MIND: Mindfulness Intervention for Neural Development

Due to advances in cancer treatments, survival rates for childhood cancer have risen from less than 10% in the 1960s to nearly 90% currently. However, survival often comes with a “cost”, in that children must endure a series of painful and invasive cancer-related treatment procedures, such as lumbar punctures and bone marrow aspirations. Pain related to these procedures, treatment side effects, or the cancer itself remain a major source of poor quality of life among pediatric cancer patients and survivors. The purpose of this study is to test whether Kids Kicking Cancer (www.kidskickingcancer.org), a martial-arts based intervention, can reduce pediatric cancer pain and enhance activity of brain areas underlying the regulation of pain in children with cancer.


  • Marusak, H.A., Iadipaolo, A.S., Harper, F.W.K., Taub, J.W., Elrahal, F., Goldberg, E.K., Rabinak, C.A., 2017. Neurodevelopmental consequences of pediatric cancer and its treatment: applying an early adversity framework to understanding cognitive, behavioral, and emotional effects. Neuropsychol. Rev. doi:10.1007/s11065-017-9365-1
  • Marusak, H.A., Iadipaolo, A.S., Paulisin, S., Harper, F.W., Taub, J.W., Dulay, K., Elrahal, F., Peters, C., Sala-Hamrick, K., Crespo, L.M., Rabinak, C.A., 2018. Emotion-related brain organization and behavioral responses to socioemotional stimuli in pediatric cancer survivors with posttraumatic stress symptoms. Pediatr. Blood Cancer. doi:10.1002/pbc.27470