National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Fort Washington, USA.
Altered circadian rhythms have been identified in untreated prostate cancer patients. Findings of restored rhythmicity following cancer treatment may have relevance for cancer control and symptom management. This study assessed and compared the cyclic patterns of hot flashes and activity levels in treated prostate cancer patients.
Data were collected during two 24-h periods among 47 prostate patients undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Hot flashes were detected objectively through sternal skin conductance and by patients via electronic event marking. Activity levels were recorded on a wrist actigraphy device.
The mean frequency of objectively measured and patient-reported hot flashes was 13.6 (SD = 14.3) and 12.6 (SD = 9.6), respectively. There were significant 24-h circadian rhythms of both hot flashes and activity levels. The peak of the rhythms occurred in early afternoon. There was no significant cross correlation between hot flashes and activity levels.
The acrophases of hot flashes and elevated activity levels in this study may represent a normalisation of circadian rhythms following ADT, pointing to the need for more research, including controlled, prospective chronobiologic studies. Future research may have important implications for the survival of prostate cancer patients and the identification of new and safe hot flash treatments.
Hanisch LJ, Gehrman PR. Are you the author?
Reference: Aging Male. 2011 Jun 1. Epub ahead of print.