Higher levels of melatonin, a hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle, may suggest decreased risk for developing advanced prostate cancer, according to results presented at the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research, held Jan. 18-21. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced exclusively at night in the dark and is an important output of the circadian rhythm, or the body’s inherent 24-hour clock. Many biological processes are regulated by the circadian rhythm, including the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin may play a role in regulating a range of other hormones that influence certain cancers, including breast and prostate cancers.
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