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1

10-propargyl-10-deazaaminopterin
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called folate analogues.

12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate
TPA. A drug that is being studied as a treatment for hematologic cancer.

17-N-allylamino-17-demethoxy geldanamycin
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging
A noninvasive imaging method of detecting and measuring activity at the cellular level. It provides chemical information and is used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which gives spatial information. Also called proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging.

2

2-methoxyestradiol
2ME2. A drug derived from estrogen that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. It prevents the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow.

2IT-BAD monoclonal antibody 170
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

3

3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone
3-AP. A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called ribonucleotide reductase inhibitors.

3-AP
3-aminopyridine-2-carboxaldehyde thiosemicarbazone. A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called ribonucleotide reductase inhibitors.

3-dimensional
3-D. A graphic display of depth, width, and height.

5

5-FU
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called fluorouracil.

506U78
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

5Q- syndrome
5Q minus syndrome. A rare disorder caused by loss of part of the long arm (Q arm) of human chromosome 5. This syndrome affects myeloid (bone marrow) cells, causing treatment-resistant anemia, and myelodysplastic syndromes that may lead to acute myelogenous leukemia.

9

9-cis retinoic acid
A drug being studied for cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

90Y-DOTA-biotin
A radioactive substance (yttrium-90) joined by a large chemical link (DOTA) to biotin, a vitamin.

A

A33 monoclonal antibody
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

abdomen
The area of the body that contains the pancreas, stomach, intestine, liver, gallbladder, and other organs.

abdominal
Having to do with the abdomen, which is the part of the body between the chest and the hips that contains the pancreas, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, and other organs.

abscess
An enclosed collection of pus in tissues, organs, or confined spaces in the body. An abscess is a sign of infection and is usually swollen and inflamed.

accelerated phase
Refers to chronic myelogenous leukemia that is progressing. The number of immature, abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood is higher than in the chronic phase but not as high as in the blast phase.

acetaminophen
A drug that reduces pain and fever (but not inflammation). It belongs to the family of drugs called analgesics.

acetylcysteine
A drug usually used to reduce the thickness of mucus and ease its removal. It is also used to reverse the toxicity of high doses of acetaminophen. Also called N-acetyl-L-cysteine.

achlorhydria
A lack of hydrochloric acid in the digestive juices in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid helps digest food.

acitretin
A drug used in cancer prevention that belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids. It is also used in the treatment of psoriasis.

acoustic
Having to do with sound or hearing.

acridine carboxamide
DACA. A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

actinic keratosis
A precancerous condition of thick, scaly patches of skin. Also called solar or senile keratosis.

acupressure
The application of pressure or localized massage to specific sites on the body to control symptoms such as pain or nausea. Also used to stop bleeding.

acupuncture
The technique of inserting thin needles through the skin at specific points on the body to control pain and other symptoms.

acustimulation
Mild electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

acute
Having an abrupt onset of symptoms and a short course; not chronic.

acute leukemia
A rapidly progressing cancer of the blood-forming tissue (bone marrow).

acute lymphoblastic leukemia
ALL. A quickly progressing disease in which too many immature white blood cells called lymphoblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute lymphocytic leukemia.

acute lymphocytic leukemia
ALL. A quickly progressing disease in which too many immature white blood cells called lymphoblasts are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

acute myelogenous leukemia
AML. A quickly progressing disease in which too many immature blood-forming cells are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute myeloid leukemia or acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.

acute myeloid leukemia
AML. A quickly progressing disease in which too many immature blood-forming cells are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute myelogenous leukemia or acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.

acute nonlymphocytic leukemia
A quickly progressing disease in which too many immature blood-forming cells are found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute myeloid leukemia or acute myelogenous leukemia.

acyclovir
An antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex infections that may occur when the body is immunosuppressed.

AD 32
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

adenocarcinoma
Cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs and that have glandular (secretory) properties.

adenoid cystic cancer
A rare type of cancer that usually begins in the salivary glands.

adenoma
A noncancerous tumor.

adenosine triphosphate
ATP. A substance present in all living cells that provides energy for many metabolic processes and is involved in making RNA. ATP made in the laboratory is being studied in patients with advanced solid tumors to see if it can decrease weight loss and improve muscle strength.

adenovirus
A group of viruses that cause respiratory tract and eye infections. Adenoviruses used in gene therapy are altered to carry a specific tumor-fighting gene.

adjuvant therapy
Treatment given after the primary treatment to increase the chances of a cure. Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or hormone therapy.

adrenal glands
A pair of small glands, one located on top of each kidney. They produce steroid hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which help control heart rate, blood pressure, and other important body functions.

adrenaline
A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called epinephrine.

adverse effect
An unwanted side effect of treatment.

AE-941
A substance made from shark cartilage that is being studied for its ability to prevent the growth of new blood vessels to solid tumors. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

aerodigestive tract
The combined organs and tissues of the respiratory tract and the upper part of the digestive tract (including the lips, mouth, tongue, nose, throat, vocal cords, and part of the esophagus and windpipe).

aflatoxins
Harmful substances made by certain types of mold (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) that are often found on poorly stored grains and nuts. Consumption of foods contaminated with aflatoxins is a risk factor for primary liver cancer.

AFP
Alpha-fetoprotein. A protein normally produced by a developing fetus. AFP levels are usually undetectable in the blood of healthy nonpregnant adults. An elevated level of AFP suggests the presence of either a primary liver cancer or germ cell tumor.

AG2037
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called glycinamide ribonucleotide formyl transferase inhibitors.

AG3340
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. AG3340 is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor. Also called prinomastat.

aggressive
A quickly growing cancer.

aggressive lymphoma
A quickly growing cancer that arises in the cells of the lymphatic system.

agonists
Drugs that trigger an action from a cell or another drug.

agranulocyte
A type of white blood cell; monocytes and lymphocytes are agranulocytes.

AIDS
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. An acquired defect in immune system function caused by human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). AIDS is associated with increased susceptibility to certain cancers and to opportunistic infections, which are infections that occur rarely except in individuals with weak immune systems.

aldesleukin
A laboratory-made colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of blood cells, especially platelets, during chemotherapy. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called interleukin-2 or IL-2.

alemtuzumab
A monoclonal antibody used to treat leukemia. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory. They can find cancer cells and bind to them. Also called Campath-1H.

alendronate sodium
A drug that affects bone metabolism. It is used in treating osteoporosis and Paget's disease, and is being studied in the treatment of hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and in treating and reducing the risk of bone pain caused by cancer. Alendronate sodium belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates.

alkylating agents
A family of anticancer drugs that interferes with the cell's DNA and inhibits cancer cell growth.

allogeneic
Taken from different individuals of the same species. Also called allogenic.

allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
A procedure in which a person receives stem cells, the cells from which all blood cells develop, from a compatible, though not genetically identical, donor.

allopurinol
A drug that lowers high levels of uric acid (a byproduct of metabolism) in the blood caused by some cancer treatments.

Allovectin-7
A substance that is being studied as a gene therapy agent for the treatment of cancer. It increases the ability of the immune system to recognize cancer cells and kill them.

alpha-fetoprotein
AFP. A protein normally produced by a fetus. AFP levels are usually undetectable in the blood of healthy adult men or women (who are not pregnant). An elevated level of AFP suggests the presence of either a primary liver cancer or germ cell tumor.

alternative medicine
Practices not generally recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional medical approaches and used instead of standard treatments. Alternative medicine includes the taking of dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, and herbal preparations; the drinking of special teas; and practices such as massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation.

altretamine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

alum
A type of immune adjuvant (a substance used to help boost the immune response to a vaccine). Also called aluminum sulfate.

ALVAC-CEA vaccine
A cancer vaccine containing a canary pox virus (ALVAC) combined with the human carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) gene.

alveoli
Tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles in the lungs.

amifostine
A drug used as a chemoprotective drug to control some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

amikacin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics.

aminocamptothecin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

aminoglutethimide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. Aminoglutethimide is used to decrease the production of sex hormones (estrogen or testosterone) and suppress the growth of tumors that need sex hormones to grow.

aminoglycoside antibiotics
A family of antibiotics that works against many types of bacteria and includes streptomycin, gentamicin, and neomycin. Aminoglycosides are used to treat bacterial infections.

aminolevulinic acid
A drug used in photodynamic therapy that is absorbed by tumor cells; when exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

aminopterin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

amoxicillin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called penicillins or penicillin derivatives.

amphotericin B
An antifungal drug used to treat infection.

amputation
Surgery to remove part or all of a limb or appendage.

amsacrine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

amylase
An enzyme that helps the body digest starches.

amyloidosis
A group of diseases in which protein is deposited in specific organs (localized amyloidosis) or throughout the body (systemic amyloidosis). Amyloidosis may be either primary (with no known cause) or secondary (caused by another disease, including some types of cancer). Generally, primary amyloidosis affects the nerves, skin, tongue, joints, heart, and liver; secondary amyloidosis often affects the spleen, kidneys, liver, and adrenal glands.

analgesics
Drugs that reduce pain. These drugs include aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.

analog
In chemistry, a substance that is similar, but not identical, to another.

anaplastic
A term used to describe cancer cells that divide rapidly and bear little or no resemblance to normal cells.

anaplastic large cell lymphoma
A rare aggressive form of lymphoma (cancer that begins in cells of the lymphatic system) that is usually of T-cell origin.

anastomosis
A procedure to connect healthy sections of tubular structures in the body after the diseased portion has been surgically removed.

anastrozole
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. Anastrozole is used to decrease estrogen production and suppress the growth of tumors that need estrogen to grow.

androgen suppression
Treatment to suppress or block the production of male hormones. Androgen suppression is achieved by surgical removal of the testicles, by taking female sex hormones, or by taking other drugs, antiandrogens. Also called androgen ablation.

androgens
A family of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.

anemia
A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal.

anesthesia
Drugs or substances that cause loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthetics cause loss of feeling in a part of the body. General anesthetics put the person to sleep.

anesthetics
Substances that cause loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthetics cause loss of feeling in a part of the body. General anesthetics put the person to sleep.

anetholtrithione
A drug that may reduce the risk of development or progression of cancer.

angiogenesis
Blood vessel formation. Tumor angiogenesis is the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to a solid tumor. This is caused by the release of chemicals by the tumor.

angiogenesis inhibitor
A substance that may prevent the formation of blood vessels. In anticancer therapy, an angiogenesis inhibitor prevents the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to a solid tumor.

angiogram
An x-ray of blood vessels; the person receives an injection of dye to outline the vessels on the x-ray.

angiography
A procedure to x-ray blood vessels. The blood vessels can be seen because of an injection of a dye that shows up in the x-ray pictures.

angiosarcoma
A type of cancer that begins in the lining of blood vessels.

anhydrovinblastine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

annamycin
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called anthracycline antibiotics.

ansamycins
A group of anticancer drugs that belongs to the family of drugs called antineoplastic antibiotics.

anterior mediastinotomy
A procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to view the tissues and organs in the area between the lungs and between the breastbone and heart. The tube is inserted through an incision next to the breastbone. This procedure is usually used to get a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the left side of the chest. Also called the Chamberlain procedure.

anthracenediones
A subgroup of the family of anticancer drugs called anticancer antibiotics.

anthracycline
A member of a family of anticancer drugs that are also antibiotics.

anthraquinones
A family of anticancer drugs.

anti-CEA antibody
An antibody against carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a protein present on certain types of cancer cells.

anti-idiotype vaccine
A vaccine made of antibodies that see other antibodies as the antigen and bind to it. Anti-idiotype vaccines can stimulate the body to produce antibodies against tumor cells.

antiandrogen therapy
Treatment with drugs used to block production or interfere with the action of male sex hormones.

antiandrogens
Drugs used to block the production or interfere with the action of male sex hormones.

antiangiogenesis
Prevention of the growth of new blood vessels.

antibiotic
A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms.

antibody
A type of protein made by certain white blood cells in response to a foreign substance (antigen). Each antibody can bind to only a specific antigen. The purpose of this binding is to help destroy the antigen. Antibodies can work in several ways, depending on the nature of the antigen. Some antibodies destroy antigens directly. Others make it easier for white blood cells to destroy the antigen.

antibody therapy
Treatment with an antibody, a substance that can directly kill specific tumor cells or stimulate the immune system to kill tumor cells.

anticancer antibiotics
A group of anticancer drugs that block cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called antitumor antibiotics or antineoplastic antibiotics.

anticoagulant
A drug that helps prevent blood clots from forming. Also called a blood thinner.

anticonvulsants
Drugs that prevent, reduce, or stop convulsions or seizures.

antiemetics
Drugs that prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.

antiestrogen
A substance that blocks the activity of estrogens, the family of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female sex characteristics.

antifolate
A substance that blocks the activity of folic acid. Antifolates are used to treat cancer. Also called folate antagonist.

antifungals
Drugs that treat infections caused by fungi.

antigen-presenting cell
APC. A cell that shows antigen on its surface to other cells of the immune system. This is an important part of an immune response.

antigen-presenting cell vaccine
A vaccine made of antigens and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Also called APC vaccine.

antigens
Substances that cause the immune system to make a specific immune response.

antimetabolite
A drug that is very similar to natural chemicals in a normal biochemical reaction in cells but different enough to interfere with the normal division and functions of cells.

antineoplastic
A substance that blocks the formation of neoplasms (growths that may become cancerous).

antineoplastic antibiotics
A group of anticancer drugs that block cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called anticancer antibiotics or antitumor antibiotics.

antineoplastons
Substances isolated from normal human blood and urine being tested as a type of treatment for some tumors and AIDS.

antiparasitics
Drugs used to treat bacterial and parasitic infections and some cancers.

antisense c-fos
Synthetic genetic material that may slow or stop the growth of cancer cells.

antithymocyte globulin
A protein used to reduce the risk of or to treat graft-versus-host disease.

antivirals
Drugs used to treat infections caused by viruses.

anus
The opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.

APC vaccine
A vaccine made of antigens and antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Also called antigen-presenting cell vaccine.

APC8015
Immune system cells that are collected from a patient with prostate cancer and treated in the laboratory with a molecule found on prostate cells. The treated cells are being studied for their ability to stimulate the immune system to kill prostate cancer cells.

aplastic anemia
A condition in which the bone marrow is unable to produce blood cells.

aplidine
An anticancer drug obtained from a marine animal.

apolizumab
A type of monoclonal antibody that is being studied as a treatment for hematologic (blood) cancers.

apoptosis
A normal series of events in a cell that leads to its death.

appendix
A small, fingerlike pouch that sticks out from the cecum (the first part of the large intestine near the end of the small intestine).

areola
The area of dark-colored skin on the breast that surrounds the nipple.

arginine butyrate
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

arsenic trioxide
A substance that induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in certain cancer cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called antineoplastics.

asbestos
A natural material that is made up of tiny fibers. The fibers can cause cancer.

ascites
Abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen.

asparaginase
An enzyme used in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antineoplastics.

aspergillosis
An infectious fungal disease that occurs most often in the skin, ears, nasal sinuses, and lungs of people with suppressed immune systems.

aspirate
Fluid withdrawn from a lump, often a cyst, or a nipple.

aspiration
Removal of fluid from a lump, often a cyst, with a needle and a syringe.

aspirin
A drug that reduces pain, fever, inflammation, and blood clotting. Aspirin belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is also being studied in cancer prevention.

asthenia
Weakness; lack of energy and strength.

astrocytoma
A tumor that begins in the brain or spinal cord in small, star-shaped cells called astrocytes.

asymptomatic
Having no signs or symptoms of disease.

atamestane
A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiestrogens. Atamestane blocks the production of the hormone estrogen in the body.

ataxic gait
Awkward, uncoordinated walking.

ATP
Adenosine triphosphate. A substance present in all living cells that provides energy for many metabolic processes and is involved in making RNA. ATP made in the laboratory is being studied in patients with advanced solid tumors to see if it can decrease weight loss and improve muscle strength.

atrasentan
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer . It belongs to the family of drugs called endothelin-1 protein receptor antagonists.

atypical hyperplasia
A benign (noncancerous) condition in which cells have abnormal features and are increased in number.

autoimmune disease
A condition in which the body recognizes its own tissues as foreign and directs an immune response against them.

autologous
Taken from an individual's own tissues, cells, or DNA.

autologous bone marrow transplantation
A procedure in which bone marrow is removed from a person, stored, and then given back to the person after intensive treatment.

autologous lymphocytes
A person's white blood cells. Lymphocytes have a number of roles in the immune system, including the production of antibodies and other substances that fight infection and disease.

autologous tumor cells
Cancer cells from an individual's own tumor.

axilla
The underarm or armpit.

axillary
Pertaining to the armpit area, including the lymph nodes that are located there.

axillary dissection
Surgery to remove lymph nodes found in the armpit region. Also called axillary lymph node dissection.

axillary lymph node dissection
Surgery to remove lymph nodes found in the armpit region. Also called axillary dissection.

axillary lymph nodes
Lymph nodes found in the armpit that drain the lymph channels from the breast.

azacitidine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

B

B cells
White blood cells that make antibodies and are an important part of the immune system. B cells come from bone marrow. Also called B lymphocytes.

