Cigna Corp., a video games maker, developed HopeLab's "Re-Mission" video game to help teens and young adults blast cancer by learning them to improve the odds of beating the disease. The video game is available on their website, free of charge.

HopeLab, a Northern California-based nonprofit organization, gathered video game developers and animators, cancer experts, cell biologists, psychologists and young patients, in order to make a high-quality video game that would educate as well as entertain cancer patients. They created "Re-Mission," a shooting game with a nanobot named Roxxi who roams inside the bodies of fictional cancer patients, destroying cancer cells, battling bacterial infections and managing side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatments.

The studies done showed that video games had the power to help teenagers better adhere to their cancer treatment and embrace key behaviors that would improve their health and quality of life. Teenagers may have a hard time dealing with the disease and a variety of challenges set in front of them. They are old enough to be responsible for their treatment, but may be too young to understand the potentially deadly consequences of skipping required medications and obeying to special life style changes.

Preliminary study results showed that playing the video game increased quality of life and knowledge about cancer and the appropriate treatments and behaviours.

The game has been launched early last year and there have been 76,000 copies of "Re-Mission" delivered on discs or via download on its Web site (re-mission.net).

The next topic on the HopeLab's list will be obesity.