In an ongoing effort to scientifically validate the age-old belief that mind-body interventions have a beneficial impact on the health of patients, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has been awarded more than $4.5 million to study the efficacy of incorporating yoga into the treatment program of women with breast cancer. The grant, the largest ever awarded by the National Cancer Institute for the study of yoga in cancer, will allow researchers to conduct a Phase III clinical trial in women with breast cancer to determine the improvement in physical function and quality-of-life during and after radiation treatment. It will also investigate if such stress reduction programs result in economic and/or work productivity benefit. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor and director of M.D. Anderson's integrative medicine program, will be the study's principal investigator. "Research has shown that yoga and other types of mind-body practices, when incorporated into the standard of care, can help improve patient outcomes---particularly quality-of-life," said Cohen. "However, none have become standard of care, or are on the clinical care pathway for cancer patients. This funding will allow us to definitively determine the benefit of incorporating yoga into the treatment plan for women with breast cancer." A secondary aim of the trial, but one of great importance, stressed Cohen, is assessing cost efficiency analysis for the hospital, and health care utilization costs in general, as well as examining work productivity of patients. "In this age of health care reform, it's very important to determine the cost savings, not only to the hospital, but to also to women's lives and their ability to engage in their work in a productive fashion, whether that's the work of being a mother and running a household or working outside the home," said Cohen. "By including such data as cost-effectiveness analyses, we may be able to change the standard of care and the way women with breast cancer are treated in this country."