B lymphocytes
White blood cells that make antibodies and are an important part of the immune system. B lymphocytes come from bone marrow. Also called B cells.

B3 antigen
A protein found on some tumor cells.

B43-BAP immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

B7-1
A molecule that helps control immune responses in the body. B7-1 is involved in stimulating T-cells.

bacterial toxin
A toxic substance, made by bacteria, that can be modified to kill specific tumor cells without harming normal cells.

barium enema
A procedure in which a liquid with barium in it is put into the rectum and colon by way of the anus. Barium is a silver-white metallic compound that helps to show the image of the lower gastrointestinal tract on an x-ray.

barium solution
A liquid containing barium sulfate that is used in x-rays to highlight parts of the digestive system.

barium swallow
A series of x-rays of the esophagus. The x-ray pictures are taken after the person drinks a solution that contains barium. The barium coats and outlines the esophagus on the x-ray. Also called an esophagram.

Barrett's esophagus
A condition in which the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus have changed or been replaced with abnormal cells that could lead to cancer of the esophagus. The backing up of stomach contents (reflux) may irritate the esophagus and, over time, cause Barrett's esophagus.

basal cell carcinoma
A type of skin cancer that arises from the basal cells, small round cells found in the lower part (or base) of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

basal cells
Small, round cells found in the lower part (or base) of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin.

basophil
A type of white blood cell. Basophils are granulocytes.

batimastat
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Batimastat is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor.

BAY 12-9566
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

BBR 3464
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of platinum-based drugs.

BCG
Bacillus Calmette Gu豩n. A type of bacteria used in cancer treatment to stimulate the immune system. It is also used to vaccinate against tuberculosis.

beclomethasone
A drug being studied in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease. It belongs to a family of drugs called corticosteroids.

Bellini duct carcinoma
BDC. A rare type of kidney cancer that grows and spreads quickly. It begins in the duct of Bellini in the kidney.

benign
Not cancerous; does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.

benign proliferative breast disease
A group of noncancerous conditions that may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Examples include ductal hyperplasia, lobular hyperplasia, and papillomas.

benign prostatic hyperplasia
BPH. A benign (noncancerous) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine. Also called benign prostatic hypertrophy.

benign tumor
A noncancerous growth that does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body.

benzoylphenylurea
BPU. A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitubulin agents.

Beriplast P
A substance used in surgical wound healing to cause a blood clot to form. It consists of blood-clotting factors found naturally in human blood.

beta alethine
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to a family of chemicals called disulfides.

beta carotene
A vitamin A precursor. Beta carotene belongs to the family of fat-soluble vitamins called carotenoids.

bevacizumab
A monoclonal antibody that may prevent the growth of blood vessels from surounding tissue to a solid tumor.

bexarotene
An anticancer drug used to decrease the growth of some types of cancer cells. Also called LGD1069.

Biafine cream
A topical preparation to reduce the risk of, and treat skin reactions to, radiation therapy.

BIBX 1382
A drug that may inhibit tumor cells from multiplying. It is being studied for its ability to treat cancer.

bicalutamide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antiandrogens.

bilateral
Affecting both the right and left sides of the body.

bilateral cancer
Cancer that occurs in both paired organs, such as both breasts or both ovaries.

bile
A fluid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile is excreted into the small intestine, where it helps digest fat.

bile duct
A tube through which bile passes in and out of the liver.

biliary
Having to do with the liver, bile ducts, and/or gallbladder.

biological response modifier
BRM. A substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease. Some BRMs may act directly on cancer cells to block their growth.

biological therapy
Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease. Some biological therapy agents may act directly on cancer cells to block

biomarkers
A substance sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues and which may mean that a certain type of cancer is in the body. Examples of biomarkers include CA 125 (ovarian cancer), CA 15-3 (breast cancer), CEA (ovarian, lung, breast, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract cancers), and PSA (prostate cancer). Also called tumor markers.

Biomed 101
A substance that is being studied for its ability to decrease the side effects of interleukin-2 (IL-2).

biopsy
The removal of cells or tissues for examination under a microscope. When only a sample of tissue is removed, the procedure is called an incisional biopsy or core biopsy. When an entire lump or suspicious area is removed, the procedure is called an excisional biopsy. When a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle, the procedure is called a needle biopsy or fine-needle aspiration.

biopsy specimen
Tissue removed from the body and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present.

bispecific antibodies
Antibodies developed in the laboratory to recognize more than one protein on the surface of different cells. Examples include bispecific antibodies 2B1, 520C9xH22, mDX-H210, and MDX447.

bisphosphonates
A family of drugs used to treat osteoporosis and the bone pain caused by some types of cancer. Also called diphosphonates.

bizelesin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents. It is also an antitumor antibiotic.

BL22 immunotoxin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bacterial immunotoxins. BL22 is a bacterial toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

bladder
The organ that stores urine.

blast crisis
The phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which the number of immature, abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood is extremely high. Also called blast phase.

blast phase
The phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which the number of immature, abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood is extremely high. Also called blast crisis.

blasts
Immature blood cells.

bleomycin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

blood transfusion
The administration of blood or blood products into a blood vessel.

blood vessel
A tube through which the blood circulates in the body. Blood vessels include a network of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins.

blood-brain barrier
A network of blood vessels with closely spaced cells that makes it difficult for potentially toxic substances (such as anticancer drugs) to penetrate the blood vessel walls and enter the brain.

BMS-182751
A platinum compound used in chemotherapy.

BMS-184476
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

BMS-188797
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

BMS-214662
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

BMS-247550
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

BMS-275291
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors (MMPIs).

bolus
A single dose of drug usually injected into a blood vessel over a short period of time. Also called bolus infusion.

bolus infusion
A single dose of drug usually injected into a blood vessel over a short period of time. Also called bolus.

bone marrow
The soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of bones that produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

bone marrow ablation
The destruction of bone marrow using radiation or drugs.

bone marrow aspiration
The removal of a small sample of bone marrow (usually from the hip) through a needle for examination under a microscope.

bone marrow biopsy
The removal of a sample of tissue from the bone marrow with a needle for examination under a microscope.

bone marrow metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the bone marrow.

bone marrow transplantation
A procedure to replace bone marrow destroyed by treatment with high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation. Transplantation may be autologous (an individual's own marrow saved before treatment), allogeneic (marrow donated by someone else), or syngeneic (marrow donated by an identical twin).

bone metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the bone.

bone scan
A technique to create images of bones on a computer screen or on film. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream; it collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner.

boron neutron capture therapy
A type of radiation therapy. The person is given an intravenous infusion containing the element boron, which concentrates in the tumor cells. The person then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons from a small research nuclear reactor. The radiation is absorbed by the boron, killing the tumor cells without harming normal cells.

bowel
The long tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. There is both a small and a large bowel. Also called the intestine.

brachytherapy
A procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called internal radiation, implant radiation, or interstitial radiation therapy.

brain metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the brain.

brain stem
The part of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord.

brain stem glioma
A tumor located in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem). It may grow rapidly or slowly, depending on the grade of the tumor.

brain stem tumor
A tumor in the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord (the brain stem).

BRCA1
A gene on chromosome 17 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits an altered version of the BRCA1 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer.

BRCA2
A gene on chromosome 13 that normally helps to suppress cell growth. A person who inherits an altered version of the BRCA2 gene has a higher risk of getting breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer.

breakthrough pain
Intense increases in pain that occur with rapid onset even when pain- control medication is being used. Breakthrough pain can occur spontaneously or in relation to a specific activity.

breast reconstruction
Surgery to rebuild a breast's shape after a mastectomy.

breast-conserving surgery
An operation to remove the breast cancer but not the breast itself. Types of breast-conserving surgery include lumpectomy (removal of the lump), quadrantectomy (removal of one quarter of the breast), and segmental mastectomy (removal of the cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor).

Brief Pain Inventory
A questionnaire used to measure pain.

bronchi
The large air passages that lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the lungs.

bronchioles
The tiny branches of air tubes in the lungs.

bronchitis
Inflammation (swelling and reddening) of the bronchi.

bronchoscope
A thin, lighted tube used to examine the inside of the trachea and bronchi, the air passages that lead to the lungs.

bronchoscopy
A procedure in which a thin, lighted tube is inserted through the nose or mouth. This allows examination of the inside of the trachea and bronchi (air passages that lead to the lung), as well as the lung. Bronchoscopy may be used to detect cancer or to perform some treatment procedures.

bronchus
A large air passage that leads from the trachea (windpipe) to the lung.

broxuridine
A drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation and is also used as a diagnostic agent to determine how fast cancer cells grow.

bryostatin 1
A drug used for its antitumor activity.

buccal mucosa
The inner lining of the cheeks and lips.

budesonide
A steroid being studied as an anticancer drug. Budesonide is commonly used to treat asthma and rhinitis.

bupropion
A substance that is used to treat depression, and to help people quit smoking. It belongs to the family of drugs called antidepressants.

Burkitt's lymphoma
A type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that most often occurs in young people aged 12-30 years. The disease usually causes a rapidly growing tumor in the abdomen.

buserelin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormones. In prostate cancer therapy, buserelin blocks the production of testosterone in the testicles.

busulfan
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

buthionine sulfoximine
A drug that may help prevent resistance to some anticancer drugs.

bypass
A surgical procedure in which the doctor creates a new pathway for the flow of body fluids.

C

c-erbB-2
The gene that controls cell growth by making the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Also called HER2/neu.

CA 125
A substance sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues and that may suggest the presence of some types of cancer.

calcitonin
A hormone formed by the C cells of the thyroid gland. It helps maintain a healthy level of calcium in the blood. When the calcium level is too high, calcitonin lowers it.

calcitriol
The active form of vitamin D. Calcitriol is formed in the kidneys or made in the laboratory. It is used as a drug to increase calcium levels in the body in order to treat skeletal and tissue-related calcium deficiencies caused by kidney or thyroid disorders.

calcium
A mineral found in teeth, bones, and other body tissues.

calcium carbonate
A mineral taken primarily as a supplement to prevent osteoporosis. It is also being studied for cancer prevention.

camptothecin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

camptothecin analogue
An anticancer drug related in structure to camptothecin, a topoisomerase inhibitor. One such drug is aminocamptothecin.

cancer
A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

cancer of unknown primary origin
A case in which cancer cells are found in the body, but the place where the cells first started growing (the origin or primary site) cannot be determined.

cancer vaccine
A vaccine designed to prevent or treat cancer.

Candidiasis
A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Thrush usually affects the mouth (oral thrush); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called Candidosis or thrush.

Candidosis
A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Thrush usually affects the mouth (oral thrush); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called Candidiasis or thrush.

capecitabine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

capsaicin
A component of certain plants, including cayenne and red pepper, used topically for peripheral nerve pain. Also being studied for controlling mucositis pain after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

captopril
A drug used to lower high blood pressure. It belongs to the family of drugs called ACE inhibitors.

carbendazim
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

carbogen
An inhalant of oxygen and carbon dioxide that increases the sensitivity of tumor cells to the effects of radiation therapy.

carboplatin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called platinum compounds.

carboxyamidotriazole
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

carboxypeptidase-G2
A bacterial enzyme that belongs to the family of drugs called chemoprotective agents. It is used to neutralize the toxic effects of methotrexate.

carcinoembryonic antigen peptide-1
CAP-1. A protein that can stimulate an immune response to certain tumors.

carcinogen
Any substance that causes cancer.

carcinogenesis
The process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells.

carcinoma
Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.

carcinoma in situ
Cancer that involves only the cells in which it began and that has not spread to neighboring tissues.

cardiac
Having to do with the heart.

cardiopulmonary
Having to do with the heart and lungs.

carmustine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

carotenoids
Substance found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and in dark green, leafy vegetables. May reduce the risk of developing cancer.

carzelesin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

caspofungin acetate
A drug used to prevent or treat infections caused by a fungus (a type of microorganism). It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

Castleman's disease
A rare disorder in which noncancerous growths develop in lymph node tissue.

castration
Removal or destruction of the testicles or ovaries using radiation, surgery, or drugs. Medical castration refers to the use of drugs to suppress the function of the ovaries or testicles.

catheter
A flexible tube used to deliver fluids into or withdraw fluids from the body.

cauterization
The destruction of tissue with a hot instrument, an electrical current, or a caustic substance.

CC-1088
A drug that is similar but not identical to thalidomide and is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

CC-49 monoclonal antibody
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

CC-5013
A substance that is similar to thalidomide, and that prevents the growth of new blood vessels to solid tumors. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

CCI-779
An anticancer drug that inhibits the growth of cancer cells by preventing cell division.

CD34 antigen
A protein found on the surface of some bone marrow and blood cells.

CD40-ligand
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to certain immune cells and may suppress cancer growth.

CEA
Carcinoembryonic antigen. A substance that is sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood of people with certain cancers.

CEA assay
A laboratory test to measure carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a substance that is sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood of people who have certain cancers.

cefepime
A drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.

ceftriaxone
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporin antibiotics.

celecoxib
A drug that reduces pain. Celecoxib belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is being studied for cancer prevention.

cell
The individual unit that makes up all of the tissues of the body. All living things are made up of one or more cells.

cell differentiation
The process during which young, immature (unspecialized) cells take on individual characteristics and reach their mature (specialized) form and function.

cell motility
The ability of a cell to move.

cell proliferation
An increase in the number of cells as a result of cell growth and cell division.

cellular adhesion
The close adherence (bonding) to adjoining cell surfaces.

cellulitis
An acute, spreading infection of the deep tissues of the skin and muscle that causes the skin to become warm and tender and may also cause fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters.

central nervous system
CNS. The brain and spinal cord.

central venous access catheter
A tube surgically placed into a blood vessel for the purpose of giving intravenous fluid and drugs. It also can be used to obtain blood samples. This device avoids the need for separate needle insertions for each infusion or blood test. Examples of these devices include Hickman catheters, which require clamps to make sure the valve is closed, and Groshong catheters, which have a valve that opens as fluid is withdrawn or infused and remains closed when not in use.

CEP-2563 dihydrochloride
A growth factor antagonist that may stop tumor cells from growing.

cephalexin
An antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called cephalosporins.

cephalosporins
A family of antibiotic drugs that is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections.

ceramide
A type of fat produced in the body. It may cause some types of cells to die and is being studied in cancer treatment.

cerebellum
The portion of the brain in the back of the head between the cerebrum and the brain stem. The cerebellum controls balance for walking and standing, and other complex motor functions.

cerebral hemispheres
The two halves of the cerebrum, the part of the brain that controls muscle functions of the body and also controls speech, emotions, reading, writing, and learning. The right hemisphere controls muscle movement on the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls muscle movement on the right side of the body.

cerebrospinal fluid
CSF. The fluid flowing around the brain and spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the ventricles in the brain.

cerebrospinal fluid diversion
A process used to drain fluid that has built up around the brain and spinal cord. A shunt (a long, thin tube) is placed in a ventricle of the brain and threaded under the skin to another part of the body, usually the abdomen. The shunt carries excess fluid away from the brain so it may be absorbed elsewhere in the body.

cerebrum
The largest part of the brain. It is divided into two hemispheres, or halves, called the cerebral hemispheres. The cerebrum controls muscle functions of the body and also controls speech, emotions, reading, writing, and learning.

cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
CIN. A general term for the growth of abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix. Numbers from 1 to 3 may be used to describe how much of the cervix contains abnormal cells.

cervix
The lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.

cetuximab
A type of monoclonal antibody being studied as an anticancer drug. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

cevimeline
A substance that increases production of saliva and tears. It is being studied as a treatment for dry mouth caused by radiation therapy to the head and neck. It belongs to the family of drugs called cholinergic enhancers.

