Circadian rhythms and tumor growth

Cancer Lett. 2012 May 28;318(2):115-23. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Jan 15.


Hormone secretion, metabolism, and the cell cycle are under rhythmic control. Lack of rhythmic control has been predicted to lead to uncontrolled proliferation and cancer. Consistent with this prediction are findings that circadian disruption by dim light at night or chronic jet lag accelerates tumor growth in desynchronized animals. Circadian controlled factors such as insulin/IGF-1, glucocorticoids, catecholamines, and melatonin have be implicated in controlling tumor growth in the desynchronized animals. Recent attention has focused on the signaling pathways activated by the circadian controlled factors because these pathways hold the potential for the development of novel strategies for cancer prevention and treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*