Innovative Solutions: Re-Mission™
Power Lies Within
Re-Mission™ is a video game developed specifically for adolescents and young adults with cancer. In Re-Mission™, players pilot a nanobot named Roxxi as she travels through the bodies of fictional cancer patients destroying cancer cells, battling bacterial infections, and managing side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Research shows that Re-Mission is an effective tool for young cancer patients, and HopeLab is now developing a new version of the game that builds on these positive results.
Medical research has made great progress in preventing, detecting and treating cancer over the past 25 years, but the benefits of that success do not extend to adolescents and young adults. Cancer remains a leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 39.
Re-Mission™ is based on the vision of HopeLab founder and board chair Pam Omidyar. Early in her career, Pam worked as a researcher in an immunology lab. As a video game enthusiast, she had the idea that a video game for teenagers with cancer might play a positive role in helping them fight their disease. HopeLab researchers led by Dr. Pamela Kato, former HopeLab President and CEO, worked with video game developers, cancer experts, psychologists, and young people with cancer themselves to create this groundbreaking game.
Research & Distribution
Prior to the release of Re-Mission™, HopeLab completed an unprecedented randomized, research trial to evaluate the efficacy of the game. Results showed that a specially designed video game can have positive impact on health behaviors in young people with chronic illness. Specifically, playing Re-Mission improved treatment adherence and produced increases in self-efficacy 1, and cancer-related knowledge for adolescents and young adults with cancer. Data from the study was published in the August 2008 edition of the medical journal Pediatrics. More recently, HopeLab and Stanford University researchers published study findings in the scientific journal PLoS ONE showing that activation of brain circuits involved in positive motivation during Re-Mission™ game play appears to be a key ingredient in influencing positive health behavior.
HopeLab distributes Re-Mission™ free of charge to young people with cancer, their families and caregivers. To date, more than 185000 copies of Re-Mission have been distributed in 81 countries worldwide.
1Self-efficacy is defined here as an individual’s belief in his or her ability to take a certain course of action in a challenging situation.