Chemotherapy & Your Personal Biological Clock

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As a person being treated for cancer, almost every chemotherapy drug you receive has an optimal time for being administered. That time is when the drug will be most effective in fighting cancer cells and least toxic to healthy cells.

The optimal time is not an arbitrary hour or when there just happens to be an opening in a hospital’s chemotherapy appointments schedule.

Chronotherapy is defined as the coordination of biological rhythms with medical treatment. Where chemotherapy is concerned, chronotherapy, or chronomodulated chemotherapy, means administering your treatments and drugs at times that are synchronized with your personal biological rhythms. The schedule for the release of your medication is based on the biological uniqueness of the drug being given, the time when specific cancer cells divide and are more vulnerable to cell death, and the time when healthy cells are at rest and least sensitive to toxicity from chemotherapy.

While chronomodulated chemotherapy is not appropriate for every person or type of cancer, its use in treating metastatic colon cancer, for example, has been shown to reduce side effects, significantly increase treatment response, and allow patients who previously couldn’t tolerate conventional chemotherapy to get and continue chemo treatments. Similarly, another chronotherapy study --- patients with metatstatic ovarian cancer --- showed a quadrupling of five-year survival rates.

Generally, patients who receive treatment in this planned-time-release fashion report that they can tolerate higher, more effective doses of drugs, and have fewer side effects --- giving them an overall better quality of life while undergoing chemotherapy.

In 1996 the Block Center became the very first private cancer clinic in North America to use special portable pumps to deliver chemotherapy on a chronomodulated basis. Small, compact and battery-operated, the pumps come equipped with a fanny pack for ultimate portability.

If we determine that you are a potentially successful candidate for chronotherapy, you can receive treatment via such a pump while going about your usual everyday activities --- at home or work, while watching television or shopping with friends. Even non-chronotherapy candidates can be equipped with pumps that provide this level of mobility.

Chronotherapy is just one more example of how we at the Block Center apply innovative approaches to conventional therapy in order to devise every person’s treatment plan to meet their individual needs.

The Block Center

Founded over 30 years ago, the Block Center is one of the world’s leading cancer treatment facilities. An outpatient clinic specializing in the treatment of the entire range of cancers, we are dedicated to providing a caring and healing environment.

Our individualized programs are designed to give you, the patient, the best opportunity to live better and to improve the overall quality of your life while you undergo treatment.


1-877-41-BLOCK (1-877-412-5625)
The Block Center
5230 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, IL 60077
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