Chronomodulation: Using Time to Make Treatment Easier and More Effective

Our bodies have cycles, rhythms. We need food at specific intervals. We sleep during the night and are awake during the day. Cell regeneration and hormone production are also carried out based on these cycles. And when these cycles are disrupted, we can develop disease and have a harder time fighting it.


Maximizing treatment by taking advantage of time… and timing.

At the Block Center, we deliver treatment — specifically chemotherapy — in a way that takes advantage of these cycles. In other words, we administer treatment at times of day (and even rate of delivery) that will minimize the toxicity of treatment while maximizing the treatment’s efficacy. Basically, unlike almost all other cancer providers, we use the body’s cycles to help make treatment easier and more effective.


What is chronomodulation?

Chronomodulated therapy, or chronotherapy, is defined as the coordination of biological rhythms with medical treatment. Where chemotherapy is concerned, chronotherapy means administering your treatments and drugs at times that are synchronized with your personal biological rhythms.

In addition, almost every chemotherapy drug has its own unique “profile” as to when is the best time of day for that medicine to be administered. In other words, there is an optimal time of day or night at which a particular anti-cancer medication is going to be most effective in fighting cancer cells and least toxic to healthy cells.

Basically, patients and anticancer drugs have an ideal time of day for chemotherapy infusion, when cancer cells are typically most active (more easily destroyed) and normal cells are least susceptible to toxicity. What’s important is that the optimal hour for administering a particular drug is not arbitrary and does not necessarily coincide with the chemotherapy appointments schedule of a hospital or other provider.


Using chronomodulation to improve treatment and outcomes.

Chronotherapy is a key part of the Block Center’s uniquely individualized and integrative approach. Time and timing are part of human physiology, and science shows how they matter to toxicity and effectiveness of different treatments, including cancer meds.

We base the schedule for the release of your medication 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. 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.


Following the science to provide greater help for more people.

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, in another chronotherapy study, patients with metatstatic ovarian cancer showed a quadrupling of five-year survival rates.

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.)

For more information about how chronomodulated therapy can benefit you or a loved one with cancer — or to schedule an appointment — just call 877-41-BLOCK (877-412-5625). You can also request an appointment using our easy online form.