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Can Chronotherapy Extend its Scope to Treat Cancer?

Circadian clock regulates cell functioning

Besides the mechanized clock that sets our day to day schedule, we also have a circadian clock inside our body that influences our behavioral and physiological patterns. This clock enables us to pace ourselves with the immediate environment. There are certain circadian genes (controlled by the body clock) in our body that regulate everything like sleeping, digestive secretion, hormone production and immune activity in a way so that they happen at a time that is most favorable for our body.  A disruption in the circadian rhythm can lead to sleep disorders like delayed sleep phase syndrome. Chronotherapy has been found to be an effective cure to reset the circadian rhythm. But off late it has been found that the therapy can also be made use of to treat cancer patients. How? Well, let’s see.

How does Chronotherapy Treat Cancer?

The scope of the circadian clock also extends to the cellular functioning of our body. The circadian genes are associated with key regulators of cell cycle. Therefore disruption in circadian rhythm can also turn the cell cycle faulty. This may be the root cause of cancer development.  It has been found that the chances of survival rate can be increased in a patient if he is made to adhere to the strict daily routines. Thus monitoring the circadian rhythm could be an effective prognostic and therapeutic tool. The job of an anti-cancer drug is to target the cancer cells and not to interfere with normal cells. This is called the therapeutic index. However, no such mechanism could be invented till date that can stop these drugs from interacting with the normal cells. It has been found that cancer chronotherapy can increase the therapeutic index. Cancer chronotherapy is a little different from the usual chronotherapy that postpones our sleeping  hours to reset our circadian rhythm. The principle that lies behind this therapeutic procedure is that the normal cells do not follow the same circadian rhythm as the cancerous ones. The phases of cell cycle in the normal cell at various times of the day can be determined.   The drug will be given when blood flow is maximum to the affected cells and minimum to the normal cells. This will increase cytotoxiyty.


How Effective is Cancer Chronotherapy?

Cancer chronothearpy is effective as a cancer cure

It is being practiced widely to treat patients of cancer. Through urinary and saliva sample the patients’ circadian chart is mapped. They are given drugs or chemotherapy when the tumor temperature is at the peak. However, many experts who stand by the principle of hemeostasis are not quite concurrent to the effectiveness of chronotherapy for cancer. They believe that the cells have an innate tendency to adjust to the physiological process, which makes the need of chronotherapy largely speculative. However, there are people who also have staunch faith on its usefulness and believe that it can cure other lethal diseases due to its clear underlying principle.

Final Words on Cancer Chronotherapy Therapy

I hope this article on cancer chronotherapy was useful and wish that all patients will experience positive outcome from this oncological treatment.