Oral cannabinoid-rich THC/CBD cannabis extract for secondary prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a study protocol for a pilot and definitive randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial (CannabisCINV)

BMJ Open. 2018 Sep 12;8(9):e020745. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020745.


Introduction: Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) remains an important issue for patients receiving chemotherapy despite guideline-consistent antiemetic therapy. Trials using delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol-rich (THC) products demonstrate limited antiemetic effect, significant adverse events and flawed study design. Trials using cannabidiol-rich (CBD) products demonstrate improved efficacy and psychological adverse event profile. No definitive trials have been conducted to support the use of cannabinoids for this indication, nor has the potential economic impact of incorporating such regimens into the Australian healthcare system been established. CannabisCINV aims to assess the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of adding TN-TC11M, an oral THC/CBD extract to guideline-consistent antiemetics in the secondary prevention of CINV.

Methods and analysis: The current multicentre, 1:1 randomised cross-over, placebo-controlled pilot study will recruit 80 adult patients with any malignancy, experiencing CINV during moderate to highly emetogenic chemotherapy despite guideline-consistent antiemetics. Patients receive oral TN-TC11M (THC 2.5mg/CBD 2.5 mg) capsules or placebo capsules three times a day on day -1 to day 5 of cycle A of chemotherapy, followed by the alternative drug regimen during cycle B of chemotherapy and the preferred drug regimen during cycle C. The primary endpoint is the proportion of subjects attaining a complete response to CINV. Secondary and tertiary endpoints include regimen tolerability, impact on quality of life and health system resource use. The primary assessment tool is patient diaries, which are filled from day -1 to day 5. A subsequent randomised placebo-controlled parallel phase III trial will recruit a further 250 patients.

Ethics and dissemination: The protocol was approved by ethics review committees for all participating sites. Results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific conferences.

Drug supply: Tilray.

Protocol version: 2.0, 9 June 2017.

Trial registration number: ANZCTR12616001036404; Pre-results.

Keywords: antiemetic; cannabidiol; cannabis; chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; randomized trial.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Cannabidiol / economics
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / economics
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dronabinol / economics
  • Dronabinol / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Nausea / chemically induced
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Phytotherapy* / economics
  • Pilot Projects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Secondary Prevention*
  • Vomiting / chemically induced
  • Vomiting / prevention & control*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists
  • Drug Combinations
  • TN-TC11M
  • Cannabidiol
  • Dronabinol

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ANZCTR12616001036404