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    Changes in eudaimonic well-being and the conserved transcriptional response to adversity in younger breast cancer survivors 
    Chloe C. Boylea, , Steve W. Colea,b,c, Janine M. Dutcherd, Naomi I. Eisenbergere, Julienne E. Bowera,b,e a Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA, United States b Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA, United States c Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine d Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, United States e Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
    Mindfulness meditation
    Gene expression
    Immune system 
    Background: The conserved transcriptional response to adversity (CTRA), characterized by increased expression of proinflammatory genes and decreased expression of antiviral and antibody-related genes, is upregulated in the context of chronic adversity and distress and has been linked to cancer progression. Several studies suggest that the CTRA may also be down-regulated in association with some positive psychological states, particularly eu-daimonic well-being. However, it is not clear if the link between inter-individual differences in the CTRA and eudaimonic well-being can be extended to intra-individual change. Using a standardized mindfulness-based intervention, the current study tested whether mindfulness-related increases in eudaimonic well-being related to intra-individual reduction in the CTRA in a sample of younger breast cancer survivors.
    Methods: Participants were 22 women who had been diagnosed and treated for early-stage breast cancer at or before age 50 (Mage = 46.6 years) and had no evidence of active disease. Women completed self-report ques-tionnaires and provided peripheral blood samples before and after a 6-week mindfulness meditation interven-tion. Regression analyses were used to quantify associations between the magnitude of change in eudaimonic well-being and the magnitude of change in the global CTRA score.
    Results: Women reported significant increases in eudaimonic well–being and showed decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory subcomponent of the CTRA from pre- to post-intervention. The magnitude of increase in eudaimonic well-being was associated with the magnitude of decrease in the composite CTRA score, and this relationship was driven primarily by increased expression of the antiviral/antibody-related CTRA sub-component. While the intervention was also associated with reduced depressive symptoms, there was no asso-ciation between change in depressive symptoms and change in the overall CTRA composite score or either of its subcomponents.