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Roxie to the rescue. Image courtesy of HopeLab.

Roxie to the Rescue

August 2007

What if fighting cancer was as easy as destroying leukemia cells with a chemo-blaster or demolishing brain tumors with a powerful rocket? It is that simple and fun with Re-Mission, a video game conceived and designed in part by the Health Science Centerís Brad Pollock, Ph.D., professor and chair of epidemiology and biostatistics.

In Re-Mission, players direct Roxxi, a tiny but feisty nanobot warrior whoís on a mission to seek and destroy cancer and its side effects by releasing therapies as she travels through the human body.

The first video game of its kind in the world, Re-Mission was initiated and funded six years ago by a nonprofit organization called HopeLab. The gameís goal is to help adolescents and young adults (14-30 years old) with cancer to better understand their disease and to learn to manage it better.

Dr. Pollock was brought in during the initial planning stages and served as the senior scientific adviser of the project because of his research expertise in cancer epidemiology and in developing research to improve outcomes for children with cancer.

  ReMission is a video game designed to help adolescents and young adults with cancer to better understand their disease. Image courtesy of HopeLab.
Re-Mission players direct Roxxi, a tiny nanobot warrior, as she travels through the human body on her mission to seek and destroy cancer and the negative side effects of cancer treatment.
"The challenge with teenagers is that they donít want to take their medications or show up for their doctorís appointments," Dr. Pollock said. "This game is designed to encourage them to adhere to their prescribed therapies so that their survival odds are improved and so they can better manage their treatment to reduce negative side effects and thus have better quality of life."

An international randomized intervention, sponsored by HopeLab, showed that among the video game users, adherence to oral medications, including chemotherapy and antibiotics, and cancer-related knowledge improved significantly.

"Long-term consistent adherence to prescribed therapies is needed for improved survival," Dr. Pollock said. "Because itís both educational and fun, this game can play a huge part in helping make that happen for young persons with cancer."

Re-Mission is available in three languages - English, Spanish and French - and is free to cancer patients. For more information, visit www.Re-Mission.net.


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