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Circadian rhythms and new options for novel anticancer therapies

Authors Prosenc Zmrzljak U

Received 27 September 2014

Accepted for publication 10 November 2014

Published 5 January 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 1—13


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Marc Hébert

Ursula Prosenc Zmrzljak

Faculty of Medicine, Center for Functional Genomics and Bio-Chips, Institute of Biochemistry, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: The patterns of activity/sleep, eating/fasting, etc show that our lives are under the control of an internal clock. Cancer is a systemic disease that affects sleep, feeding, and metabolism. All these processes are regulated by the circadian clock on the one hand, but on the other hand, they can serve as signals to tighten up the patient's circadian clock by robust daily routine. Usually, anticancer treatments take place in hospitals, where the patient's daily rest/activity pattern is changed. However, it has been shown that oncology patients with a disturbed circadian clock have poorer survival outcomes. The administration of different anticancer therapies can disturb the circadian cycle, but many cases show that circadian rhythms in tumors are deregulated per se. This fact can be used to plan anticancer therapies in such a manner that they will be most effective in antitumor action, but least toxic for the surrounding healthy tissue. Metabolic processes are highly regulated to prevent waste of energy and to ensure sufficient detoxification; as a consequence, xenobiotic metabolism is under tight circadian control. This gives the rationale for planning the administration of anticancer therapies in a chronomodulated manner. We review some of the potentially useful clinical praxes of anticancer therapies and discuss different possible approaches to be used in drug development and design in the future.

Keywords: circadian rhythms, cancer, chronotherapy, detoxification metabolism

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