CGP 48664
An anticancer drug that may inhibit the growth of some tumors.

chemoembolization
A procedure in which the blood supply to the tumor is blocked surgically or mechanically and anticancer drugs are administered directly into the tumor. This permits a higher concentration of drug to be in contact with the tumor for a longer period of time.

chemoprevention
The use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to reduce the risk of, or delay the development or recurrence of, cancer.

chemoprotective
A quality of some drugs used in cancer treatment. Chemoprotective agents protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

chemosensitivity assay
A laboratory test to analyze the responsiveness of a tumor to a specific drug.

chemosensitizer
A drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy.

chemotherapy
Treatment with anticancer drugs.

chest wall
The muscles, bones, and joints that make up the area of the body between the neck and the abdomen.

chlorambucil
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

chloroquinoxaline sulfonamide
CQS. A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug.

cholangiosarcoma
A tumor of the connective tissues of the bile ducts.

chondrosarcoma
A type of cancer that forms in cartilage.

chordoma
A type of bone cancer that usually starts in the lower spinal cord.

choriocarcinoma
A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, gestational trophoblastic tumor, or molar pregnancy.

choroid plexus tumor
A rare type of cancer that occurs in the ventricles of the brain. It usually occurs in children younger than 2 years.

chromosome
Part of a cell that contains genetic information. Except for sperm and eggs, all human cells contain 46 chromosomes.

chronic
A disease or condition that persists or progresses over a long period of time.

chronic granulocytic leukemia
A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic myelogenous leukemia or chronic myeloid leukemia.

chronic leukemia
A slowly progressing cancer of the blood-forming tissues.

chronic lymphoblastic lymphoma
A slowly progressing disease in which too many immature white blood cells (called lymphoblasts) are found in the body.

chronic lymphocytic leukemia
A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells (called lymphocytes) are found in the body.

chronic myelogenous leukemia
CML. A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic myeloid leukemia or chronic granulocytic leukemia.

chronic myeloid leukemia
CML. A slowly progressing disease in which too many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic myelogenous leukemia or chronic granulocytic leukemia.

chronic phase
Refers to the early stages of chronic myelogenous leukemia or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The number of mature and immature abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood is higher than normal, but lower than in the accelerated or blast phase.

chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia
A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia that may last from several months to several years. Although there may be no symptoms of leukemia, there are too many white blood cells.

CHS 828
A drug that is being studied as a treatment for solid tumors.

CI-1033
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

CI-958
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called DNA-intercalating compounds.

CI-994
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Also called N-acetyldinaline.

cidofovir
A drug used to treat infection caused by viruses.

cimetidine
A drug usually used to treat stomach ulcers and heartburn. It is also commonly used in a regimen to prevent allergic reactions.

ciprofloxacin
An anti-infection drug that is also being studied in bladder cancer chemotherapy.

cirrhosis
A type of chronic, progressive liver disease in which liver cells are replaced by scar tissue.

cisplatin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called platinum compounds.

cladribine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

clarithromycin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called macrolides.

clear cell carcinoma
A rare type of tumor of the female genital tract in which the inside of the cells looks clear when viewed under a microscope.

clear cell sarcoma of the kidney
A rare type of kidney cancer. Clear cell sarcoma can spread from the kidney to other organs, most commonly the bone, but also including the lungs, brain, and soft tissues of the body.

clinical practice guidelines
Guidelines developed to help health care professionals and patients make decisions about screening, prevention, or treatment of a specific health condition.

clinical trial
A type of research study that tests how well new medical treatments or other interventions work in people. Such studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease. The study may be carried out in a clinic or other medical facility. Also called a clinical study.

clodronate
A drug used as treatment for hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases). It may decrease pain, the risk of fractures, and the development of new bone metastases.

CNS
Central nervous system. The brain and spinal cord.

CNS metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the central nervous system.

CNS prophylaxis
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy given to the central nervous system (CNS) as a preventive treatment. It is given to kill cancer cells that may be in the brain and spinal cord, even though no cancer has been detected there.

CNS tumors
Tumors of the central nervous system, including brain stem glioma, craniopharyngioma, medulloblastoma, and meningioma.

co-trimoxazole
A combination of two anti-infection drugs, sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. It is used to fight bacterial and protozoal infections.

coactivated T cells
T cells that have been coated with monoclonal antibodies to enhance their ability to kill tumor cells.

Cockayne syndrome
A genetic condition characterized by short stature, premature aging, sensitivity to light, and possibly deafness and mental retardation.

COL-3
An anticancer drug that may stop tumor growth by preventing the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor.

colectomy
An operation to remove the colon. An open colectomy is the removal of the colon through a surgical incision made in the wall of the abdomen. Laparoscopic-assisted colectomy uses a thin, lighted tube attached to a video camera. It allows the surgeon to remove the colon without a large incision.

colo-anal anastomosis
A surgical procedure in which the colon is attached to the anus after the rectum has been removed. Also called colo-anal pull-through.

colo-anal pull-through
A surgical procedure in which the colon is attached to the anus after the rectum has been removed. Also called colo-anal anastomosis.

colon
The long, tube-like organ that is connected to the small intestine and rectum. The colon removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus. Also called the large intestine.

colonoscope
A thin, lighted tube used to examine the inside of the colon.

colonoscopy
An examination of the inside of the colon using a thin, lighted tube (called a colonoscope) inserted into the rectum. If abnormal areas are seen, tissue can be removed and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present.

colony-stimulating factors
Substances that stimulate the production of blood cells. Colony-stimulating factors include granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (also called G-CSF and filgrastim), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (also called GM-CSF and sargramostim), and promegapoietin.

colorectal
Having to do with the colon or the rectum.

colostomy
An opening into the colon from the outside of the body. A colostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the colon has been removed.

colposcope
A lighted magnifying instrument used for examination of the vagina and cervix.

colposcopy
Examination of the vagina and cervix using a lighted magnifying instrument called a colposcope.

combination chemotherapy
Treatment using more than one anticancer drug.

combretastatin A4 phosphate
An anticancer drug that reduces the blood supply to tumors; it is a tubulin-binding agent.

common bile duct
Carries bile from the liver and gallbladder into the duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine).

compassionate use
Refers to providing a drug to a patient on humanitarian grounds before the drug has received official approval.

complementary and alternative medicine
CAM. Forms of treatment that are used in addition to (complementary) or instead of (alternative) standard treatments. These practices are not considered standard medical approaches. CAM includes dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation.

complementary medicine
Practices not generally recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional medical approaches and used to enhance or complement standard treatments. Complementary medicine includes dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, special teas, acupuncture, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation.

complete blood count
CBC. A test to check the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a sample of blood. Also called blood cell count.

complete remission
The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called a complete response.

complete response
The disappearance of all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer has been cured. Also called a complete remission.

compression bandage
A bandage designed to provide pressure to a particular area.

computed tomographic colonography
CTC. A procedure in which a detailed picture of the colon is created by an x-ray machine linked to a computer. Also called computed tomography (CT) scan or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan of the colon.

computed tomography
CT scan. A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.

computed tomography colography
A method under study to examine the colon by taking a series of x-rays (called a CT scan) and then using a high-powered computer to reconstruct 2-D and 3-D pictures of the interior surfaces of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, manipulated to better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called virtual colonoscopy.

condylomata acuminata
Genital warts caused by certain human papillomaviruses (HPVs).

cone biopsy
Surgery to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal. Cone biopsy may be used to diagnose or treat a cervical condition. Also called conization.

congestive heart failure
Weakness of the heart muscle that leads to a buildup of fluid in body tissues.

conization
Surgery to remove a cone-shaped piece of tissue from the cervix and cervical canal. Conization may be used to diagnose or treat a cervical condition. Also called cone biopsy.

consolidation therapy
Chemotherapy treatments given after induction chemotherapy to further reduce the number of cancer cells.

contiguous
Touching or very close together.

continent reservoir
A pouch formed from a piece of small intestine to hold urine after the bladder has been removed.

continuous hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion
CHPP. A procedure that bathes the abdominal cavity in fluid that contains anticancer drugs. This fluid is warmer than body temperature. This procedure appears to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.

continuous infusion
The administration of a fluid into a blood vessel, usually over a prolonged period of time.

conventional treatment
A currently accepted and widely used treatment for a certain type of disease, based on the results of past research. Also called conventional therapy.

cooperative group
A group of physicians, hospitals, or both formed to treat a large number of persons in the same way so that a new treatment can be evaluated quickly. Clinical trials of new cancer treatments often require many more people than a single physician or hospital can care for.

cordectomy
An operation on the vocal cords or on the spinal cord.

cordycepin
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

core biopsy
The removal of a tissue sample with a needle for examination under a microscope.

corpus
The body of the uterus.

corticosteroids
Hormones that have antitumor activity in lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias; in addition, corticosteroids (steroids) may be used for hormone replacement and for the management of some of the complications of cancer and its treatment.

cortisone
A natural steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland. It can also be made in the laboratory. Cortisone reduces swelling and can suppress immune responses.

Corynebacterium granulosum
A bacterium that may stimulate the immune system to fight cancer.

COX-2 inhibitors
Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors. A family of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve pain and inflammation. COX-2 inhibitors are being studied in the prevention of colon polyps, and as anticancer drugs.

CP-358,774
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called erlotinib.

CP-609,754
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug.

CP4071
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

craniopharyngioma
A benign brain tumor that may be considered malignant because it can damage the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst.

craniotomy
An operation in which an opening is made in the skull.

crisnatol mesylate
An anticancer drug that interferes with the DNA in cancer cells.

Crohn's disease
Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the bowel. Crohn's disease increases the risk for colon cancer.

cruciferous vegetables
A family of vegetables that includes kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. These vegetables contain substances that may protect against cancer.

cryosurgery
Treatment performed with an instrument that freezes and destroys abnormal tissues.

cryotherapy
Any method that uses cold temperature to treat disease.

cryptorchidism
A condition in which one or both testicles fail to move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, into the scrotum. Cryptorchidism may increase the risk for development of testicular cancer. Also called undescended testicles.

CSF
Cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid flowing around the brain and spinal cord. CSF is produced in the ventricles of the brain.

CT scan
Computed tomography scan. A series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body taken from different angles; the pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. Also called computerized tomography and computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.

CT-2103
A protein that can be linked to a chemotherapy drug to deliver the drug directly to the tumor with fewer side effects. It is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

CT-2584
A drug that may prevent the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue into a solid tumor. It is being studied for its ability to treat cancer.

curcumin
A yellow pigment of the spice turmeric that is being studied in cancer prevention.

curettage
Removal of tissue with a curette, a spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge.

curette
A spoon-shaped instrument with a sharp edge.

cutaneous
Having to do with the skin.

cutaneous breast cancer
Cancer that has spread from the breast to the skin.

cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
A disease in which certain cells of the lymph system (called T lymphocytes) become cancerous (malignant) and affect the skin.

cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors
COX-2 inhibitors. A family of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to relieve pain and inflammation. COX-2 inhibitors are being studied in the prevention of colon polyps, and as anticancer drugs.

cyclophosphamide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

cyclosporine
A drug used to help reduce the risk of rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants by the body. It is also used in clinical trials to make cancer cells more sensitive to anticancer drugs.

cyproterone acetate
A synthetic hormone being studied for treatment of hot flashes in men with prostate cancer who have had both testicles removed by surgery.

cyst
A sac or capsule filled with fluid.

cystectomy
Surgery to remove all or part of the bladder.

cystosarcoma phyllodes
CSP. A type of tumor found in breast tissue. It is often large and bulky and grows quickly. It is usually benign (not cancer), but may be malignant (cancer). Also called phyllodes tumor.

cystoscope
A thin, lighted instrument used to look inside the bladder and remove tissue samples or small tumors.

cystoscopy
Examination of the bladder and urethra using a thin, lighted instrument (called a cystoscope) inserted into the urethra. Tissue samples can be removed and examined under a microscope to determine whether disease is present.

cytarabine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

cytokines
A class of substances that are produced by cells of the immune system and can affect the immune response. Cytokines can also be produced in the laboratory by recombinant DNA technology and given to people to affect immune responses.

cytomegalovirus
CMV. A virus that may be carried in an inactive state for life by healthy individuals. It is a cause of severe pneumonia in people with a suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing bone marrow transplantation or those with leukemia or lymphoma.

cytopenia
A reduction in the number of blood cells.

cytotoxic chemotherapy
Anticancer drugs that kill cells, especially cancer cells.

cytotoxic T cells
A type of white blood cell that can directly destroy specific cells. T cells can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to destroy tumor cells. Certain cytokines can also be given to a patient to help form cytotoxic T cells in the patient's body.

D

D-20761
A synthetic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) antagonist that suppresses LH and sex steroid levels.

DACA
Acridine carboxamide. A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

dacarbazine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

daclizumab
A monoclonal antibody that is being studied for treatment of adult T-cell leukemia. Also called dacliximab. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

dactinomycin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

dalteparin
A drug that helps prevent the formation of blood clots; it belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants.

danazol
A synthetic hormone that belongs to the family of drugs called androgens and is used to treat endometriosis. It is being evaluated in the treatment of endometrial cancer.

daunorubicin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

decitabine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

deferoxamine
An iron-chelating agent that removes iron from tumors by inhibiting DNA synthesis and causing cancer cell death. It is used in conjunction with other anticancer agents in pediatric neuroblastoma therapy.

defibrotide
A drug under study for the prevention of veno-occlusive disease, a rare complication of high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation in which small veins in the liver become blocked.

dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA. A substance that is being studied as a cancer prevention drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called steroids.

dendritic cell
A special type of antigen-presenting cell (APC) that activates T lymphocytes.

dendritic cell vaccine
A vaccine made of antigens and dendritic antigen-presenting cells (APCs).

denileukin diftitox
A substance used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma when other treatments have not worked.

dental implant
A small metal pin placed inside the jawbone to mimic the root of a tooth. Dental implants can be used to help anchor a false tooth or teeth, or a crown or bridge.

deoxycytidine
A drug that protects healthy tissues from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

DepoFoam-encapsulated cytarabine
The anticancer drug cytarabine formulated inside small particles of a synthetic lipid material called DepoFoam. This dosage form slowly releases the drug and provides a sustained action.

depsipeptide
Anticancer drugs obtained from microorganisms.

dermatitis
Inflammation of the skin.

dermatologist
A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems.

dermis
The lower or inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin.

DES
Diethylstilbestrol. A synthetic hormone that was prescribed from the early 1940s until 1971 to help women with complications of pregnancy. DES has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina in daughters of women who used DES. DES may also increase the risk of breast cancer in women who used DES.

desmoid tumor
A tumor of the tissue that surrounds muscles, usually in the abdomen. A desmoid tumor rarely metastasizes (spreads to other parts of the body). Also called aggressive fibromatosis, especially when the tumor is outside the abdomen.

dexamethasone
A synthetic steroid (similar to steroid hormones produced naturally in the adrenal gland). Dexamethasone is used to treat leukemia and lymphoma and may be used to treat some of the problems caused by other cancers and their treatment.

dexrazoxane
A drug used to protect the heart from the toxic effects of anthracycline drugs such as doxorubicin. It belongs to the family of drugs called chemoprotective agents.

dextromethorphan acetic acid
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

DHA-paclitaxel
A combination of DHA (a natural fatty acid) and paclitaxel (an anticancer drug) that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

DHEA
Dehydroepiandrosterone. A substance that is being studied as a cancer prevention drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called steroids.

di-dgA-RFB4 monoclonal antibody
An anticancer drug that is a combination of a monoclonal antibody (RFB4) and an immunotoxin (dgA).

diabetes
A disease in which the body does not properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood is too high. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly.

diagnosis
The process of identifying a disease by the signs and symptoms.

diagnostic procedure
A method used to identify a disease.

diagnostic trial
A research study that evaluates methods of detecting disease.

dialysis
The process of cleansing the blood when the kidneys are not able to filter the blood.

diaphragm
The thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen.

diathermy
The use of heat to destroy abnormal cells. Also called cauterization or electrodiathermy.

diaziquone
AZQ. An anticancer drug that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and kill cancer cells in the central nervous system.

didanosine
A drug used to treat infection caused by viruses.

diethylstilbestrol
DES. A synthetic hormone that was prescribed from the early 1940s until 1971 to help women with complications of pregnancy. DES has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina in daughters of women who used DES. DES may also increase the risk of breast cancer in women who used DES.

differentiation
In cancer, refers to how mature (developed) the cancer cells are in a tumor. Differentiated tumor cells resemble normal cells and tend to grow and spread at a slower rate than undifferentiated or poorly differentiated tumor cells, which lack the structure and function of normal cells and grow uncontrollably.

difluoromethylornithine
DFMO. An anticancer drug that has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer in animals.

digestive system
The organs that take in food and turn it into products that the body can use to stay healthy. Waste products the body cannot use leave the body through bowel movements. The digestive system includes the salivary glands, mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, small and large intestines, and rectum.

digestive tract
The organs through which food passes when food is eaten. These organs are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum.

digital photography
A type of photography in which images can be viewed on a computer screen.

digital rectal examination
DRE. An examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities.

dihematoporphyrin ether
Used in photodynamic therapy, a drug that is absorbed by tumor cells; when exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

dilation and curettage
D

dilator
A device used to stretch or enlarge an opening.

dimesna
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called chemoprotective agents.

dimethylxanthenone acetic acid
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

diphosphonates
A family of drugs used to treat osteoporosis and the bone pain caused by some types of cancer. Also called bisphosphonates.

dipyridamole
A drug that prevents blood cell clumping and enhances the effectiveness of fluorouracil and other chemotherapeutic agents.

disease progression
Cancer that continues to grow or spread.

distant cancer
Refers to cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to distant organs or distant lymph nodes.

disulfiram
A drug that slows the metabolism of retinoids, allowing them to act over a longer period of time.

diuretic
A drug that increases the production of urine.

diverticulosis
A condition marked by small sacs or pouches (diverticula) in the walls of an organ such as the stomach or colon. These sacs can become inflamed and cause a condition called diverticulitis, which may be a risk factor for certain types of cancer.

DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid. The molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next.

docetaxel
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

dolasetron
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiemetics.

dolastatin 10
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

donepezil
A drug used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It belongs to the family of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. It is being studied as a treatment for side effects caused by radiation therapy to the brain.

dose-rate
The strength of a treatment given over a period of time.

double-blinded
A clinical trial in which neither the medical staff nor the person knows which of several possible therapies the person is receiving.

douche
A procedure in which water or a medicated solution is used to clean the vagina and cervix.

Down syndrome
A disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 and characterized by mental retardation and distinguishing physical features.

doxercalciferol
A substance that is being studied in the prevention of recurrent prostate cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called vitamin D analogs.

doxorubicin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

doxycycline
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection.

DPPE
Belongs to a group of antihormone drugs.

dronabinol
A synthetic pill form of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient in marijuana that is used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy.

drug tolerance
A condition that occurs when the body gets used to a medicine so that either more medicine is needed or different medicine is needed.

dry orgasm
Sexual climax without the release of semen from the penis.

DTGM fusion protein
An anticancer drug formed by the combination of diphtheria toxin and a colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). The colony-stimulating factor is attracted to cancer cells, and the diphtheria toxin kills the cells.

duct
A tube through which body fluids pass.

ductal carcinoma
The most common type of breast cancer. It begins in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast.

ductal carcinoma in situ
DCIS. Abnormal cells that involve only the lining of a duct. The cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Also called intraductal carcinoma.

dumping syndrome
A group of symptoms that occur when food or liquid enters the small intestine too rapidly. These symptoms include cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. Dumping syndrome sometimes occurs in people who have had a portion of their stomach removed.

duodenum
The first part of the small intestine.

DX-52-1
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

dyscrasia
Disease. Usually refers to diseases of the blood.

dysplasia
Cells that look abnormal under a microscope but are not cancer.

dysplastic nevi
Atypical moles; moles whose appearance is different from that of common moles. Dysplastic nevi are generally larger than ordinary moles and have irregular and indistinct borders. Their color frequently is not uniform and ranges from pink to dark brown; they usually are flat, but parts may be raised above the skin surface.

dyspnea
Difficult, painful breathing or shortness of breath.

E

E7070
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called sulfonamides. It is being studied for its ability to treat cancer.

echocardiography
A procedure that uses ultrasonic waves directed over the chest wall to obtain a graphic record of the heart's position, motion of the walls, or internal parts such as the valves.

ecteinascidin 743
An anticancer drug that inhibits the growth of cancer cells by disrupting the structure of tumor-cell DNA.

edatrexate
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antimetabolites.

edema
Swelling caused by excess fluid in body tissues.

edrecolomab
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

EF5
A drug that is used to plan cancer treatment by measuring oxygen levels in tumor cells.

eflornithine
An antiprotozoal drug that is being studied for cancer prevention.

ejaculation
The release of semen through the penis during orgasm.

electrodesiccation
The drying of tissue by a high-frequency electric current applied with a needle-shaped electrode.

electrolarynx
A battery-operated device that makes a humming sound. It is used to help a person talk after removal of the larynx (voice box).

electroporation therapy
EPT. Treatment that generates electrical pulses through an electrode placed in a tumor to enhance the ability of anticancer drugs to enter tumor cells.

embolization
The blocking of an artery by a clot or foreign material. Embolization can be done as treatment to block the flow of blood to a tumor.

EMD 121974
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer and antiangiogenesis drug.

emitefur
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

enalapril
An antihypertensive agent that can also be used to slow or prevent the progression of heart disease in people with childhood cancer treated with drugs that may be harmful to the heart.

encapsulated
Confined to a specific, localized area and surrounded by a thin layer of tissue.

endocervical curettage
The scraping of the mucous membrane of the cervical canal using a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette.

endocrine cancer
Cancer that occurs in endocrine tissue, the tissue in the body that secretes hormones.

endocrinologist
A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating hormone disorders.

endometrial
Having to do with the endometrium (the layer of tissue that lines the uterus).

endometrial disorder
Abnormal cell growth in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus).

endometriosis
A benign condition in which tissue that looks like endometrial tissue grows in abnormal places in the abdomen.

endometrium
The layer of tissue that lines the uterus.

endoscope
A thin, lighted tube used to look at tissues inside the body.

endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
ERCP. A procedure to x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. In this procedure, a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken.

endoscopic ultrasound
EUS. A procedure in which an endoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted into the body. The endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endosonography.

endoscopy
The use of a thin, lighted tube (called an endoscope) to examine the inside of the body.

endostatin
A drug that is being studied for its ability to prevent the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor. Endostatin belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

endothelin receptor antagonists
A family of drugs that block the hormone endothelin and may prevent prostate cancer from spreading to the bones. They may also prevent the growth and spread of other types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

eniluracil
An anticancer drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil. Also called ethynyluracil.

enoxaparin
A drug used to prevent blood clots. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants.

enterostomal therapist
A health professional trained in the care of persons with urostomies and other stomas.

environmental tobacco smoke
ETS. Smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers (second-hand smoke). Inhaling ETS is called involuntary or passive smoking.

enzyme
A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.

eosinophil
A type of white blood cell.

eosinophilia
A condition in which the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood is greatly increased. Eosinophilia is often a response to infection or allergens (substances that cause an allergic response).

ependymal tumors
A type of brain tumor that usually begins in the central canal of the spinal cord. Ependymal tumors may also develop in the cells lining the ventricles of the brain, which produce and store the special fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) that protects the brain and spinal cord. Also called ependymomas.

ependymomas
Brain tumors that usually begin in the central canal of the spinal cord. Ependymomas may also develop in the cells lining the ventricles of the brain, which produce and store the special fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) that protects the brain and spinal cord. Also called ependymal tumors.

epidermal growth factor receptor
EGFR. The protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also known as ErbB1 or HER1.

epidermis
The upper or outer layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin.

epidermoid carcinoma
A type of cancer in which the cells are flat and look like fish scales. Also called squamous cell carcinoma.

epidural
Having to do with the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord. An epidural injection is given into this space.

epidural block
An injection of an anesthetic drug into the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord.

epiglottis
The flap that covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter the lungs.

epinephrine
A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called adrenaline.

epipodophyllotoxins
A family of drugs used to treat a variety of childhood cancers. These drugs belong to a larger class of drugs called topoisomerase II inhibitors.

epirubicin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

epithelial
Refers to the cells that line the internal and external surfaces of the body.

epithelial carcinoma
Cancer that begins in the cells that line an organ.

epithelial ovarian cancer
Cancer that occurs in the cells lining the ovaries.

epithelium
A thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures within the body.

epitope
A part of a molecule that an antibody will recognize and bind to.

epoetin alfa
A colony-stimulating factor that is made in the laboratory. It increases the production of red blood cells.

epratuzumab
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies.

Epstein-Barr virus
EBV. A common virus that remains dormant in most people. It has been associated with certain cancers, including Burkitt's lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

ERA-923
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to a family of drugs called antiestrogens.

erb-38 immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

ERCP
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (en-do-SKAH-pik RET-ro-grade ko-LAN-jee-o-PAN-kree-a-TAW-gra-fee). A procedure to x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. In this procedure, a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken.

erlotinib
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called CP-358,774 and OSI-774.

erythrocytes
Cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body. Also called red blood cells (RBCs).

erythroleukemia
Cancer of the blood-forming tissues in which large numbers of immature, abnormal red blood cells are found in the blood and bone marrow.

erythroplakia
A reddened patch with a velvety surface found in the mouth.

erythropoietin
Produced in the adult kidney, a colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of red blood cells.

esophageal
Having to do with the esophagus, the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.

esophageal speech
Speech produced by trapping air in the esophagus and forcing it out again. It is used after removal of a person's larynx (voice box).

esophagectomy
An operation to remove a portion of the esophagus.

esophagitis
Inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach).

esophagoscopy
Examination of the esophagus using a thin, lighted tube.

esophagram
A series of x-rays of the esophagus. The x-ray pictures are taken after the person drinks a solution that contains barium. The barium coats and outlines the esophagus on the x-ray. Also called a barium swallow.

esophagus
The muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.

estramustine
A combination of the hormone estradiol (an estrogen) and nitrogen mustard (an anticancer drug). Used in the palliative therapy of prostate cancer.

estrogen receptor
ER. Protein found on some cancer cells to which estrogen will attach.

estrogen receptor negative
ER-. Breast cancer cells that do not have a protein (receptor molecule) to which estrogen will attach. Breast cancer cells that are ER- do not need the hormone estrogen to grow and usually do not respond to hormone (antiestrogen) therapy that blocks these receptor sites.

estrogen receptor positive
ER+. Breast cancer cells that have a protein (receptor molecule) to which estrogen will attach. Breast cancer cells that are ER+ need the hormone estrogen to grow and will usually respond to hormone (antiestrogen) therapy that blocks these receptor sites.

estrogen replacement therapy
ERT. Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to postmenopausal women or to women who have had their ovaries surgically removed. Hormones are given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries.

estrogens
A family of hormones that promote the development and maintenance of female sex characteristics.

etanidazole
A drug that increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

ethynyluracil
An anticancer drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil. Also called eniluracil.

etidronate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are used as treatment for hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

etiology
The cause or origin of disease.

etoposide
An anticancer drug that is a podophyllotoxin derivative and belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

evaluable disease
Disease that cannot be measured directly by the size of the tumor but can be evaluated by other methods specific to a particular clinical trial.

Ewing's sarcoma
A type of bone cancer that usually forms in the middle (shaft) of large bones. Also called Ewing's sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET).

exatecan mesylate
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. Also called DX-8951f.

excisional biopsy
A surgical procedure in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.

exemestane
An anticancer drug used to decrease estrogen production and suppress the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors.

exisulind
A drug that is being studied in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It has been shown to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous and precancerous cells by acting through a group of cellular enzymes called cGMP phosphodiesterases.

experimental
Being studied; investigational.

extensive-stage small cell lung cancer
Cancer that has spread outside the lung to other tissues in the chest or to other parts of the body.

external radiation
Radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer. Also called external-beam radiation.

external-beam radiation
Radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer. Also called external radiation.

F

fallopian tubes
Part of the female reproductive tract. The long slender tubes through which eggs pass from the ovaries to the uterus.

familial adenomatous polyposis
FAP. An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk for colon cancer. Also called familial polyposis.

familial dysplastic nevi
A condition that runs in certain families in which at least two members have dysplastic nevi (atypical moles) and have a tendency to develop melanoma.

familial polyposis
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk for colon cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis or FAP.

Fanconi's anemia
A rare and often fatal inherited disease in which the bone marrow fails to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or a combination of these cells. The disease may transform into myelodysplastic syndrome or leukemia. Also called Fanconi's syndrome.

FAP
An inherited condition in which numerous polyps (growths that protrude from mucous membranes) form on the inside walls of the colon and rectum. It increases the risk for colon cancer. Also called familial adenomatous polyposis or familial polyposis.

fatty acids
A major component of fats that are used by the body for energy and tissue development.

fatty-replaced breast tissue
A term used in mammography that refers to the replacement of breast tissue with fatty tissue. This commonly occurs as a woman ages.

fazarabine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

fecal occult blood test
A test to check for blood in stool. (Fecal refers to stool; occult means hidden.)

fenretinide
A drug being studied for cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

fentanyl
A narcotic opioid drug that is used in the treatment of pain.

fertility
The ability to produce children.

fetus
The developing offspring from 7 to 8 weeks after conception until birth.

fiber
The parts of fruits and vegetables that cannot be digested. Also called bulk or roughage. Fiber may be effective in preventing cancer.

fibrin sealant
A type of surgical glue that is made from human blood-clotting proteins, and that is used during surgery to control bleeding.

fibroid
A benign smooth-muscle tumor, usually in the uterus or gastrointestinal tract. Also called leiomyoma.

fibrosarcoma
A type of soft tissue sarcoma that begins in fibrous tissue, which holds bones, muscles, and other organs in place.

fibrosis
The growth of fibrous tissue.

filgrastim
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF).

filgrastim-SD/01
A substance that is being studied for its ability to increase numbers of white blood cells in people who are receiving chemotherapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called colony-stimulating factors.

finasteride
A drug used to reduce the amount of male hormone (testosterone) produced by the body.

fine-needle aspiration
The removal of tissue or fluid with a needle for examination under a microscope. Also called needle biopsy.

FK463
An antibiotic/antifungal drug used to treat infection.

flavopiridol
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called flavanoids.

flecainide
A drug that is used to treat abnormal heart rhythms. It may also relieve neuropathic pain, the burning, stabbing, or stinging pain that may arise from damage to nerves caused by some types of cancer or cancer treatment.

floxuridine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

flt3L
A drug that increases the number of immune cells and may stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells.

fluconazole
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

flucytosine
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

fludarabine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

fludeoxyglucose F 18
The radioactive form of glucose used in positron emission tomography (PET), a diagnostic imaging procedure.

fludrocortisone
A synthetic corticosteroid. It is used to replace steroid hormones normally produced by the adrenal gland.

fluoroscope
An x-ray machine that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.

fluoroscopy
An x-ray procedure that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion.

fluorouracil
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called 5-FU.

fluoxetine
A drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the family of drugs called antidepressants.

flutamide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antiandrogens.

folate
A B-complex vitamin that is being studied as a cancer prevention agent. Also called folic acid.

folate antagonist
A substance that blocks the activity of folic acid. Folate antagonists are used to treat cancer. Also called antifolate.

folic acid
A B-complex vitamin that is being studied as a cancer prevention agent. Also called folate.

follicle
A sac or pouch-like cavity.

FR901228
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called depsipeptides.

fractionation
Dividing the total dose of radiation therapy into several smaller, equal doses delivered over a period of several days.

fulguration
Destroying tissue using an electric current.

functional magnetic resonance imaging
A noninvasive tool used to observe functioning in the brain or other organs by detecting changes in chemical composition, blood flow, or both.

fundus
The larger part of a hollow organ that is farthest away from the organ's opening. The bladder, gallbladder, stomach, uterus, eye, and cavity of the middle ear all have a fundus.

G

G-CSF
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called filgrastim.

gabapentin
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for relieving hot flashes in women with breast cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

gallbladder
The pear-shaped organ found below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.

gallium nitrate
A drug that lowers blood calcium. Used as treatment for hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

gamma knife
Radiation therapy in which high-energy rays are aimed at a tumor from many angles in a single treatment session.

ganciclovir
An antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus infections that may occur when the body's immune system is suppressed. In gene therapy, ganciclovir is used with an altered herpes simplex virus-1 gene to kill advanced melanoma cells and brain tumor cells.

gastrectomy
An operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

gastric
Having to do with the stomach.

gastric atrophy
A condition in which the stomach muscles shrink and become weak. The digestive (peptic) glands may also shrink, resulting in a lack of digestive juices.

gastroenterologist
A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.

gastrointestinal
GI. Refers to the stomach and intestines.

gastrointestinal stromal tumor
GIST. A type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant.

gastrointestinal tract
The stomach and intestines.

gastroscope
A thin, lighted tube used to view the inside of the stomach.

gastroscopy
An examination of the inside of the stomach using a thin, lighted tube (called a gastroscope) passed through the mouth and esophagus.

geldanamycin analogue
An antineoplastic antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called ansamycins.

GEM 231
A drug that may inhibit the growth of malignant tumors.

gemcitabine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

gemtuzumab ozogamicin
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

gene
The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

gene deletion
The total loss or absence of a gene.

gene therapy
Treatment that alters a gene. In studies of gene therapy for cancer, researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability to fight the disease or to make the cancer cells more sensitive to other kinds of therapy.

gene-modified
Cells that have been altered to contain different genetic material than they originally contained.

genetic
Inherited; having to do with information that is passed from parents to offspring through genes in sperm and egg cells.

genetic counseling
A communication process between a specially trained health professional and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person's family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counseling may lead to genetic testing.

genetic markers
Alterations in DNA that may indicate an increased risk of developing a specific disease or disorder.

genetic testing
Analyzing DNA to look for a genetic alteration that may indicate an increased risk for developing a specific disease or disorder.

genistein
An isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

genitourinary system
The parts of the body that play a role in reproduction, getting rid of waste products in the form of urine, or both.

germ cell tumors
Tumors that begin in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs. They can occur virtually anywhere in the body and can be either benign or malignant.

germ cells
The reproductive cells of the body, specifically, egg or sperm cells.

germinoma
A type of tumor that develops from cells that normally make egg cells or sperm (germ cells). Germinomas can form in the ovaries, testicles, chest, abdomen, and brain. They occur most commonly in young people.

germline mutation
A gene change in the body's reproductive cells (egg or sperm) that becomes incorporated into the DNA of every cell in the body of offspring; germline mutations are passed on from parents to offspring. Also called hereditary mutation.

