Psychedelic trips aid cancer patients in study

April 23, 2010 4:41:07 AM PDT
Researchers are studying the use of hallucinogenic drugs to treat conditions like cancer anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The head of a New York University study says, so far, participants have less general anxiety and fear of death, and greater acceptance of the dying process -- with no major side effects.

The research involves the use of drugs like LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy) and psilocybin, the main ingredient of "magic mushrooms." The work follows lines of research choked off four decades ago by the war on drugs. The research is still preliminary.

Finding study financing is difficult, with one researcher saying government funders are "leery" and drug companies not interested in the compounds they can't patent.