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Mindfulness Practice Reduces Cortisol Blunting During Chemo

Findings in colorectal cancer patients using mindfulness practice at start of chemo sessions


MONDAY, April 10, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Mindfulness practice during chemotherapy can reduce the blunting of neuroendocrine profiles typically observed in cancer patients, according to a study published online April 7 in Cancer.

David S. Black, Ph.D., M.P.H., from University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues assigned 57 English- or Spanish-speaking colorectal cancer patients to either mindfulness, attention-control, or resting exposure at the start of chemotherapy. Four saliva samples were collected at the start of chemotherapy and at 20-minute intervals during the first 60 minutes of chemotherapy. Self-reported biobehavioral assessments after chemotherapy included distress, fatigue, and mindfulness

An area-under-the-curve analysis showed a relative increase in cortisol reactivity in the mindfulness group, after adjustments for biological and clinical measures (P = 0.03). From baseline to 20 minutes, more than twice as many patients in the mindfulness group displayed a cortisol rise, compared to controls (69 versus 34 percent; P = 0.02). Mindfulness scores were inversely correlated with fatigue (P < 0.01) and distress scores (P < 0.01).

"Implications include support for the use of mindfulness practice in integrative oncology," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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