Circadian clocks and breast cancer

Victoria Blakeman, Jack Williams, Qing-Jun Meng, Charles H Streuli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Circadian clocks respond to environmental time cues to coordinate 24-hour oscillations in almost every tissue of the body. In the breast, circadian clocks regulate the rhythmic expression of numerous genes. Disrupted expression of circadian genes can alter breast biology and may promote cancer. Here we overview circadian mechanisms, and the connection between the molecular clock and breast biology. We describe how disruption of circadian genes contributes to cancer via multiple mechanisms, and link this to increased tumour risk in women who work irregular shift patterns. Understanding the influence of circadian rhythms on breast cancer could lead to more efficacious therapies, reformed public health policy and improved patient outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number89
Number of pages9
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Issue number1
Early online date2 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Journal Article
  • Review


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