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Yoga Gets Resounding Support From NCI

Conquest - Summer 2010

In an ongoing effort to validate the age-old belief that mind-body interventions have a beneficial impact on the health of patients, the National Cancer Institute has awarded more than $4.5 million to
MD Anderson.

Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., keeps a 
photo of Vanda Scaravelli, his 
Italian grandmother and a yoga 
master, in his office as 
inspiration for his work.

The largest ever awarded by NCI for the study of yoga in cancer, the grant will allow researchers to conduct a Phase III trial in women with breast cancer to determine their improvement in physical function and quality of life during and after radiation treatment. It will also investigate if such stress reduction programs have economic and/or work productivity benefit.

“Research has shown that yoga and other types of mind-body practices, incorporated into the standard of care, can help improve patient outcomes, particularly quality of life,” says Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Behavioral Science, director of MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine Program and the study’s principal investigator.

“However, none have become standard of care, or are on the clinical care pathway for cancer patients,” he says. “This funding will allow us to definitively determine the benefit of incorporating yoga into treatment plans for women with breast cancer.”

The research is being done in collaboration with the Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, a yoga research foundation and university in Bangalore, India. MD Anderson has been collaborating with VYASA for more than six years.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center