SILVER SPRING, M.D., Feb. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB:NVLX), an international biotechnology and clinical stage provider of natural products and cell and gene therapy solutions for the treatment of human diseases, announced today that the initial focus of its subsidiary, Medical Marijuana Sciences, Inc., is in the development of cancer treatments based on Delta-9-tetrahydocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), two naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in marijuana ( Cannabis sativa). The anticancer effect of cannabinoids was first shown in an animal model of lung cancer in 1975. Interest in the use of cannabinoids for cancer treatment was rekindled in the mid-1990s when the results of a study in animals indicated that THC decreased the incidence of liver cancers in mice and of benign tumors of the mammary glands, uterus, pituitary gland, testis, and pancreas in rats. Cannabinoids have also shown activity in the laboratory against glioma (a brain cancer), lymphoma, pancreatic, skin, breast, thyroid, colorectal, and prostate cancer cells. In an early phase clinical trial reported in 2006, THC was shown to be effective in slowing the growth of against glioma (specifically glioblastoma multiforme) cells when safe doses of the cannabinoid were administered. Cannabidiol (CBD) has also shown this growth-inhibitory activity against glioma cells in animals. In addition, cannabinoids have been shown to reduce the spreading or metastasis of tumors and the capability to inhibit the formation of new blood vessels required for tumor growth. Current studies indicate cannabinoids appear to kill cancer cells by binding to specific receptors on the surface of cells. Following this binding, cancer cells undergo a series of biochemical processes that ultimately lead to "programmed cell death," also known as apoptosis. Nuvilex's President and CEO, Dr. Robert Ryan, stated, "Cancer is one of the most feared diseases affecting mankind. Over the years, a substantial amount of information has appeared in the scientific literature illustrating the cancer-killing activity of naturally-occurring cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. Therefore, development of cancer treatments by our subsidiary, Medical Marijuana Sciences, Inc. based on such cannabinoids is a fruitful avenue to pursue in Nuvilex's effort to enhance the arsenal of treatments currently available for these devastating and deadly diseases."