Gerota's fascia
A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called renal fascia.

gestational trophoblastic disease
A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic tumor, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, molar pregnancy, or choriocarcinoma.

gestational trophoblastic neoplasia
A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic tumor, molar pregnancy, or choriocarcinoma.

gestational trophoblastic tumor
A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, molar pregnancy, or choriocarcinoma.

GI14721
An antitumor drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is a camptothecin analogue.

gland
An organ that produces and releases one or more substances for use in the body. Some glands produce fluids that affect tissues or organs. Others produce hormones.

Gleason score
A system of grading prostate cancer cells to determine the best treatment and to predict how well a person is likely to do. A low Gleason score means the cancer cells are very similar to normal prostate cells; a high Gleason score means the cancer cells are very different from normal.

glial tumors
A general term for many types of tumors of the central nervous system, including astrocytomas, ependymal tumors, glioblastoma multiforme, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.

glioblastoma
A general term that refers to malignant astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor.

glioblastoma multiforme
A type of brain tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain. It grows very quickly and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Also called grade IV astrocytoma.

glioma
A cancer of the brain that comes from glial, or supportive, cells.

gliosarcoma
A type of glioma (cancer of the brain that comes from glial, or supportive, cells).

glossectomy
Surgical removal of all or part of the tongue.

glottis
The middle part of the larynx; the area where the vocal cords are located.

glucocorticoid
A compound that belongs to the family of compounds called corticosteroids (steroids). Glucocorticoids affect metabolism and have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. They may be naturally produced (hormones) or synthetic (drugs).

glufosfamide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

glutamine
An amino acid used in nutrition therapy. It is also being studied for the treatment of diarrhea caused by radiation therapy to the pelvis.

glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase inhibitors
A family of drugs that block DNA synthesis and may prevent tumor growth. They are being studied as a treatment for cancer.

GM-CSF
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of white blood cells, especially granulocytes and macrophages, and cells (in the bone marrow) that are precursors of platelets. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called sargramostim.

GM2-KLH vaccine
A substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies that fight certain cancer cells.

gonads
The part of the reproductive system that produces and releases eggs (ovaries) or sperm (testicles/testes).

goserelin
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues. Goserelin is used to block hormone production in the ovaries or testicles.

gossypol
An anticancer drug extracted from the cotton plant.

gp 100
Glycoprotein 100. A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines.

GPX-100
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

grade
The grade of a tumor depends on how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer.

grading
A system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope. The objective of a grading system is to provide information about the probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.

graft
Healthy skin, bone, or other tissue taken from one part of the body and used to replace diseased or injured tissue removed from another part of the body.

graft-versus-host disease
GVHD. A reaction of donated bone marrow or peripheral stem cells against a person's tissue.

graft-versus-tumor
An immune response to a person's tumor cells by immune cells present in a donor's transplanted tissue, such as bone marrow or peripheral blood.

granisetron
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiemetics.

granulocyte
A type of white blood cell that fights bacterial infection. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granulocytes.

granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
G-CSF. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called filgrastim.

granulocytopenia
A deficiency in the number of granulocytes, a type of white blood cell.

granulosa cell tumor
A type of slow-growing, malignant tumor that usually affects the ovary.

groin
The area where the thigh meets the abdomen.

growth factors
Substances made by the body that function to regulate cell division and cell survival. Some growth factors are also produced in the laboratory and used in biological therapy.

GVHD
Graft-versus-host disease. A reaction of donated bone marrow or peripheral stem cells against a person's tissue.

gynecologic
Having to do with the female reproductive tract (including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina).

gynecologic cancer
Cancer of the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina.

gynecologic oncologist
A doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female reproductive organs.

gynecologist
A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs.

H

hair follicles
Shafts or openings on the surface of the skin through which hair grows.

hairy cell leukemia
A type of chronic leukemia in which the abnormal white blood cells appear to be covered with tiny hairs when viewed under a microscope.

halofuginone hydrobromide
A substance that is being studied for its ability to slow the growth of connective tissue and prevent the growth of new blood vessels to a solid tumor. It belongs to the family of drugs called quinazolinone alkaloids.

hand-foot syndrome
A condition marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet. It sometimes occurs as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs. Also known as palmar-plantar erythodysthesia.

Helicobacter pylori
H. pylori. Bacteria that cause inflammation and ulcers in the stomach.

hemangiopericytoma
A type of cancer involving blood vessels and soft tissue.

hematogenous
Originating in the blood or spread through the bloodstream.

hematologic malignancies
Cancers of the blood or bone marrow, including leukemia and lymphoma. Also called hematologic cancers.

hematologist
A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the blood.

hematopoietic growth factors
A group of proteins that cause blood cells to grow and mature.

hematoporphyrin derivative
A drug used in photodynamic therapy that is absorbed by tumor cells. When exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

hemoglobin
The substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen molecules.

heparin
A drug that helps prevent blood clots from forming. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants (blood thinners).

hepatic
Refers to the liver.

hepatic arterial infusion
A procedure to deliver chemotherapy directly to the liver. Catheters are put into an artery in the groin that leads directly to the liver, and drugs are given through the catheters.

hepatic veno-occlusive disease
A condition in which some of the veins in the liver are blocked. It is sometimes a complication of high-dose chemotherapy given before a bone marrow transplant and is marked by increases in weight, liver size, and blood levels of bilirubin.

hepatitis
Disease of the liver causing inflammation. Symptoms include an enlarged liver, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dark urine.

hepatitis B virus
A virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through blood or sexual contact. Also, infants born to infected mothers may become infected with the virus.

hepatoblastoma
A type of liver tumor that occurs in infants and children.

hepatocellular carcinoma
A type of adenocarcinoma, the most common type of liver tumor.

hepatocyte
A liver cell.

hepatoma
A liver tumor.

HER2/neu
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. The HER2/neu protein is involved in growth of some cancer cells. Also called c-erbB-2.

HER2/neu gene
The gene that makes the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. The protein produced is HER2/neu, which is involved in the growth of some cancer cells. Also called c-erbB-2.

herba scutellaria barbatae
An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects.

hereditary
Transmitted from parent to child by information contained in the genes.

hereditary mutation
A gene change in the body's reproductive cells (egg or sperm) that becomes incorporated into the DNA of every cell in the body of offspring; hereditary mutations are passed on from parents to offspring. Also called germline mutation.

hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer
HNPCC. An inherited disorder in which affected individuals have a higher-than-normal chance of developing colon cancer and certain other types of cancer, usually before the age of 60. Also called Lynch syndrome.

herpes virus
A member of the herpes family of viruses.

heterogeneous
Made up of elements or ingredients that are not alike.

high-dose-rate remote radiation therapy
A type of internal radiation treatment in which the radioactive source is removed between treatments. Also called high-dose-rate remote brachytherapy or remote brachytherapy.

high-grade lymphomas
Includes large cell, immunoblastic, lymphoblastic, and small noncleaved cell lymphomas. These lymphomas grow quickly but have a better response to anticancer drugs than that seen with low-grade lymphomas.

high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion
HSIL. A precancerous condition in which the cells of the uterine cervix are moderately or severely abnormal.

high-risk cancer
Cancer that is likely to recur (come back), or spread.

histamine dihydrochloride
A drug being studied for its ability to enhance the effectiveness of IL-2 in treating acute myeloid leukemia.

histologic examination
The examination of tissue specimens under a microscope.

HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

HIV antibody
A substance produced by certain white blood cells in reaction to contact with HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus.

Hodgkin's disease
A malignant disease of the lymphatic system that is characterized by painless enlargement of lymph nodes, the spleen, or other lymphatic tissue. It is sometimes accompanied by symptoms such as fever, weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats.

holmium Ho 166 DOTMP
A drug containing a radioactive isotope that is used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

homeopathic remedies
Small doses of medicines, herbs, or both that are believed to stimulate the immune system.

homoharringtonine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the plant alkaloid family of drugs.

hormonal therapy
Treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), hormones may be given to block the body's natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the source of hormones. Also called hormone therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy.

hormone receptor test
A test to measure the amount of certain proteins, called hormone receptors, in cancer tissue. Hormones can attach to these proteins. A high level of hormone receptors may mean that hormones help the cancer grow.

hormone replacement therapy
HRT. Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries surgically removed, to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries.

hormone therapy
Treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), hormones may be given to block the body's natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the source of hormones. Also called hormonal therapy, hormone treatment, or endocrine therapy.

hormones
Chemicals produced by glands in the body and circulated in the bloodstream. Hormones control the actions of certain cells or organs.

HPPH
2-(1-hexyloxyethyl)-2-devinyl pyropheophorbide-a. A drug that is used in photodynamic therapy that is absorbed by tumor cells; when exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

hu14.18-interleukin-2 fusion protein
An anticancer drug in which hu14.18, a monoclonal antibody, is combined with interleukin-2. The monoclonal antibody binds to the cancer cells and delivers IL-2, which stimulates the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.

Huang Lian
A Chinese herb that has been used as a treatment for a variety of medical problems. It is being studied as an anticancer drug.

human papillomavirus
HPV. A virus that causes abnormal tissue growth (warts) and is often associated with some types of cancer.

humidifier
A machine that puts moisture in the air.

hydration
Combining with water.

hydrocephalus
The abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain.

hydrocortisone
A drug used to relieve the symptoms of certain hormone shortages and to suppress an immune response.

hydromorphone
A drug used to relieve pain.

hydroxychloroquine
A substance that decreases immune responses in the body. It is used to treat some autoimmune diseases, and is being studied as a treatment for graft-versus-host disease. Hydroxychloroquine belongs to the family of drugs called antiprotozoals.

hydroxyurea
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

hyperbaric oxygen
Oxygen that is at an atmospheric pressure higher than the pressure at sea level. Breathing hyperbaric oxygen to enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy is being studied.

hypercalcemia
Abnormally high blood calcium.

hyperfractionation
A way of giving radiation therapy in smaller-than-usual doses two or three times a day instead of once a day.

hyperplasia
An abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.

hypersensitivity
An exaggerated response by the immune system to a drug or other substance.

hyperthermia
A type of treatment in which body tissue is exposed to high temperatures to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anticancer drugs.

hyperthermic perfusion
A procedure in which a warmed solution containing anticancer drugs is used to bathe, or is passed through the blood vessels of, the tissue or organ containing the tumor.

hyperthyroidism
Too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms include weight loss, chest pain, cramps, diarrhea, and nervousness. Also called overactive thyroid.

hyperuricemia
A buildup of uric acid (a byproduct of metabolism) in the blood; a side effect of some anticancer drugs.

hypervascular
Having a large number of blood vessels.

hypopharynx
The bottom part of the throat. Cancer of the hypopharynx is also called hypopharyngeal cancer.

hypothalamus
The area of the brain that controls body temperature, hunger, and thirst.

hysterectomy
An operation in which the uterus is removed.

I

ICI 182780
A drug that blocks estrogen activity in the body and is used in the therapy of estrogen-dependent tumors such as breast cancer.

idarubicin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. Also called 4-demethoxydaunorubicin.

IDEC-Y2B8 monoclonal antibody
An anticancer drug that is a combination of a monoclonal antibody and a radioisotope (yttrium-90). Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells. Also called yttrium Y90 ibritumomab tiuxetan.

idoxifene
A drug that blocks the effects of estrogen.

idoxuridine
A drug that reduces the risk of cancer cell growth by interfering with the cells' DNA.

ifosfamide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

ileostomy
An opening into the ileum, part of the small intestine, from the outside of the body. An ileostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the intestine has been removed.

ILX-295501
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called diarylsulfonylureas.

ILX23-7553
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug.

IM-862
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

imagery
A technique in which the person focuses on positive images in his or her mind.

imaging
Tests that produce pictures of areas inside the body.

imaging procedures
Methods of producing pictures of areas inside the body.

imatinib mesylate
A drug that is being studied for its ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. It interferes with a portion of the protein produced by the bcr/abl oncogene. Also called Gleevec and STI571.

imipenem
An antibiotic drug used to treat severe or very resistant infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called carbapenems.

imiquimod
A substance that improves the body's natural response to infection and disease. It is being studied as a topical agent (something used on the surface of the body) for the prevention of some types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers.

immune adjuvant
A drug that stimulates the immune system to respond to disease.

immune function
Production and action of cells that fight disease or infection.

immune response
The activity of the immune system against foreign substances (antigens).

immune system
The complex group of organs and cells that defends the body against infection or disease.

immunocompetent
Having the ability to produce a normal immune response.

immunocompromised
Having a weakened immune system caused by certain diseases or treatments.

immunodeficiency
The decreased ability of the body to fight infection and disease.

immunodeficiency syndrome
The inability of the body to produce an immune response.

immunoglobulin
A protein that acts as an antibody.

immunology
The study of the body's immune system.

immunoscintigraphy
An imaging procedure in which antibodies labeled with radioactive substances are given to the person. A picture is taken of sites in the body where the antibody localizes.

immunosuppression
Suppression of the body's immune system and its ability to fight infections or disease. Immunosuppression may be deliberately induced with drugs, as in preparation for bone marrow or other organ transplantation to prevent rejection of the donor tissue. It may also result from certain diseases such as AIDS or lymphoma or from anticancer drugs.

immunosuppressive therapy
Therapy used to decrease the body's immune response, such as drugs given to prevent transplant rejection.

immunotherapy
Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease. Some immunotherapy agents may act directly on cancer cells to block

immunotoxin
An antibody linked to a toxic substance. Some immunotoxins can bind to cancer cells and kill them.

implant radiation
A procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, internal radiation, or interstitial radiation.

implantable pump
A small device installed under the skin to administer a steady dose of drugs.

impotent
Unable to have an erection adequate for sexual intercourse.

in situ cancer
Early cancer that has not spread to neighboring tissue.

in vitro
In the laboratory (outside the body). The opposite of in vivo (in the body).

in vivo
In the body. The opposite of in vitro (outside the body or in the laboratory).

incidence
The number of new cases of a disease diagnosed each year.

incision
A cut made in the body to perform surgery.

incisional biopsy
A surgical procedure in which a portion of a lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.

incomplete Freund's adjuvant
A drug used in vaccine therapy to stimulate the immune system.

incontinence
Inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or the escape of stool from the rectum (fecal incontinence).

incubated
Grown in the laboratory under controlled conditions. (For instance, white blood cells can be grown in special conditions so that they attack specific cancer cells when returned to the body.)

indinavir
A drug that interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.

indium In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan
A radiolabeled antibody that is being studied in cancer treatment.

indium In 111 pentetreotide
An anticancer drug belonging to a family of drugs called radiopharmaceuticals.

indole-3-carbinol
A substance that is being studied as a cancer prevention drug. It is found in cruciferous vegetables.

indolent
A type of cancer that grows slowly.

indolent lymphoma
Lymphomas that tend to grow and spread slowly, including chronic lymphocytic lymphoma and follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma. Also called low-grade lymphomas.

indomethacin
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Indomethacin reduces pain, fever, swelling, and redness. It is also being used to reduce tumor-induced suppression of the immune system and to increase the effectiveness of anticancer drugs.

induction therapy
Treatment designed to be used as a first step toward shrinking the cancer and in evaluating response to drugs and other agents. Induction therapy is followed by additional therapy to eliminate whatever cancer remains.

infection
Invasion and multiplication of germs in the body. Infections can occur in any part of the body, and can be localized or systemic (spread throughout the body). The germs may be bacteria, viruses, yeast, or fungi. They can cause a fever and other problems, depending on the site of the infection. When the body's natural defense system is strong, it can often fight the germs and prevent infection. Cancer treatment can weaken the natural defense system.

infertility
The inability to produce children.

infiltrating cancer
Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues. Also called invasive cancer.

infiltrating ductal carcinoma
The most common type of invasive breast cancer. It starts in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast, grows outside the ducts, and often spreads to the lymph nodes.

inflammatory bowel disease
A general term that refers to the inflammation of the colon and rectum. Inflammatory bowel disease includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

inflammatory breast cancer
A type of breast cancer in which the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm. The skin of the breast may also show the pitted appearance called peau d'orange (like the skin of an orange). The redness and warmth occur because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin.

infusion
A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous infusion.

inguinal orchiectomy
An operation in which the testicle is removed through an incision in the groin.

inherited
Transmitted through genes that have been passed from parents to their offspring (children).

insulin
A hormone made by the islet cells of the pancreas. Insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood by moving it into the cells, where it can be used by the body for energy.

interferon
A biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease). Interferons interfere with the division of cancer cells and can slow tumor growth. There are several types of interferons, including interferon-alpha, -beta, and -gamma. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

interleukin-11
IL-11. A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that stimulates immune response and may reduce toxicity to the gastrointestinal system resulting from cancer therapy. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases. Also called oprelvekin.

