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CIGNA HealthCare Teams With HopeLab to Help Blast Teen Cancer

CIGNA HealthCare is teaming up with the non-profit organization HopeLab to deliver innovative interventions that improve the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illnesses . Their first joint initiative is to help address the needs of teens and young adults with cancer by offering free of charge HopeLab's ground-breaking Re-Mission(TM) video game.

'Re-Mission works. It gives young people with cancer a sense of power and control over their disease,' said HopeLab president Pat Christen. 'Re-Mission is a powerful example of how rigorous research and rational engineering combined with fun, engaging game technology can improve lives. Teaming up with CIGNA HealthCare provides a great opportunity to get Re-Mission into the hands of clinicians and patients who can benefit most.'

'Teenaged cancer patients present special treatment challenges,' said Gary Dahl, MD, pediatric oncologist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University and a principal investigator for the Re-Mission Outcomes Study. 'The Re-Mission video game is an important tool to help improve their understanding of cancer, its treatments and effects, which can result in more confidence in their ability to deal with the disease and more consistent compliance with their treatment.'

According to CIGNA HealthCare Medical Director, Dr. Glenn Pomerantz: 'As one of the nation's largest disease management facilities, we know that behavior is a key contributor to health. HopeLab's Re-Mission has demonstrated that video games have the power to help teenagers better adhere to their cancer treatment and embrace key behaviors that improve their health and quality of life.

'We're pleased to be making Re-Mission available more broadly and are looking forward to working with HopeLab as they research and develop additional solutions to help young patients with other chronic conditions.'

HopeLab validated the benefits of their c ancer-fighting video game by conducting a randomized, controlled trial with 375 male and female cancer patients aged 13 - 29, enrolled at 34 medical centers in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Preliminary study results, which were first presented in March of 2006 at peer-reviewed scientific meetings, indicate that playing Re-Mission produced increases in quality of life, self-efficacy and cancer-related knowledge for adolescents and young adults with cancer. In addition, young people who played Re-Mission maintained higher blood levels of chemotherapy and showed higher rates of antibiotic utilization than those in the control group, indicating that Re-Mission helps patients adhere to cancer therapy regimens.

Re-Mission was developed by HopeLab through a collaborative process that included video game developers and animators, cancer experts, cell biologists, psychologists, and young people with cancer themselves. Re-Mission's 20 levels of game-play combine scientific accuracy with an honest depiction of young people's challenges with cancer.

The game is a challenging, 3-D 'shooter' with 20 levels of game play, in which players control a nanobot named Roxxi as she travels through the bodies of fictional cancer patients to destroy cancer cells, battle bacterial infections, and manage side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatments.

The game is designed to be cool and fun to appeal to its target audience, while helping players understand the importance of treatment adherence and key behaviors that can improve their health and quality of life. The game is rated 'T' for young people age 13 and up by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).


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