There have been many research studies done on meditation with the first scientific study done at Yale University in 1930s. Much of the research has evidenced positive results with measurable changes in physiology, cognition and behaviour. Specific studies have also shown that with regular use meditation can help relieve anxiety associated with cancer and, in some cases, actually inhibit growth of cancer cells.
Many employers are now sending their employees to meditation seminars, regular sessions and some even have dedicated rooms where meditation can be practiced.
Interestingly, The David Lynch Foundation runs The Quiet Time Programme in schools using Transcendental meditation reducing stress, depression, violence and improved academic results for the students. www.davidlynchfoundation.org/schools.html