interleukin-12
IL-12. A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that enhances the ability of the immune system to kill tumor cells and may interfere with blood flow to the tumor. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

interleukin-2
IL-2. A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system. These substances are normally produced by the body. Aldesleukin is IL-2 that is made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

interleukin-3
IL-3. A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that enhances the immune system's ability to fight tumor cells. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

interleukin-4
IL-4. A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that enhances the immune system's ability to fight tumor cells. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

interleukin-4 PE38KDEL cytotoxin
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called recombinant chimeric proteins. Also called NBI-3001.

interleukin-4 pe38kdel immunotoxin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called immunotoxins.

interleukins
Biological response modifiers (substances that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that help the immune system fight infection and cancer. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

intermediate-grade lymphomas
Includes diffuse, small, cleaved cell lymphoma and diffuse, large, noncleaved cell lymphoma. These are more aggressive than low-grade lymphomas, but they respond better to anticancer drugs.

internal radiation
A procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, implant radiation, or interstitial radiation therapy.

intestinal villi
Tiny hair-like projections that line the inside of the small intestine. They contain blood vessels and help absorb nutrients.

intestine
The long, tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. There is both a large intestine and a small intestine. Also called the bowel.

intoplicine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

intracarotid infusion
The introduction of fluids and drugs directly into the carotid artery, the main artery in the neck that carries blood from the heart to the brain.

intracranial tumors
Tumors that occur in the brain.

intraductal carcinoma
Abnormal cells that involve only the lining of a duct. The cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. Also called ductal carcinoma in situ.

intraepithelial
Within the layer of cells that form the surface or lining of an organ.

intrahepatic
Within the liver.

intrahepatic bile ducts
The bile ducts that pass through and drain bile from the liver.

intrahepatic infusion
The delivery of anticancer drugs directly to the blood vessels of the liver.

intraoperative radiation therapy
IORT. Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery.

intraperitoneal
IP. Within the peritoneal cavity (the area that contains the abdominal organs).

intraperitoneal chemotherapy
Treatment in which anticancer drugs are put directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin tube.

intraperitoneal infusion
A method of delivering fluids and drugs directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin tube.

intraperitoneal radiation therapy
Treatment in which a radioactive liquid is put directly into the abdomen through a thin tube.

intrathecal
Describes the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. Drugs can be injected into the fluid or a sample of the fluid can be removed for testing.

intrathecal chemotherapy
Anticancer drugs that are injected into the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.

intravenous
IV. Within a blood vessel.

intravenous pyelogram
IVP. A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The x-rays are taken after a dye is injected into a blood vessel. The dye is concentrated in the urine, which outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder on the x-rays.

intravenous pyelography
IVP. X-ray study of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The x-rays are taken after a dye is injected into a blood vessel. The dye is concentrated in the urine, which outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder on the x-rays.

intraventricular infusion
The delivery of a drug into a space within an organ.

intravesical
Within the bladder.

invasive cancer
Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues. Also called infiltrating cancer.

invasive cervical cancer
Cancer that has spread from the surface of the cervix to tissue deeper in the cervix or to other parts of the body.

investigational
Being studied; experimental.

iododoxorubicin
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer, and for primary systemic amyloidosis (a disease in which proteins are deposited in specific organs). It belongs to the family of drugs called anthracycline analogues.

ionomycin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection.

IORT
Intraoperative radiation therapy. Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery.

irinotecan
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is a camptothecin analogue. Also called CPT 11.

irofulven
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents. Also called 6-hydroxymethylacylfulvene.

irradiated
Treated with radiation.

irreversible toxicity
Side effects that are caused by toxic substances or something harmful to the body and do not go away.

iseganan hydrochloride
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for oral mucositis (painful mouth sores) caused by cancer therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called synthetic protegrin analogs.

ISIS 2503
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

ISIS 3521
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

ISIS 5132
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

islet cell cancer
Cancer arising from cells in the islets of Langerhans, which are found in the pancreas. Also called endocrine cancer.

islets of Langerhans
Cells in the pancreas that produce hormones (including insulin).

isoflavones
Plant compounds that are found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

isointense
Having the same intensity as another object. Used to describe the results of imaging tests, such as x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.

isolated hepatic perfusion
A procedure in which a catheter is placed into the artery that provides blood to the liver; another catheter is placed into the vein that takes blood away from the liver. This temporarily separates the liver's blood supply from blood circulating throughout the rest of the body and allows high doses of anticancer drugs to be directed to the liver only.

isolated limb perfusion
A technique that may be used to deliver anticancer drugs directly to an arm or leg. The flow of blood to and from the limb is temporarily stopped with a tourniquet, and anticancer drugs are put directly into the blood of the limb. This allows the person to receive a high dose of drugs in the area where the cancer occurred. Also called limb perfusion.

isolated lung perfusion
A surgical procedure during which the circulation of blood to the lungs is separated from the circulation of blood through the rest of the body, and a drug is delivered directly into the lung circulation. This allows a higher concentration of chemotherapy to reach tumors in the lungs.

isotretinoin
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids. It is used in the treatment of acne and psoriasis and is being studied in cancer prevention. Also called 13-cis retinoic acid.

itraconazole
A drug used to prevent or treat fungal infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.

IU
International unit. A unit of measurement based on the International System of Units. This system defines units to measure length, time, mass, electric current, temperature, light intensity, and the amount of a substance. It can be used to express measurements of fat-soluble vitamins and some hormones, enzymes, and drugs.

IV
Intravenous (in-tra-VEE-nus). Injected into a blood vessel.

IVP
Intravenous pyelogram or intravenous pyelography (in-tra-VEE-nus PYE-el-o-gram or pye-LAH-gra-fee). A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The x-rays are taken after a dye is injected into a blood vessel. The dye is concentrated in the urine, which outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder on the x-rays.

J

J-107088
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase I inhibitors.

jaundice
A condition in which the skin and the whites of the eyes become yellow, urine darkens, and the color of stool becomes lighter than normal. Jaundice occurs when the liver is not working properly or when a bile duct is blocked.

juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia
A rare form of childhood leukemia in which cancer cells often spread into tissues such as the skin, lung, and intestines.

K

Kaposi's sarcoma
A type of cancer characterized by the abnormal growth of blood vessels that develop into skin lesions or occur internally.

karenitecin
A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to a family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is related to the anticancer drug camptothecin.

keloid
A thick, irregular scar caused by excessive tissue growth at the site of an incision or wound.

keratinocyte growth factor
A substance that stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that line the surface of the mouth and intestinal tract.

ketoconazole
A drug that treats infection caused by a fungus. It is also used as a treatment for prostate cancer because it can block the production of male sex hormones.

ketorolac
A drug that belongs to a family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is being studied in cancer prevention.

keyhole limpet hemocyanin
KLH. One of a group of drugs called immune modulators, given as a vaccine to help the body respond to cancer.

kidneys
A pair of organs in the abdomen that remove waste from the blood (as urine), produce erythropoietin (a substance that stimulates red blood cell production), and play a role in blood pressure regulation.

killer cells
White blood cells that attack tumor cells and body cells that have been invaded by foreign substances.

KRN5500
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

KRN7000
A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a biological response modifier that belongs to the family of drugs called glycosphingolipids or agelasphins.

Krukenberg tumor
A tumor in the ovary caused by the spread of stomach cancer.

KW2189
A semisynthetic anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

L

L-377,202
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

L-778,123
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. It may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells.

laboratory test
A medical procedure that involves testing a sample of blood, urine, or other substance from the body. Tests can help determine a diagnosis, plan treatment, check to see if treatment is working, or monitor the disease over time.

lactose intolerance
The inability to digest or absorb lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

lamina propria
A type of connective tissue found under the thin layer of tissues covering a mucous membrane.

lamivudine
A drug used to treat infection caused by viruses.

laparoscopic-assisted colectomy
Surgery done with the aid of a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube) to remove part or all of the colon through small incisions made in the wall of the abdomen.

laparoscopy
The insertion of a thin, lighted tube (called a laparoscope) through the abdominal wall to inspect the inside of the abdomen and remove tissue samples.

laparotomy
A surgical incision made in the wall of the abdomen.

large cell carcinomas
A group of lung cancers in which the cells are large and look abnormal when viewed under a microscope.

large intestine
The long, tube-like organ that is connected to the small intestine and rectum. The large intestine removes water and some nutrients and electrolytes from digested food. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the large intestine to the rectum and leaves the body through the anus. Also called the colon.

laryngeal
Having to do with the larynx.

laryngectomee
A person whose larynx (voice box) has been removed.

laryngectomy
An operation to remove all or part of the larynx (voice box).

laryngoscope
A thin, lighted tube used to examine the larynx (voice box).

laryngoscopy
Examination of the larynx (voice box) with a mirror (indirect laryngoscopy) or with a laryngoscope (direct laryngoscopy).

larynx
The area of the throat containing the vocal cords and used for breathing, swallowing, and talking. Also called the voice box.

laser
A device that concentrates light into an intense, narrow beam used to cut or destroy tissue. It is used in microsurgery, photodynamic therapy, and for a variety of diagnostic purposes.

laser therapy
The use of an intensely powerful beam of light to kill cancer cells.

leflunomide
An anticancer drug that works by inhibiting a cancer cell growth factor. Also called SU101.

leiomyoma
A benign smooth muscle tumor, usually in the uterus or gastrointestinal tract. Also called fibroid.

leiomyosarcoma
A tumor of the muscles in the uterus, abdomen, or pelvis.

lepirudin
A drug that inhibits blood clotting. It is being studied in cancer treatment.

leptomeningeal cancer
A tumor that involves the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord.

leptomeningeal metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord.

leridistim
A substance that is being studied for its ability to stimulate the production of blood cells during chemotherapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called colony-stimulating factors. Also known as SC-70935.

lerisetron
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting.

lesion
An area of abnormal tissue change.

letrozole
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. Letrozole is used to decrease estrogen production and suppress the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors.

leucovorin
A drug used to protect normal cells from high doses of the anticancer drug methotrexate. It is also used to increase the antitumor effects of fluorouracil and tegafur-uracil, an oral treatment alternative to intravenous fluorouracil.

leukapheresis
Removal of the blood to collect specific blood cells; the remaining blood is returned to the body.

leukemia
Cancer of blood-forming tissue.

leukocytes
White blood cell. Refers to a blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin. White blood cells include lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, and mast cells. These cells are made by bone marrow and help the body fight infection and other diseases.

leukoplakia
A white patch that may develop on mucous membranes such as the cheek, gums, or tongue and may become cancerous.

leuprolide
A drug that belongs to a family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues. It is used to block hormone production in the ovaries or testicles.

leuvectin
An agent that delivers the gene for interleukin-2 (IL-2) into cells to increase production of IL-2 by the cells.

levamisole
An antiparasitic drug that is also being studied in cancer therapy with fluorouracil.

levofloxacin
A substance used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called quinolone antibiotics.

LH-RH
Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. A hormone that stimulates the production of sex hormones in men and women.

Li-Fraumeni syndrome
A rare, inherited predisposition to multiple cancers, caused by an alteration in the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

liarozole
An anticancer drug that promotes differentiation by increasing the levels of retinoic acid within the tumor.

ligation
The process of tying off blood vessels so that blood cannot flow to a part of the body or to a tumor.

limb perfusion
A technique that may be used to deliver anticancer drugs directly to an arm or leg. The flow of blood to and from the limb is temporarily stopped with a tourniquet, and anticancer drugs are put directly into the blood of the limb. This allows the person to receive a high dose of drugs in the area where the cancer occurred. Also called isolated limb perfusion.

limited-stage small cell lung cancer
Cancer found in one lung and in nearby lymph nodes.

liothyronine sodium
A thyroid hormone. Also called triiodothyronine or T-3.

lipid
Fat.

liposarcoma
A rare cancer of the fat cells.

liposomal
A drug preparation that contains the active drug in very tiny fat particles. This fat-encapsulated drug is absorbed better, and its distribution to the tumor site is improved.

lisofylline
A drug that may protect healthy cells from chemotherapy and radiation without inhibiting the effects of these therapies on tumor cells.

liver
A large organ located in the upper abdomen. The liver cleanses the blood and aids in digestion by secreting bile.

liver metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the liver.

liver scan
An image of the liver created on a computer screen or on film. A radioactive substance is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream. It collects in the liver, especially in abnormal areas, and can be detected by the scanner.

LMB-1 immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

LMB-2 immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

LMB-7 immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

LMB-9 immunotoxin
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

lobaplatin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called platinum compounds.

lobe
A portion of an organ, such as the liver, lung, breast, thyroid, or brain.

lobectomy
The removal of a lobe.

lobular carcinoma in situ
LCIS. Abnormal cells found in the lobules of the breast. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having lobular carcinoma in situ increases one's risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.

lobule
A small lobe or subdivision of a lobe.

local cancer
An invasive malignant cancer confined entirely to the organ where the cancer began.

local therapy
Treatment that affects cells in the tumor and the area close to it.

localized
Restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread.

localized gallbladder cancer
Cancer found only in the tissues that make up the wall of the gallbladder. Localized gallbladder cancer can be removed completely in an operation.

locally advanced cancer
Cancer that has spread only to nearby tissues or lymph nodes.

lometrexol
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antifolates.

lomustine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

loperamide hydrochloride
An antidiarrheal drug.

losoxantrone
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antipyrazoles.

low-grade lymphomas
Lymphomas that tend to grow and spread slowly, including chronic lymphocytic lymphoma and follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma. Also called indolent lymphomas.

lower GI series
X-rays of the colon and rectum (lower gastrointestinal tract) that are taken after a person is given a barium enema.

LU 79553
An anticancer drug that kills cancer cells by affecting DNA synthesis.

LU-103793
An anticancer drug that reduces the risk of tumor cell growth and reproduction.

lubricants
Oily or slippery substances.

lumbar puncture
A procedure in which a needle is put into the lower part of the spinal column to collect cerebrospinal fluid or to give anticancer drugs intrathecally. Also called a spinal tap.

lumpectomy
Surgery to remove the tumor and a small amount of normal tissue around it.

lung metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the lung.

lupus
A chronic inflammatory connective tissue disease marked by skin rashes, joint pain and swelling, inflammation of the kidneys, inflammation of the fibrous tissue surrounding the heart (i.e., the pericardium), as well as other problems. Not all affected individuals display all of these problems. Also called systemic lupus erythematosus.

lurtotecan
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist
LH-RH agonist. A drug that inhibits the secretion of sex hormones. In men, LH-RH agonist causes testosterone levels to fall. In women, LH-RH agonist causes the levels of estrogen and other sex hormones to fall.

lutetium texaphyrin
A substance that is being studied in photodynamic therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called metallotexaphyrins.

LY293111
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called leukotriene B4 receptor antagonists.

LY335979
A substance that is being studied for its ability to reverse resistance to chemotherapy. Also called zosuquidar trihydrochloride.

LY353381 hydrochloride
A hormone substance used in the treatment of some types of cancer.

lycopene
A red pigment found in tomatoes and some fruits.

lymph
The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infection and disease. Also called lymphatic fluid.

lymph node
A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called a lymph gland.

lymph node drainage
The flow of lymph from an area of tissue into a particular lymph node.

lymph node mapping
The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that contain tumor cells.

lymphadenectomy
A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and examined to see whether they contain cancer. For a regional lymph node dissection, some of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed; for a radical lymph node dissection, most or all of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed. Also called lymph node dissection.

lymphangiogram
An x-ray of the lymphatic system. A dye is injected into a lymphatic vessel and travels throughout the lymphatic system. The dye outlines the lymphatic vessels and organs on the x-ray.

lymphangiography
An x-ray study of the lymphatic system. A dye is injected into a lymphatic vessel and travels throughout the lymphatic system. The dye outlines the lymphatic vessels and organs on the x-ray.

lymphatic system
The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infection and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells). These tubes branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.

lymphedema
A condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling. It may occur in the arm or leg after lymph vessels or lymph nodes in the underarm or groin are removed or treated with radiation.

lymphocyte
A type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes have a number of roles in the immune system, including the production of antibodies and other substances that fight infection and diseases.

lymphocytic
Referring to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

lymphography
An x-ray study of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels made visible by the injection of a special dye.

lymphoid
Referring to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Also refers to tissue in which lymphocytes develop.

lymphokine-activated killer cells
White blood cells that are stimulated in a laboratory to kill tumor cells. Also called LAK cells.

lymphoma
Cancer that arises in cells of the lymphatic system.

lymphomatoid granulomatosis
Destructive growth of lymph cells, usually involving the lungs, skin, kidneys, and central nervous system. Grades I and II are not considered cancerous, but grade III is considered a lymphoma.

lymphoproliferative disorders
Diseases in which cells of the lymphatic system grow excessively. These disorders are often treated like cancer.

lymphoscintigraphy
A method used to identify the sentinel lymph node (the first draining lymph node near a tumor). A radioactive substance that can be taken up by lymph nodes is injected at the site of the tumor, and a doctor follows the movement of this substance on a computer screen. Once the lymph nodes that have taken up the substance are identified, they can be removed and examined to see if they contain tumor cells.

