This is the second post on chronotherapy, or timed treatments to decrease side effects and increase effectiveness. We are talking about giving a treatment at specific times during the day to achieve these effects, whether a medication, radiation, or chemotherapy.
So the body does different things during different times of the day. Drugs are handling differently, enzymes are more or less active, metabolic processes are turned on or shut down.
These effects make the body more or less able to handle treatments given at different times in the day.
Genes are the main control of this daily clock. The genes are turned on or off by the sun/dark cycle. They are called clock genes. The signals from the eye go to the brain and make a part of the brain ( the superchiasmatic nucleus) know which pathways to turn on or off. Day/night is the main control of the clock genes, but other things like eating has effects too.
A main cancer risk factor is problems (mutations) with the clock genes. This means clock gene problems increase cancer risk. Read more here.
The practicality of this is that if you are able to pin down when the best time to give a medication or have a treatment done, the side effects go way down, which means the dog will be able to handle a higher dose of the treatment. You want maximum chemo and radiation doses without toxic effects to the rest of the body. This is the main goal.
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Bigger doses mean more palliation (decrease in signs and symptoms). They also mean longer life expectancies. Finally, maybe we can even shoot for a cure with cancer that has spread in the body.
Here is a great example: cisplatin, common in chemotherapy for osteosarcomas and some carcinomas. Guess what? Cisplatin is way safer and more effective when given at night around 6 PM.
See for yourself. Here is a link to human cancer that showed it was true. Other drugs for human cancers were discussed in the publication. We are talking more responders, longer survival times, less metastasis, and lower side effects.
Want more? Here you go. This is a paper on rodents with cancers showing that doxorubicin (Adriamycin) was more effective when given at the end of the rat’s sleep cycle, which would be in the early morning for a dog. Doxorubicin is used in many dog cancers, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, other sarcomas, and some carcinomas.
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I was so flabbergasted with this data that I called the biggest name in American chronotherapy, Bill Hrushesky. This guy is a strait shooter who tells it like it is. He corroborated these general statements on cisplatin and doxorubicin (and has tons of publications, including the third above, to back up his expertise).
Anyway, take this info to your vet or oncologist. After researching, they will likely be scratching their heads like I did.
How could we have ignored this important point all this time???
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
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