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Current Drug Metabolism


ISSN (Print): 1389-2002
ISSN (Online): 1875-5453


Circadian Timekeeping in Anticancer Therapeutics: An Emerging Vista of Chronopharmacology Research

Author(s): Alekhya Puppala, Sourbh Rankawat and Sandipan Ray*

Volume 22, Issue 13, 2021

Published on: 07 December, 2021

Page: [998 - 1008] Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1389200222666211119103422


Background: Intrinsic rhythms in host and cancer cells play an imperative role in tumorigenesis and anticancer therapy. Circadian medicine in cancer is principally reliant on the control of growth and development of cancer cells or tissues by targeting the molecular clock and implementing time-of-day-based anticancer treatments for therapeutic improvements. In recent years, based on extensive high-throughput studies, we witnessed the arrival of several drugs and drug-like compounds that can modulate circadian timekeeping for therapeutic gain in cancer management.

Objective: This perspective article intends to illustrate the current trends in circadian medicine in cancer, focusing on clock-modulating pharmacological compounds and circadian regulation of anticancer drug metabolism and efficacy.

Scope and Approach: Considering the critical roles of the circadian clock in metabolism, cell signaling, and apoptosis, chronopharmacology research is exceedingly enlightening for understanding cancer biology and improving anticancer therapeutics. In addition to reviewing the relevant literature, we investigated the rhythmic expression of molecular targets for many anticancer drugs frequently used to treat different cancer types.

Key Findings and Conclusion: There are adequate empirical pieces of evidence supporting circadian regulation of drug metabolism, transport, and detoxification. Administration of anticancer drugs at specific dosing times can improve their effectiveness and reduce the toxic effects. Moreover, pharmacological modulators of the circadian clock could be used for targeted anticancer therapeutics such as boosting circadian rhythms in the host can markedly reduce the growth and viability of tumors. All in all, precision chronomedicine can offer multiple advantages over conventional anticancer therapy.

Keywords: Anticancer therapeutics, cancer, chronomedicine, circadian rhythms, clock-modulating compounds, dosing time-dependency, drug metabolism, metabolic oscillators.

Graphical Abstract

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