RESEARCHERS DISCUSS PILOT STUDY ON HALLUCINOGENIC THERAPIES FOR CANCER ANXIETY | THE ASCO POST

An article in The ASCO Post, the online newsletter of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, discusses an important study sponsored by the Heffter Research Institute. Writer Ronald Piana describes the work of Heffter scientists Steven Ross, Anthony Bossis, and Jeffrey Guss, who are using psilocybin to treat cancer patients suffering from existential anxiety near the end of life. In the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, volunteers received the psychedelic substance along with therapy sessions in a comfortable and supportive environment.

“’I like to think of the psilocybin-assisted therapy as chemotherapy for the fear of cancer. Just as chemotherapy shrinks the tumor, psilocybin helps shrink the preoccupation with cancer in a way that allows the person underneath the disease to emerge,’ said Dr. Guss.

“He continued, ‘We try to help our patients enter a mystical experience during which they move away from a biographical narrative, opening up to a different level of consciousness where they can reconnect with unseen and unknown resources. And hope does seem to emerge when the tight narrative of being a cancer patient is released. It’s wonderful to watch some of the amazing ways patients respond to the therapy.’”

Researchers Discuss Pilot Study on Hallucinogenic Therapies for Cancer Anxiety | The ASCO Post