Origins of timed cancer treatment: Early marker rhythm-guided individualized chronochemotherapy

Franz Halberg, Konald Prem, Francine Halberg, Catherine Norman, Germaine G Cornelissen-Guillaume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A 21-year old patient who presented in 1973 with a rare and highly malignant ovarian endodermal sinus tumor with spillage into the peritoneal cavity is alive and well today after receiving chronochemotherapy. During the first four courses of treatment, medications were given at different circadian stages. Complete blood counts and marker variables such as mood, vigor, nausea, and temperature were monitored around the clock and analyzed by cosinor to seek times of highest tolerance. Remaining treatment courses were administered at a time corresponding to the patient's best drug tolerance, rather than extrapolating the timing of optimal cyclophosphamide administration from also-implemented parallel laboratory studies on mice. Notwithstanding remaining hurdles in bringing chronochemotherapy to the clinic for routine care, merits of marker rhythm-guided chronotherapy documented in this and other case reports have led to the doubling of the two-year disease-free survival of patients with large perioral tumors in a clinical trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Chronotherapy
  • Circadian
  • Malignant ovarian endodermal sinus tumor (yolk sac carcinoma)
  • Marker rhythm
  • Tumor marker

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