Circadian clock disruptions and the risk of cancer

Ann Med. 2012 Dec;44(8):847-53. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2012.727018. Epub 2012 Oct 16.


Disrupted circadian rhythms may lead to failures in the control of the cell division cycle and the subsequent malignant cell growth. In order to understand the pathogenesis of cancer more in detail, it is crucial to identify those mechanisms of action which contribute to the loss of control of the cell division cycle. This mini-review focuses on the recent findings concerning the links between the human circadian clock and cancer. Clinical implications concern not only feasible methods for the assessment of the circadian time of an individual or for the determination of the best time for administration of a drug of treatment, but also in the future genetic tests for screening and for planning treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division*
  • Chronobiology Disorders / complications*
  • Chronobiology Disorders / genetics
  • Chronobiology Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Circadian Clocks / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / physiology