June 16, 2024

Optimizing Chemotherapy for Glioblastoma: Tapping into the Cell’s Circadian Rhythms for Enhanced Treatment

Glioblastoma, an aggressive and currently incurable form of brain cancer, has long posed a significant challenge for medical researchers. A recent chart study of glioblastoma patients revealed that morning administration of chemotherapy was linked to a three- to six-month extension in median survival (1). Now, a new study conducted by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis sheds light on the potential benefits of timing chemotherapy based on the cell’s daily rhythms (2).

Biologists and clinicians at Washington University meticulously recorded the daily rhythms of clock gene expression in various human and mouse glioblastoma cell lines and isolates. These rhythms corresponded with the daily activity of a DNA repair enzyme called MGMT.

Intrigued by these findings, the researchers conducted further tests and discovered that tumor cells were more susceptible to chemotherapy-induced death when the treatment was administered in the morning, coinciding with the lowest MGMT activity in the tumor cells.

Building on these results, the scientists carried out experiments on mice with glioblastoma and found that morning administration of chemotherapy led to a decrease in tumor size and an increase in body weight compared to evening Drug delivery.

Maria F. Gonzalez-Aponte, a graduate student in biology at Washington University and the first author of the study, expressed her optimism about the potential for improved glioblastoma treatment: “Our findings suggest that there might be an opportunity to enhance the efficacy of this disease’s treatment by administering the drug at the times of day when the cells are more susceptible” (2).

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1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it