Randomised clinical trials have previously shown the benefit of mindfulness in multiple cancer types, but there is limited information for metastatic kidney cancer. This study looked at the effect of an online mindfulness tool on the health-related quality of life of people with metastatic kidney cancer taking immunotherapy.

Metastatic kidney cancer patients who were being treated with immunotherapy and had symptoms of anxiety, fear of cancer progression, and fatigue were included in the study. The patients used a smartphone and used an app (AmDTx) to take part in a mindfulness programme. Patients used the app for 20-30 minutes each day for a minimum of 4 days a week for 4 weeks.

41 patients were recruited, and most were on ipilimumab plus nivolumab, nivolumab alone, or pembrolizumab plus axitinib. Symptoms of anxiety and fear of cancer returning significantly decreased during the study. Health-related quality of life also increased. There were no differences based on disease characteristics or type of treatment.

This study suggests that smartphone-based mindfulness programmes could improve health-related quality of life and decrease anxiety, fear of the cancer returning and fatigue. This low-cost and easily accessible programme may provide an important alternative to face-to-face psychosocial support for patients with metastatic kidney cancer.

Read more in Journal of Clinical Oncology here