Cervical cancer (CC) is the fourth most diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. Conventional treatments include surgery, chemo- and radiotherapy, however these are invasive and may cause severe side effects. Furthermore, approximately 70% of late-stage CC patients experience metastasis, due to treatment resistance and limitations. Thus, there is a dire need to investigate alternative therapeutic combination therapies. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an alternative CC treatment modality that has been clinically proven to treat primary CC, as well as to limit secondary metastasis. Since PDT is a non-invasive localized treatment, with fewer side effects and lessened resistance to dose repeats, it is considered far more advantageous. However, more clinical trials are required to refine its delivery and dosing, as well as improve its ability to activate specific immune responses to eradicate secondary CC spread. Cannabidiol (CBD) isolates have been shown to exert in vitro CC anticancer effects, causing apoptosis post treatment, as well as inducing specific immune responses, which obstruct tumor invasion and angiogenesis, and so hinder CC metastatic spread. This review paper discusses the current conventional and alternative PDT treatment modalities for CC, as well as their limitations over the last 10 years. It has a particular focus on the combinative administration of CBD with these treatments in order to prevent CC secondary migration and so possibly encourage future research studies to focus on this synergistic effect to eradicate CC.
Keywords: cancer treatment; cannabidiol; cannabis; cervical cancer; photodynamic therapy.