They emerge at night, while we sleep unaware, growing and spreading out as quickly as they can. And they are deadly. In a surprise finding that was recently published in Nature Communications, Weizmann Institute of Science researchers showed that nighttime is the right time for cancer to grow and spread in the body. Their findings suggest that administering certain treatments in time with the body’s day-night cycle could boost their efficiency.
This finding arose out of an investigation into the relationships between different receptors in the cell – a complex network that we still do not completely understand. The receptors – protein molecules on the cell’s surface or within cells – take in biochemical messages secreted by other cells and pass them on into the cell’s interior. The scientists, led by Dr. Mattia Lauriola, a postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Prof. Yosef Yarden of the Weizmann Institute’s Biological Regulation Department, working together with Prof. Eytan Domany of the Physics of Complex Systems Department, focused on two particular receptors.
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