Timing is everything: exploiting our circadian rhythm to improve cancer immunotherapies
Cancer Circadian Rhythms Dendritic Cells

Timing is everything: exploiting our circadian rhythm to improve cancer immunotherapies

Dr. Talia Henkle
Dr. Talia Henkle

In 10 seconds? A recent laboratory study showed that our immune system operates in a strict circadian rhythm and that cancer immunotherapy treatments tailored to this rhythm could improve treatment outcomes.

What’s the story? First, let’s zoom out. Wayyyy out. The Earth completes one full rotation on its axis once every 24 hours (well…technically 23.934 hours)--constituting one day. The Earth has been spinning at this rate even before the time that humans first evolved, and thus, the 24-hour day has been the foundation upon which our biology has been based. We refer to the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that occur on a 24-hour cycle as circadian rhythms. Interestingly, insights from recent research have revealed how the circadian rhythm of the immune system may impact cancer research.

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