The creative psychosocial genomic healing experience (CPGHE) and gene expression in breast cancer patients: A feasibility study

Francisco V. Muñoz, Linda Larkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Biomarkers associated with inflammation and immune function are increasingly being used to examine mechanisms of the effects of mind-body therapies. Less researched are biomarkers associated with cognitive and executive functioning in the study of mind-body therapy mechanisms and effects. This study explored the feasibility of recruiting breast cancer patients (BCPs) and implementation fidelity of participation in a research project utilizing the 4-stage Creative Psychosocial Genomic Healing Experience (CPGHE), a mind-body protocol that is theorized to create epigenetic effects via targeted psychological change in emotional triggers in coping with cancer. Methods: Eight BCPs were identified as eligible (stages I, II, III, early phases of treatment) and five consented to one of two intervention groups (allocated to a single session or two sessions of CPGHE). Blood draws were examined pre- and post-intervention for a stress/inflammation gene expression marker, Nuclear Factor kappa-B (NF-kB), and three markers associated with synaptic plasticity undergirding cognitive and executive functioning: Early Growth Response 1 (EGR1), activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Results: One consented BCP dropped out due to illness. The remaining four adhered to the 4-stage CPGHE protocol and found the CPGHE experience beneficial. Blood samples for the gene expression results were collected and processed according to planned protocol without incident. Conclusion: Implementing the CPGHE and achieving good adherence among a sample of BCPs is feasible. Processing of blood samples collected from BCPs for gene expression data is also feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Integrative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Arc gene expression
  • BDNF gene expression
  • Breast cancer
  • EGR1 (zif-268) gene expression
  • Mind-body therapy
  • NF-kB gene expression
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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