Lynch syndrome
An inherited disorder in which affected individuals have a higher-than-normal chance of developing colon cancer and certain other types of cancer, usually before the age of 60. Also called hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.

lytic
Having to do with lysis. In biology, lysis refers to the disintegration of a cell by disruption of its plasma membrane. Lysis can be caused by chemical or physical means (e.g., high-energy sound waves) or by a virus infection.

M

M proteins
Antibodies or parts of antibodies found in unusually large amounts in the blood or urine of people with multiple myeloma.

mafosfamide
A form of cyclophosphamide that can be administered as an intrathecal infusion. Mafosfamide is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

MAGE-3
A gene found in some types of tumors.

magnetic resonance imaging
MRI. A procedure in which a magnet linked to a computer is used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. Also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.

magnetic-targeted carriers
Tiny beads made from particles of iron and carbon that can be attached to an anticancer drug. A magnet applied from outside the body then can direct the drug to the tumor site. This can keep a larger dose of the drug at the tumor site for a longer period of time, and help protect healthy tissue from the side effects of chemotherapy.

maintenance therapy
Treatment that is given to help a primary (original) treatment keep working. Maintenance therapy is often given to help keep cancer in remission.

malabsorption syndrome
A group of symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea resulting from the body's inability to properly absorb nutrients.

malignancy
A cancerous tumor that can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

malignant
Cancerous; a growth with a tendency to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

malignant ascites
A condition in which fluid containing cancer cells collects in the abdomen.

malignant fibrous histiocytoma
A sarcoma that usually begins in soft tissue. It usually appears as an enlarging, painful mass that can cause fracture due to destruction of the bone by a spreading tumor.

malignant meningioma
A rare, quickly growing tumor that occurs in the membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

malignant mesothelioma
A rare type of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining the chest or abdomen. Exposure to airborne asbestos particles increases one's risk of developing malignant mesothelioma.

malnutrition
A disorder caused by a lack of proper nutrition or an inability to absorb nutrients from food.

MALT lymphoma
Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. A type of cancer that arises in cells in mucosal tissue that are involved in antibody production.

mammogram
An x-ray of the breast.

mammography
The use of x-rays to create a picture of the breast.

mantle field
The area of the neck, chest, and lymph nodes in the armpit that are exposed to radiation.

marimastat
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Marimastat is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor.

marker
A diagnostic indication that disease may develop.

mast cell
A type of white blood cell.

mastectomy
Surgery to remove the breast (or as much of the breast tissue as possible).

MDL 101,731
A drug that belongs to a family of drugs called ribonucleotide reductase inhibitors.

measurable disease
A tumor that can be accurately measured in size. This information can be used to judge response to treatment.

mechlorethamine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

medial supraclavicular lymph nodes
Lymph nodes located above the collar bone and between the center of the body and a line drawn through the nipple to the shoulder.

median
A statistics term. The middle value in a set of measurements.

mediastinoscopy
A procedure in which a tube is inserted into the chest to view the organs in the area between the lungs and nearby lymph nodes. The tube is inserted through an incision above the breastbone. This procedure is usually performed to get a tissue sample from the lymph nodes on the right side of the chest.

mediastinum
The area between the lungs. The organs in this area include the heart and its large blood vessels, the trachea, the esophagus, the bronchi, and lymph nodes.

medical castration
Refers to the use of drugs to suppress the function of the ovaries or testicles.

medical oncologist
A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and biological therapy. A medical oncologist often is the main caretaker of someone who has cancer and coordinates treatment provided by other specialists.

medroxyprogesterone
A hormonal anticancer drug that is also used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called progestins.

medulloblastoma
A malignant brain tumor that begins in the lower part of the brain and can spread to the spine or to other parts of the body. Medulloblastomas are a type of primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET).

megestrol
A drug that belongs to the group of hormones called progestins, used as hormone therapy to block estrogen and to suppress the effects of estrogen and androgens. It is also used to stimulate the appetite in people with cancer.

meiosis
A special form of cell division in which each daughter cell receives half the amount of DNA as the parent cell. Meiosis occurs during formation of egg and sperm cells in mammals.

melanin
The substance that gives the skin its color.

melanocytes
Cells in the skin that produce and contain the pigment called melanin.

melanoma
A form of skin cancer that arises in melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment. Melanoma usually begins in a mole.

melanoma vaccine
A cancer vaccine prepared from human melanoma cancer cells. It can be used alone or with other therapy in treating melanoma.

melphalan
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

membrane
A very thin layer of tissue that covers a surface.

MEN-10755
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

meningeal
Refers to the meninges, the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord.

meningeal metastases
Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the tissue covering the brain, spinal cord, or both.

meninges
The three membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord.

meningioma
A type of tumor that occurs in the meninges, the membranes that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. Meningiomas usually grow slowly.

menopause
The time of life when a woman's menstrual periods stop permanently. Also called "change of life."

menstrual cycle
The monthly cycle of hormonal changes from the beginning of one menstrual period to the beginning of the next.

menstruation
Periodic discharge of blood and tissue from the uterus. Until menopause, menstruation occurs approximately every 28 days when a woman is not pregnant.

mercaptopurine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

Merkel cell cancer
A rare type of cancer that develops on or just beneath the skin.

mesenchymal
Refers to cells that develop into connective tissue, blood vessels, and lymphatic tissue.

mesna
A drug that helps protect the kidneys and bladder from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs such as ifosfamide and cyclophosphamide.

metabolism
The total of all chemical changes that take place in a cell or an organism. These changes produce energy and basic materials needed for important life processes.

metaplasia
A change of cells to a form that does not normally occur in the tissue in which it is found.

metastasis
The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another. Tumors formed from cells that have spread are called "secondary tumors" and contain cells that are like those in the original (primary) tumor. The plural is metastases (meh-TAS-ta-seez).

metastasize
To spread from one part of the body to another. When cancer cells metastasize and form secondary tumors, the cells in the metastatic tumor are like those in the original (primary) tumor.

metastatic cancer
Cancer that has spread from the place in which it started to other parts of the body.

metasynchronous
Occurring at nearly the same time.

methotrexate
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

methoxsalen
A drug used in ultraviolet light therapy.

methyl-5-aminolevulinate
A drug used in photodynamic therapy; it is absorbed by tumor cells and, when exposed to light, becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

methylphenidate
A drug that is a central nervous system stimulant.

methylprednisolone
A corticosteroid hormone replacement.

metoclopramide
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting.

metronidazole
A drug used to treat bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. It is also being studied in the treatment of some cancers.

MG98
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antisense compounds. These drugs interfere with production of certain proteins in the cell.

microcalcifications
Tiny deposits of calcium in the breast that cannot be felt but can be detected on a mammogram. A cluster of these very small specks of calcium may indicate that cancer is present.

mifepristone
An anticancer drug that blocks the action of progesterone, a hormone that affects the growth of some cancers.

mineral
A nutrient required to maintain health.

misoprostol
A radioprotective agent that belongs to the family of drugs called prostaglandins.

mistletoe lectin
A substance that comes from the mistletoe plant and that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. A lectin is a complex molecule that has both protein and sugars. Lectins are able to bind to the outside of a cell and cause biochemical changes in it. Lectins are made by both animals and plants.

mitolactol
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

mitomycin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

mitosis
The process of division of somatic cells in which each daughter cell receives the same amount of DNA as the parent cell.

mitotane
An anticancer drug used in treating adrenocortical cancer and ACTH-producing pituitary tumors (Cushing's disease).

mitotic activity
Having to do with the presence of dividing (proliferating) cells. Cancerous tissue generally has more mitotic activity than normal tissues.

mitotic inhibitors
Drugs that kill cancer cells by interfering with cell division (mitosis).

mitoxantrone
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.

mivobulin isethionate
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. Also called CI-980.

mixed gliomas
Brain tumors that occur in more than one type of brain cell, including astrocytes, ependymal cells, and oligodendrocytes.

modified radical mastectomy
Surgery for breast cancer in which the breast, some of the lymph nodes under the arm, the lining over the chest muscles, and sometimes part of the chest wall muscles are removed.

molar pregnancy
A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, gestational trophoblastic tumor, or choriocarcinoma.

mole
A benign growth on the skin (usually tan, brown, or flesh-colored) that contains a cluster of melanocytes and surrounding supportive tissue.

molecule
A chemical made up of two or more atoms. The atoms in a molecule can be the same (an oxygen molecule has two oxygen atoms) or different (a water molecule has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom). Biological molecules such as proteins and DNA can be made up of many thousands of atoms.

monoclonal antibodies
Laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells wherever they are in the body. Many monoclonal antibodies are used in cancer detection or therapy; each one recognizes a different protein on certain cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies can be used alone, or they can be used to deliver drugs, toxins, or radioactive material directly to a tumor.

monoclonal antibody 3F8
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

monocyte
A type of white blood cell.

Montanide ISA-51
A drug used in vaccine therapy to stimulate the immune system.

morphine
A narcotic drug used in the treatment of pain.

morphology
The science of the form and structure of organisms (plants, animals, and other forms of life).

motexafin gadolinium
A substance that makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation; it can also enhance tumor images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Motexafin gadolinium belongs to the family of drugs called metalloporphyrin complexes. Also called gadolinium texaphyrin.

MRI
Magnetic resonance imaging (mag-NET-ik REZ-o-nans IM-a-jing). A procedure in which a magnet linked to a computer is used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. Also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).

MS 209
A substance that is being studied for its ability to make cancer cells respond better to chemotherapy drugs to which they have become resistant. It belongs to the family of drugs called quinolone antibiotics.

MS-275
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancers of the blood . It belongs to the family of drugs called histone deacetylase inhibitors.

mucin/peptide
A protein/sugar compound made by some cancer cells.

mucositis
A complication of some cancer therapies in which the lining of the digestive system becomes inflamed. Often seen as sores in the mouth.

mucus
A thick, slippery fluid produced by the membranes that line certain organs of the body, including the nose, mouth, throat, and vagina.

muJ591 monoclonal antibody
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

multicenter study
A clinical trial that is carried out at more than one medical institution.

multidrug resistance
Adaptation of tumor cells to anticancer drugs in ways that make the drugs less effective.

multidrug resistance inhibition
Treatment used to make cancer cells less resistant to anticancer drugs.

multimodality treatment
Therapy that combines more than one method of treatment.

multiple myeloma
Cancer that arises in plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies).

muromonab-CD3 monoclonal antibody
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

musculoskeletal
Having to do with muscles, bones, and cartilage.

mutation
Any change in the DNA of a cell. Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division, or they may be caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents in the environment. Mutations can be harmful, beneficial, or have no effect. If they occur in cells that make eggs or sperm, they can be inherited; if mutations occur in other types of cells, they are not inherited. Certain mutations may lead to cancer or other diseases.

mycophenolate mofetil
A drug that is being studied for its effectiveness in preventing graft-versus-host disease and autoimmune disorders.

mycosis fungoides
A type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that first appears on the skin and can spread to the lymph nodes or other organs such as the spleen, liver, or lungs.

mycostatin
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

myelin
The fatty substance that covers and protects nerves.

myelodysplasia
Abnormal bone marrow cells that may lead to myelogenous leukemia.

myelodysplastic syndrome
Disease in which the bone marrow does not function normally. Also called preleukemia or smoldering leukemia.

myelofibrosis
A disorder in which the bone marrow is replaced by fibrous tissue.

myelogenous
Produced by, or originating in, the bone marrow.

myelogram
An x-ray of the spinal cord after an injection of dye into the space between the lining of the spinal cord and brain.

myeloid
Pertaining to, derived from, or manifesting certain features of the bone marrow. In some cases also pertains to certain types of non-lymphocyte white blood cells found in the bone marrow, including granulocyte, monocyte, and platelet lineages. Also called myelogenous.

myeloma
Cancer that arises in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell.

myeloproliferative disorders
Diseases in which too many blood cells are made in the bone marrow.

myelosuppressive therapy
Treatment that inhibits blood cell production.

myometrium
The muscular outer layer of the uterus.

N

N-acetylcysteine
An antioxidant drug that may keep cancer cells from developing or reduce the risk of growth of existing cancer.

naloxone
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for constipation caused by narcotic medications. It belongs to the family of drugs called narcotic antagonists.

nasopharynx
The upper part of the throat behind the nose. An opening on each side of the nasopharynx leads into the ear.

NB1011
A substance that is being studied for its ability to make cancer cells respond to drugs to which they have become resistant. It belongs to the family of drugs called nucleoside analogues.

neck dissection
Surgery to remove lymph nodes and other tissues in the neck.

needle biopsy
The removal of tissue or fluid with a needle for examination under a microscope. Also called fine-needle aspiration.

negative axillary lymph nodes
Lymph nodes in the armpit that are free of cancer.

nelfinavir mesylate
A drug that interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.

neoadjuvant therapy
Treatment given before the primary treatment. Examples of neoadjuvant therapy include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.

neoplasia
Abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth.

neoplasm
A new growth of benign or malignant tissue.

neoplastic meningitis
A condition in which cancer cells spread into the meninges (membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

nephrectomy
Surgery to remove a kidney. Radical nephrectomy removes the kidney, the adrenal gland, nearby lymph nodes, and other surrounding tissue. Simple nephrectomy removes only the kidney. Partial nephrectomy removes the tumor but not the entire kidney.

nephrotomogram
A series of x-rays of the kidneys. The x-rays are taken from different angles and show the kidneys clearly, without the shadows of the organs around them.

neuroblastoma
Cancer that arises in immature nerve cells and affects mostly infants and children.

neuroectodermal tumor
A tumor of the central or peripheral nervous system.

neuroendocrine
Having to do with the interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine system. Neuroendocrine describes certain cells that release hormones into the blood in response to stimulation of the nervous system.

neuroendocrine tumor
A tumor derived from cells that release a hormone in response to a signal from the nervous system. Some examples of neuroendocrine tumors are carcinoid tumors, islet cell tumors, medullary thyroid carcinoma, and pheochromocytoma. These tumors secrete hormones in excess, causing a variety of symptoms.

neuroepithelial
Having to do with tissue made up of sensory cells, such as tissue found in the ear, nose, and tongue.

neurofibroma
A benign tumor that develops from the cells and tissues that cover nerves.

neurofibromatosis type 1
NF1. A rare genetic condition that causes brown spots and tumors on the skin, freckling in skin areas not exposed to the sun, tumors on the nerves, and developmental changes in the nervous system, muscles, bone, and skin.

neurologist
A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system.

neuroma
A tumor that arises in nerve cells.

neuropathy
A problem in peripheral nerve function (any part of the nervous system except the brain and spinal cord) that causes pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, and muscle weakness in various parts of the body. Neuropathies may be caused by physical injury, infection, toxic substances, disease (e.g., cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, or malnutrition), or drugs such as anticancer drugs. Also called peripheral neuropathy.

neurosurgeon
A doctor who specializes in surgery on the brain, spine, and other parts of the nervous system.

neurotoxicity
The tendency of some treatments to cause damage to the nervous system.

neutropenia
An abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell.

neutrophil
A type of white blood cell.

nevus
A benign growth on the skin, such as a mole. A mole is a cluster of melanocytes and surrounding supportive tissue that usually appears as a tan, brown, or flesh-colored spot on the skin. The plural of nevus is nevi (NEE-vye).

NG-monomethyl-L-arginine
An amino acid derivative used to counteract high blood pressure caused by interleukin-2.

niacinamide
A vitamin being studied to increase the effect of radiation therapy on tumor cells. Also called nicotinamide.

nilutamide
A drug that blocks the effects of male hormones in the body. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiandrogens.

nimodipine
Belongs to a family of drugs called calcium channel blockers. It is being investigated for use with anticancer drugs to prevent or overcome drug resistance and improve response to chemotherapy.

nipple discharge
Fluid coming from the nipple.

nitrocamptothecin
An alkaloid drug belonging to a class of anticancer agents called topoisomerase inhibitors.

nitrosoureas
A group of anticancer drugs that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Carmustine and lomustine are nitrosoureas.

node-negative
Cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes.

node-positive
Cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes.

nodular parenchyma
A small mass of tissue within a gland or organ that carries out the specialized functions of the gland or organ.

nolatrexed
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called thymidylate synthase inhibitors. Also called AG337.

non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
A group of cancers of the lymphoid system, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, B-cell lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, diffuse cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, immunoblastic large cell lymphoma, lymphoblastic lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, mycosis fungoides, post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder, small non-cleaved cell lymphoma, and T-cell lymphoma.

non-small cell lung cancer
A group of lung cancers that includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma.

nonhematologic cancer
Cancer that does not begin in the blood or bone marrow.

nonlytic
In biology, refers to viruses that do not kill infected cells by disrupting their plasma membranes.

nonmalignant hematologic disorders
Disorders of the blood, some of which lead to leukemia.

nonmelanoma skin cancer
Skin cancer that arises in basal cells or squamous cells but not in melanocytes (pigment-producing cells of the skin).

nonmelanomatous
Having to do with skin cancer that develops in basal cells or squamous cells but not in melanocytes (pigment-producing cells of the skin).

nonmetastatic
Cancer that has not spread from the primary (original) site to other sites in the body.

nonseminoma
A group of testicular cancers that begin in the germ cells (cells that give rise to sperm). Nonseminomas are identified by the type of cell in which they begin and include embryonal carcinoma, teratoma, choriocarcinoma, and yolk sac carcinoma.

nonsmall cell adenocarcinoma
A type of cancer that begins in the glandular cells that line certain internal organs and most commonly affects the lungs. It is diagnosed by the way the cells appear under a microscope.

nonspecific immune cells
Cells such as phagocytes and macrophages that respond to many antigens, not just one antigen.

nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors
A family of drugs that decrease the production of sex hormones (estrogen or testosterone) and slow the growth of tumors that need sex hormones to grow.

novobiocin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection.

