A patient with advanced colon cancer has successfully completed a chronomodulated chemotherapy, and has been discharged with an uneventful hospital stay from the United Hospital, making it the first such chemotherapy to be conducted in Bangladesh, says a press release.
Chronomodulated chemotherapy means time-controlled chemotherapy. There are few specific 'clock-related' genes in our brainstems that control our time-dependent biological functions including sleeping and eating patterns, heart rate, body temperature etc. Similarly, cancer cells also divide and rest at different times of any given day. In chronomodulated chemotherapy, the chemotherapy drugs are administered at the specific time when cancer cells divide making the cells more vulnerable to cell death. This is beneficial for healthy cells which are at rest as they are then least sensitive to toxicity from chemotherapy.
Dr Ashim Kumar Sen Gupta, Consultant of Oncology at the United Hospital says this special type of time-controlled chemotherapy administration improves treatment tolerance, and also can improve treatment response and survival. This can be given to patients who previously needed to discontinue a chemotherapy protocol – either because it was ineffective or it was too debilitating for the patient to tolerate.
In case of metastatic colon cancer or advanced metastatic ovarian cancer, studies show that administering chemotherapy at the optimal time can halve toxicity and double treatment response.