Timing of Chemotherapy Delivery
The time of day a chemotherapeutic drug is given has an impact
on the effectiveness of the drug, it's toxicity, and how much
damage is caused to the immune system and other cells in the body.
Delivery at optimal times in the day increases the patient's quality
of life by decreasing the toxicity's they experience, and also
allows physicians to increase the average dose that can be given.
Most hospitals are not set up to see patients at multiple times
during the day. Some hospitals are beginning to take advantage
of a variety of drug delivery devices, or drug infusion pumps,
capable of administering chemotherapy, and other drugs, at different
times and different rates throughout the day. These devices can
be plugged into a subcutaneous catheter access port, commonly
used for delivering chemotherapy, and can then administer chemotherapy
at the optimal times.
Ask your doctor, or find a hospital capable or willing, to set
you up with a programmable drug infusion pump for your chemotherapy.
Optimal times for delivery of many common chemotherapy's are known
and published in: The Medical Textbook, Cancer: Principles &
Practice of Oncology, DeVita, Hellman, Rosenberg, 4th edition.
Circadian Cancer Therapy, Hrushesky (ed.) CRC Press, 1994.
Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, "The Application
of Circadian Chronobiology to Cancer Treatment," editors
DeVita, Hellman, Rosenburg, 1992.