Scientist - California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
Sean D. McAllister, PhD
Discovery and early development of non-psychotropic cannabinoids, novel cannabinoid analogs, and drug combinations to treat breast cancer and brain gliomas
The McAllister lab focuses on the endocannabinoid system and how it controls cell growth and programmed cell death, particularly in aggressive cancers.
He and colleagues have combined CB1 and CB2 (cloned cannabinoid receptor) agonists with non-psychotropic cannabinoids, to synergistically increase their anticancer effects in cell lines and animal models.
The non-toxic and non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion through differential modulation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathways. Both pathways lead to down-regulation of Id-1 expression implicated in aggressive or metastatic cancers of the breast and brain.
Ongoing collaboration with CPMCRI investigator Dr. Pierre Desprez is further exploring how CBD regulates the expression of Id-1 genes and proteins in breast, brain and other cancers, and how the cannabis compounds may be combined with other treatments for several tumor types—which may lead to more effective cancer therapies.
Dr. McAllister earned his bachelor's degree in Biology and his doctoral degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. McAllister's doctoral research focused on the interactions of cannabinoids with their endogenous receptors. He completed postdoctoral training at the Forbes Norris Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Research Center.
Publications by Sean D. McAllister, PhD Opens new window in PubMed.
Representative publications include:
- Ward SJ, McAllister SD, Neelakantan H, Walker EA. Cannabidiol inhibits paclitaxel-induced neuropathic pain through 5-HT1A receptors without diminishing nervous system function or chemotherapy efficacy. British Journal of Pharmacology 2013. Oct 4.
- Soroceanu L, Murase R, Limbad C, Singer E, Allison J, Adrados I, Kawamura R, Pakdel A, Fukuyo Y, Nguyen D, Khan S, Arauz R, Yount GL, Moore DH, Desprez PY, and McAllister SD. Id-1 is a key transcriptional regulator of glioblastoma aggressiveness and a novel therapeutic target. Cancer Research 2013;73(5):1559-69.
- Sumida T, Murase R., Onishi-Ishikawa A., McAllister SD, Hamakawa H., Desprez PY. Targeting Id1 reduces proliferation and invasion in aggressive human salivary gland cancer cells. BMC Cancer 2013;13:141.
- Baillie GL, Horswill JG, Anavi-Goffer S, Reggio PH, Bolognini D, Abood ME, McAllister SD, Strange PG, Stephens GJ, Pertwee RG, Ross RA. CB1 receptor allosteric modulators display both agonist and signaling pathway specificity. Molecular Pharmacology 2013;83(2):322-38.
- Soroceanu L, Murase R, Limbad C, Singer EL, Allison J, Adrados I, Kawamura R, Pakdel A, Fukuyo Y, Nguyen D, Khan S, Arauz R, Yount GL, Moore D, Desprez PY, McAllister SD. Id-1 is a Key Transcriptional Regulator of Glioblastoma Aggressiveness and a Novel Therapeutic Target. Cancer Res. 2012 Dec 13.
- Gemma L. Baillie, James G. Horswill, Sharon Anavi-Goffer, Patricia H., Reggio, Danielle Bolognini, Mary E. Abood, Sean McAllister, Phillip G. Strange, Gary J. Stephens, Roger G. Pertwee & Ruth A. Ross. CB1 Receptor Allosteric Modulators Display Both Agonist and Signalling Pathway Specificity-Mol Pharm 2012.
- McAllister SD, Murase R, Christian RT, Lau D, Zielinski AJ, Allison J, Almanza C, Pakdel A, Lee J, Limbad C, Liu Y, Debs RJ, Moore DH, Desprez PY. Pathways mediating the effects of cannabidiol on the reduction of breast cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug;129(1):37-47.
Visit www.cpmcri-currents.org for the latest news about Dr. McAllister's research.
Recent research on cannabidiol inhibiting breast cancer and clinical trials with cannabinoids