Timing of Chemotherapy Treatment For Cancer Can Affect Efficacy, Study Shows

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According to a new study from Switzerland, administering chemotherapy drugs at different times of day can affect their effectiveness against cancer. The research suggests that personalized treatments could be developed for cancer patients based on the timing of their chemotherapy. This also has an impact on tumor growth study and diagnosis.

Circadian rhythm linked to cancer progression

The circadian rhythm orchestrates cells’ behavioral, biochemical, and physiological functions as per 24-hour cycles. It is important to note that the rhythms not only do they govern sleep schedules but also impact disease development. According to the study authors, the circadian rhythm controls cellular functions responsible for cancer progression, and as a result, its exploitation opens a promising path in the prevention of metastasis.

The ultimate goal of cancer research is to halt the spread, or metastasis, of the disease, which would transform it from a terminal illness to a chronic one. Human circadian rhythms are critical in synchronizing gene expression, cell repair, and immune function. However, irregular sleep patterns, working night shifts, or jet lag have been associated with severe health conditions, such as cancer.

They could also fuel cell migration resulting in secondary tumor formation, which is fatal to patients. For this process to occur, the cells must detach from the primary tumor, flow through the bloodstream, and invade another organ.

Different cancers have different times of spread

Research suggests that certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, are more likely to spread during sleep, while other cancers, such as multiple myeloma and prostate cancer, have different peak times of spread during the day. By using this information, doctors could start treatment at the most effective time, a technique known as chronotherapy.

The study suggests that using chronotherapy to treat cancer based on circadian rhythms can be an effective intervention strategy. Chronotherapy has been found to improve treatment outcomes and reduce patient side effects. For example, in a recent study, administering immunotherapeutic drugs before 4:30 pm resulted in higher survival rates for melanoma patients than those treated later in the day.

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