McAllister Lab

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Glioblastoma progression in mouse models of brain cancer, after treatment with CBD
Cannabidiol inhibits tumor (glioblastoma) progression in mouse models of brain cancer. Mice bearing human brain tumors derived from glioblastoma were treated with the naturally occurring cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD).

A growing body of research suggests that non-psychotropic cannabinoid compounds, found in the Cannabis plant, are effective antitumor agents in multiple pre-clinical models of aggressive cancers. Our lab discovered that the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), inhibits breast cancer metastasis by reducing the expression of the gene Id-1—known to play a key role in controlling the aggressiveness of multiple types of cancer.

The McAllister lab focuses on the endocannabinoid system and how it controls cell growth, survival, invasion and metastasis, particularly in aggressive cancers.  We are investigating the potential for CBD and other cannabinoids to inhibit metastatic breast cancer and brain gliomas. Our team recently discovered that a synergistic increase in the antitumor activity of cannabinoids can be produced by combination treatments using specific plant cannabinoids and first-line agents.

Based on this work, clinical trials are being proposed. We are also developing cannabinoid analogs that co-target two distinct cannabinoid antitumor pathways. This new class of compound inhibits advanced stages of cancer, and significantly increases survival in preclinical models.

Source for the image shown above: Soroceanu L, Murase R, Limbad C... et al, and McAllister SD. Id-1 is a key transcriptional regulator of glioblastoma aggressiveness and a novel therapeutic target. Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 1;73(5):1559-69. (Adapted from Figure 7)


Lead Investigator
Lab Members
Eric Singer
Research Technician
Jennifer Tran
Research Volunteer
Ari Nazarian
Research Volunteer


Current Projects
  • CPMCRI's Cancer Avatar Project
  • Understanding the mechanisms involved in cannabinoid control of cancer progression
  • Discovery and early development of non-psychotropic cannabinoid anti-tumor agents
  • Development of novel cannabinoid analogs and cannabinoid delivery systems
  • Drug combination therapies to treat breast cancer and brain gliomas