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Use of psilocybin in treating depression in cancer patients

Use of psilocybin in treating depression in cancer patients

Psychedelic therapy company Sunstone Therapies recently announced the launch of its first study investigating the use of multiple doses of psilocybin in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in cancer patients.

This phase 2 study, taking place at the Bill Richards Center for Healing at the Aquilino Cancer Center, aims to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of psilocybin in a therapeutic setting.

The Need for Effective Treatment for Emotional Distress in Cancer Patients

The emotional distress associated with cancer can be as overwhelming as the physical effects of the disease. Unfortunately, oncologists have few effective treatments to address this crucial aspect of the patient experience. This is why there has been renewed interest in the use of psychedelic-assisted therapy in recent years. Many studies have shown a positive impact of these therapies on symptoms of depression in cancer patients.

Objectives of the study:

The study conducted by Sunstone Therapies aims to expand knowledge on the use of psilocybin in the treatment of MDD in cancer patients. This two-part study will include up to 56 participants and will examine the effectiveness of two doses of 25 mg of psilocybin administered 9 to 10 weeks apart.

Part 1: Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

The first part of the study will consist of administering an initial dose of psilocybin in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled setting. This will evaluate the effect of psilocybin compared to a placebo and determine its potential effectiveness in treating MDD in cancer patients.

Part 2: Open-label study for non-responders

The second part of the study will take the form of an open-label study for patients who do not achieve remission of depression symptoms after the first dose of psilocybin. These patients will have the opportunity to receive a second dose of 25 mg psilocybin in a group setting.

Therapeutic supervision and support

All study participants will be accompanied by a study therapist during the first dosing sessions. Additionally, a second therapist will monitor sessions remotely via video feed. This approach ensures that participants receive therapeutic support throughout the study.

Unique Contributions of Sunstone Therapies

Sunstone Therapies is a company engaged in clinical research into psychedelic-assisted therapy in cancer patients. Their experience in psychedelic modalities allows them to design innovative clinical trials. This new study on the use of multiple doses of psilocybin marks an important step forward in understanding the effectiveness of this therapy and how best to administer it.

Criteria for evaluating effectiveness

Evaluation of study effectiveness will be based on several criteria, including change in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) from study start to week 8. D Other secondary endpoints will include onset and durability of response, response and remission rate, and the effect of psilocybin on pain.

Video on the treatment of patients with depression, Radio Canada Montreal:

magic mushrooms are used for patients refractory to conventional treatments for depression, note that the use of psilocybin is supervised by doctors, psychotherapists:


Sunstone Therapies' study of using multiple doses of psilocybin to treat depression in cancer patients is a promising advance in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy. This research could help improve patients' quality of life and define best practices for the use of this potentially life-saving treatment modality.

READ: Jimmy Mohamed: Psilocybin Microdosing for Depression?


Q1: What is psilocybin?
A1: Psilocybin is a psychoactive compound found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, also known as magic mushrooms.

Q2: What is psychedelic-assisted therapy?
A2: Psychedelic-assisted therapy is a treatment approach that uses psychedelic substances under the supervision of a therapist to promote deep introspection and psychedelic experiences.

Q3: What is major depressive disorder (MDD)?
A3: Major depressive disorder is a severe form of depression characterized by persistent depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, and physical symptoms such as sleep and appetite disturbances.

Q4: What are other potential applications of psilocybin?
A4: In addition to treating depression in cancer patients, psilocybin is also being studied for its potential in treating disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction.

Q5: What are the potential side effects of psilocybin?
A5: Side effects of psilocybin may include hallucinations, perceptual disturbances, and mood changes. However, when used in an appropriate therapeutic setting and supervised by medical professionals, psilocybin is generally considered safe.

Q6: How important is this study for cancer patients?
A6: This study could open new treatment avenues for cancer patients by providing an effective treatment option for the emotional distress associated with the disease.

Q7: When will the results of this study be available?
A7: Study results will be available once all data has been analyzed and interpreted. It is important to conduct rigorous research to ensure reliable and meaningful results.

Q8: How will study participants be selected?
A8: Study participants will be selected based on specific criteria defined by the researchers, such as cancer diagnosis and presence of depressive symptoms. Participants must also meet certain health and safety conditions.

Q9: What are the recent advances in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy?
A9: In recent years, research into psychedelic-assisted therapy has seen significant growth, with numerous studies demonstrating its potential effectiveness in treating various mental and emotional disorders.

Q10: What are the prospects for the future of psychedelic-assisted therapy?
A10: As research continues to advance, it is possible that psychedelic-assisted therapy will become a more widely accepted and used treatment modality in the mental health field. However, further research and rigorous clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate its effectiveness and safety.

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