Evaluation and Management of Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disturbance in Cancer

Diwakar Balachandran, Michelle A. Miller, Saadia A. Faiz, Sriram Yennu, Pasquale F. Innominato

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sleep and circadian rhythm disturbance are among the most commonly experienced symptoms in patients with cancer. These disturbances occur throughout the spectrum of cancer care from diagnosis, treatment, and long into survivorship. The pathogenesis of these symptoms and disturbances is based on common inflammatory pathways related to cancer and its’ treatments. The evaluation of sleep and circadian disorders requires an understanding of how these symptoms cluster with other cancer-related symptoms and potentiate each other. A thorough evaluation of these symptoms and disorders utilizing validated diagnostic tools, directed review of clinical information, and diagnostic testing is recommended. Treatment of sleep and circadian disturbance in cancer patients should be based on the findings of a detailed evaluation, including specific treatment of primary sleep and circadian disorders, and utilize integrative and personalised management of cancer-related symptoms through multiple pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic modalities. Recognition, evaluation, and treatment of sleep and circadian rhythm disturbance in cancer may lead to improved symptom management, quality of life, and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cancer
  • Circadian
  • Clinical algorithm
  • Sleep
  • Symptoms
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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