NR-LU-10 antigen
A protein found on the surface of some cancers.

NSAIDs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A group of drugs that decrease fever, swelling, pain, and redness.

nuclear grade
An evaluation of the size and shape of the nucleus in tumor cells and the percentage of tumor cells that are in the process of dividing or growing. Cancers with low nuclear grade grow and spread less quickly than cancers with high nuclear grade.

nystatin
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

O

O(6)-benzylguanine
A drug that may improve the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy.

oat cell cancer
A type of lung cancer in which the cells look like oats when viewed under a microscope. Also called small cell lung cancer.

oblimersen
A drug that may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer. Also called bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139 and augmerosen.

observation
Closely monitoring a patient's condition but withholding treatment until symptoms appear or change. Also called watchful waiting.

obstruction
Blockage of a passageway.

octreotide
A drug similar to the naturally occurring growth hormone inhibitor somatostatin. Octreotide is used to treat diarrhea and flushing associated with certain types of tumors.

ofloxacin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called quinolone antibiotics.

oligodendroglial tumors
Rare, slow-growing tumors that begin in brain cells called oligodendrocytes, which provide support and nourishment for cells that transmit nerve impulses. Also called oligodendroglioma.

oligodendroglioma
A rare, slow-growing tumor that begins in brain cells called oligodendrocytes, which provide support and nourishment for cells that transmit nerve impulses. Also called oligodendroglial tumor.

oltipraz
A drug used in cancer prevention.

omega-3 fatty acid
A type of fat obtained in the diet and involved in immunity.

omentectomy
Surgery to remove part or all of the omentum.

omentum
A fold of the peritoneum (the thin tissue that lines the abdomen) that surrounds the stomach and other organs in the abdomen.

omeprazole
A drug that inhibits gastric acid secretion.

Ommaya reservoir
A device surgically placed under the scalp and used to deliver anticancer drugs to the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

oncogene
A gene that normally directs cell growth. If altered, an oncogene can promote or allow the uncontrolled growth of cancer. Alterations can be inherited or caused by an environmental exposure to carcinogens.

oncologist
A doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

oncology
The study of cancer.

oncology nurse
A nurse who specializes in treating and caring for people who have cancer.

oncolytic
Refers to viruses that kill cancer cells more often than they kill normal cells.

ondansetron
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiemetics.

ONYX-015
A modified cold virus that selectively grows in and destroys certain types of cancer cells and leaves normal cells undamaged.

oophorectomy
Surgery to remove one or both ovaries.

ophthalmoscope
A lighted instrument used to examine the inside of the eye, including the retina and the optic nerve.

opioids
A family of synthetic drugs used to treat moderate to severe pain. They are similar to opiates such as morphine and codeine.

optic nerve
The nerve that carries messages from the retina to the brain.

oral surgeon
A dentist with special training in surgery of the mouth and jaw.

orchiectomy
Surgery to remove one or both testicles.

organism
A living thing, such as an animal, a plant, a bacterium, or a fungus.

oropharynx
The middle part of the throat that includes the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils.

osteolytic
Causing the breakdown of bone.

osteoporosis
A condition that is characterized by a decrease in bone mass and density, causing bones to become fragile.

osteosarcoma
A cancer of the bone that usually affects the large bones of the arm or leg. It occurs most commonly in young people and affects more males than females. Also called osteogenic sarcoma.

ostomy
An operation to create an opening (a stoma) from an area inside the body to the outside. Colostomy and urostomy are types of ostomies.

otolaryngologist
A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. Also called an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor.

ovarian
Having to do with the ovaries, the female reproductive glands in which the ova (eggs) are formed. The ovaries are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.

ovarian ablation
Surgery, radiation therapy, or a drug treatment to stop the functioning of the ovaries. Also called ovarian suppression.

ovarian epithelial cancer
Cancer that occurs in the cells lining the ovaries.

ovaries
The pair of female reproductive glands in which the ova, or eggs, are formed. The ovaries are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus.

overexpress
An excess of a particular protein on the surface of a cell.

ovulation
The release of an egg from an ovary during the menstrual cycle.

oxaliplatin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called platinum compounds.

OXi-104
An anticancer drug being evaluated in combination with cisplatin.

P

P-30 protein
An anticancer drug that may inhibit cancer cell growth.

P-32
A radioactive form of phosphorus used in the treatment of cancer.

p-value
A statistics term. A measure of probability that a difference between groups during an experiment happened by chance. For example, a p-value of .01 (p = .01) means there is a 1 in 100 chance the result occurred by chance. The lower the p-value, the more likely it is that the difference between groups was caused by treatment.

p53 gene
A tumor suppressor gene that normally inhibits the growth of tumors. This gene is altered in many types of cancer.

paclitaxel
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

Paget's disease of the nipple
A form of breast cancer in which the tumor grows from ducts beneath the nipple onto the surface of the nipple. Symptoms commonly include itching and burning and an eczema-like condition around the nipple, sometimes accompanied by oozing or bleeding.

PALA
An anticancer drug that is being studied to increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug fluorouracil.

palate
The roof of the mouth. The front portion is bony (hard palate), and the back portion is muscular (soft palate).

palliative therapy
Treatment given to relieve symptoms caused by advanced cancer. Palliative therapy does not alter the course of a disease but can improve the quality of life.

palmar-plantar erythodysthesia
A condition marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet. It sometimes occurs as a side effect of certain anticancer drugs. Also known as hand-foot syndrome.

palpation
Examination by pressing on the surface of the body to feel the organs or tissues underneath.

pamidronate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates. Pamidronate is used as treatment for abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood.

Pancoast tumor
Non-small cell lung cancer that originates in the upper portion of the lung and extends to other nearby tissues such as the ribs and vertebrae. Also called a pulmonary sulcus tumor.

pancreas
A glandular organ located in the abdomen. It makes pancreatic juices, which contain enzymes that aid in digestion, and it produces several hormones, including insulin. The pancreas is surrounded by the stomach, intestines, and other organs.

pancreatectomy
Surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas. In a total pancreatectomy, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, the common bile duct, gallbladder, spleen, and nearby lymph nodes also are removed.

pancreatic enzymes
A group of proteins secreted by the pancreas that aid in the digestion of food.

pancreatic juices
Fluids made by the pancreas. Pancreatic juices contain proteins called enzymes that aid in digestion.

pancreatitis
Inflammation of the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis may cause diabetes and problems with digestion. Pain is the primary symptom.

Pap smear
The collection of cells from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is used to detect changes that may be cancer or may lead to cancer, and can show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation. Also called a Pap test.

Pap test
The collection of cells from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is used to detect changes that may be cancer or may lead to cancer, and can show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation. Also called a Pap smear.

papillary serous carcinoma
An aggressive cancer that usually affects the uterus/endometrium, peritoneum, or ovary.

papillary tumor
A tumor shaped like a small mushroom, with its stem attached to the epithelial layer (inner lining) of an organ.

papilledema
Swelling around the optic disk, the area where the optic nerve (the nerve that carries messages from the eye to the brain) enters the eyeball. Papilledema occurs when increased brain pressure caused by tumors or other problems results in swelling of the optic nerve.

paracentesis
Insertion of a thin needle or tube into the abdomen to remove fluid from the peritoneal cavity.

paralysis
Loss of ability to move all or part of the body.

paraneoplastic syndrome
A group of symptoms that may develop when substances released by some cancer cells disrupt the normal function of surrounding cells and tissue.

parotidectomy
Surgery to remove all or part of the parotid gland (a large salivary gland located in front of and just below the ear). In a radical parotidectomy, the entire gland is removed.

paroxetine hydrochloride
An antidepressant drug.

partial mastectomy
The removal of a cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor. Usually some of the lymph nodes under the arm are also taken out. Also called segmental mastectomy.

partial remission
A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment. Also called partial response.

partial response
A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body, in response to treatment.

pathologic fracture
A broken bone caused by disease, often by the spread of cancer to the bone.

pathologist
A doctor who identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.

peau d'orange
A dimpled condition of the skin of the breast, resembling the skin of an orange, sometimes found in inflammatory breast cancer.

pediatric
Having to do with children.

pedigree
A record of one's ancestors, offspring, siblings, and their offspring that may be used to determine the pattern of certain genes or disease inheritance within a family.

PEG-interferon alfa-2b
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers. PEG-interferon alfa-2b is a cytokine. Also called SCH 54031.

PEG-MGDF
A synthetic form of a protein that is normally made in the body to regulate the production of platelets.

pegaspargase
A modified form of asparaginase, an anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs derived from enzymes.

peldesine
A substance that is being studied for the treatment of cancer.

pelvic
Having to do with the pelvis (the lower part of the abdomen located between the hip bones).

pelvis
The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones.

pemetrexed disodium
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. Also called LY231514.

penclomedine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

penicillamine
A drug that removes copper from the body and is used to treat diseases in which there is an excess of this metal. It is also being studied as a possible angiogenesis inhibitor in brain tumors.

penicillin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection.

pentetic acid calcium
A drug that protects healthy tissues from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

pentosan polysulfate
A drug used to relieve pain or discomfort associated with chronic inflammation of the bladder. It is also being evaluated for its protective effects on the gastrointestinal tract in people undergoing radiation therapy.

pentostatin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

pentoxifylline
A drug used to prevent blood clotting and as a treatment that may help decrease weight loss in people with cancer.

peptide
Any compound consisting of two or more amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Peptides are combined to make proteins.

peptide 946
A protein that causes white blood cells to recognize and destroy melanoma cells.

percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography
PTC. A procedure to x-ray the hepatic and common bile ducts. A contrasting agent is injected into the liver or bile duct, and the ducts are then x-rayed to find the point of obstruction.

perfusion
Bathing an organ or tissue with a fluid. In regional perfusion, a specific area of the body (usually an arm or a leg) receives high doses of anticancer drugs through a blood vessel. Such a procedure is performed to treat cancer that has not spread.

perfusion magnetic resonance imaging
A type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used to check the flow of blood to normal tissue and diseased tissue.

pericardial effusion
An abnormal collection of fluid inside the sac that covers the heart.

perifosine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylphospholipids.

perillyl alcohol
A drug used in cancer prevention that belongs to the family of plant drugs called monoterpenes.

perimenopausal
The time of a woman's life when menstrual periods become irregular. Refers to the time near menopause.

perineal prostatectomy
Surgery to remove the prostate through an incision made between the scrotum and the anus.

peripheral blood
Blood circulating throughout the body.

peripheral blood lymphocyte therapy
A treatment for Epstein-Barr virus infection or overgrowth of white blood cells (lymphocytes) after an organ or bone marrow transplant. Specific lymphocytes from a sibling donor are infused into the patient to try and reverse these conditions.

peripheral stem cell support
A method of replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by cancer treatment. Immature blood cells (stem cells) in the circulating blood that are similar to those in the bone marrow are removed from the blood before treatment and given back after treatment. Also called peripheral stem cell transplantation.

peripheral stem cell transplantation
A method of replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by cancer treatment. Immature blood cells (stem cells) in the circulating blood that are similar to those in the bone marrow are given after treatment to help the bone marrow recover and continue producing healthy blood cells. Transplantation may be autologous (an individual's own blood cells saved earlier), allogeneic (blood cells donated by someone else), or syngeneic (blood cells donated by an identical twin). Also called peripheral stem cell support.

peripheral stem cells
Immature cells found circulating in the bloodstream. New blood cells develop from peripheral stem cells.

peristalsis
The rippling motion of muscles in the intestine or other tubular organs characterized by the alternate contraction and relaxation of the muscles that propel the contents onward.

peritoneal
Having to do with the peritoneum (the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen).

peritoneal cavity
The space within the abdomen that contains the intestines, the stomach, and the liver. It is bound by thin membranes.

peritoneal perfusion
A method of delivering fluids and drugs directly to tumors in the peritoneal cavity.

peritoneum
The tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen.

pernicious anemia
A type of anemia (low red blood cell count) caused by the body's inability to absorb vitamin B12.

PET scan
Positron emission tomography scan. A computerized image of the metabolic activity of body tissues used to determine the presence of disease.

petechiae
Pinpoint, unraised, round red spots under the skin caused by bleeding.

pharynx
The hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (the tube that goes to the stomach).

phase I trial
The first step in testing a new treatment in humans. These studies test the best way to give a new treatment (for example, by mouth, intravenous infusion, or injection) and the best dose. The dose is usually increased a little at a time in order to find the highest dose that does not cause harmful side effects. Because little is known about the possible risks and benefits of the treatments being tested, phase I trials usually include only a small number of patients who have not been helped by other treatments.

phase I/II trial
A trial to study the safety, dosage levels, and response to a new treatment.

phase II trial
A study to test whether a new treatment has an anticancer effect (for example, whether it shrinks a tumor or improves blood test results) and whether it works against a certain type of cancer.

phase II/III trial
A trial to study response to a new treatment and the effectiveness of the treatment compared with the standard treatment regimen.

phase III trial
A study to compare the results of people taking a new treatment with the results of people taking the standard treatment (for example, which group has better survival rates or fewer side effects). In most cases, studies move into phase III only after a treatment seems to work in phases I and II. Phase III trials may include hundreds of people.

phase IV trial
After a treatment has been approved and is being marketed, it is studied in a phase IV trial to evaluate side effects that were not apparent in the phase III trial. Thousands of people are involved in a phase IV trial.

phenethyl isothiocyanate
PEITC. A naturally occurring compound found in some cruciferous vegetables. It is being studied as an agent to prevent cancer.

phenobarbital
A sedative/anticonvulsant barbiturate that has been used to treat diarrhea and to increase the antitumor effect of other therapies.

phenoxodiol
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called signal transduction inhibitors.

phenylacetate
A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer.

phenylbutyrate
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called differentiating agents.

phosphorus-32
A radioactive form of phosphorus used in the treatment of cancer. It is also used to help locate areas of DNA damage.

photodynamic therapy
Treatment with drugs that become active when exposed to light. These drugs kill cancer cells.

photofrin
A drug used in photodynamic therapy that is absorbed by tumor cells. When absorbed by cancer cells and exposed to light, photofrin becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

photosensitizer
A drug used in photodynamic therapy. When absorbed by cancer cells and exposed to light, the drug becomes active and kills the cancer cells.

phyllodes tumor
A type of tumor found in breast tissue. It is often large and bulky and grows quickly. It is usually benign (not cancer), but may be malignant (cancer). Also called cystosarcoma phyllodes.

physiologic
Having to do with the functions of the body. When used in the phrase "physiologic age," it refers to an age assigned by general health, as opposed to calendar age.

pigment
A substance that gives color to tissue. Pigments are responsible for the color of skin, eyes, and hair.

pilocarpine
A drug used to increase salivation in people who have dry mouth caused by opioids or radiation therapy. Pilocarpine belongs to the family of drugs called alkaloids.

pilot study
The initial study examining a new method or treatment.

pineal body
A tiny organ located in the brain that produces melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in the sleep-wake cycle. Also called pineal body or pineal organ.

pineal gland
A tiny organ located in the brain that produces melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in the sleep-wake cycle. Also called pineal body or pineal organ.

pineal organ
A tiny organ located in the brain that produces melatonin, a hormone that plays an important role in the sleep-wake cycle. Also called pineal body or pineal organ.

pineal region tumors
Types of brain tumors that occur in or around the pineal gland, a tiny organ near the center of the brain.

pineoblastoma
A fast growing type of brain tumor that occurs in or around the pineal gland, a tiny organ near the center of the brain.

pineocytoma
A slow growing type of brain tumor that occurs in or around the pineal gland, a tiny organ near the center of the brain.

piperacillin-tazobactam
A combination of drugs used to fight infections in people who have cancer. