This article was inspired from a recent dietetic training period at a French hospital. The opinions shared in this post are solely my own. The name of this hospital will remain anonymous, but I can attest in my professional and personal opinion that the health standards in this hospital (including hygiene, meals, nutritional care, patient satisfaction) were average to exemplary.
My first day on the training there was a debate between chefs and dietitians on what is more important: taste or nutrition? You can read the article here: “French Hospital Meals, You Can’t Teach Old Chefs New Tricks.”
And my second day was marked by an eye-opening look at an alternative medical treatment for cancer called chrono-modulated chemotherapy.
Chronomodulated Chemotherapy or Chrono-Chemotherapy
I met Patient X on day two of my training.
I was told that a few weeks before, Patient X had incurable lung cancer with a ‘no-hope’ prognosis. He had been discharged home to set his affairs in order.
But he didn’t. He found another chance for life trying an alternative method called “chronomodulted chemotherapy.”
Chronomodulated chemotherapy started in France by Dr. Levi, Hospital Paul Brousse, Villejuif. Dr Levi observed that the human body functions on circadian rhythms. With certain diseases such as cancer and tumor necrosis, the chemotherapy regimen is better tolerated with higher success rates when the patient’s cancer medicine is synchronized with their own circadian body clock.
This treatment was brought over to America by Dr. Block, who uses his therapy in Illinois.
Dr. Block explains,
chronomodulated chemotherapy is a treatment where cancer drugs are administered “at the specific time when cancer cells divide, and are more vulnerable to cell death, and when healthy cells are at rest, and least sensitive to toxicity from chemotherapy.” (Kenneth Block, MD, a doctor who uses chrono-chemotherapy in the United States)
After his initial classic chemotherapy failed, Patient X consulted with Dr. Levi and his staff for a second opinion. Patient X was given an alternative chrono-chemotherapy treatment to be administered at his local hospital of residence by the oncology staff. The positive aspect of a federal health system (as it is set up in France) is that you can have a doctor in another part of the country outline a medical plan and have this treatment administered by the local doctors where you live.
When I saw Patient X he appeared hopeful for this new cancer regimen. I do not know the result of his treatment nor his current prognosis.
Chronomodulated Chemotherapy efficacy and current research
This alternative way to administer chemotherapy for cancer is little known outside of Europe. I am aware of only one cancer center in the United States that uses chronomodulated chemotherapy. The cancer center is run by Dr. William Block, who brought this therapy over from Europe to the United States in the 1990′s. Here is an excerpt from an interview,
sleep and activity cycles along with the timing of drug infusions were all clock dependent. The extensive research that demonstrated decreased toxicity and improved survival with the use of chronotherapy.
If you would like to read the full interview, read it here: “What is chronomodulated chemotherapy and who should consider this approach to treatment?”
Another informative article can be read here: “Chronobiology and Chronotherapy”
Two articles in French about Dr. Levi’s methods on chronotherapie:
Conclusions from a meta-analysis showing benefits of chrono-chemotherapy versus conventional chemotherapy.
Call to action on using chrono-chemotherapy for cancer treatment
What struck me on my second training day was discovering an alternative medically proven chemotherapy for cancer.
It made me realize that we cannot give up hope, despite the need to be realistic about a cancer prognosis. I believe it is futile to look at different alternative therapies to treat any disease or sickness. Second opinions for cancer and other life-threatening diseases should be considered when possible.
Don’t give up hope, because without hope, we have nothing.
Have you heard about chrono-chemotherapy? What do you think about this article?
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