable treatment option.

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