Every once in a while there is a mini renaissance in an area of medicine. The flowering of research that has taken place world-wide in the field of psycho-oncology in the last decade is one such example. This deepening interest in all the different psychological aspects of cancer, with the prevention of psychiatric morbidity and the development of a healthy adaptation being the main outcome aims, has led to hundreds of publications in recent years, along with the launching of two high-quality journals, the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology and the Journal of Psycho-Oncology. There have been numerous robust research findings proving the efficacy of psychosocial interventions in cancer patients on a range of outcome measures (Stein et al, 1993; Fawzy et al, 1995). The search for conclusive evidence of the positive effects of psychological therapy on disease progression and hence survival rates has also developed, becoming a holy grail for researchers in mind/body medicine, and has been brought tantalisingly within reach by a number of well-controlled trials (Spiegel et al, 1989; Richardson et al, 1990; Fawzy et al, 1993; Ratcliffe et al, 1995).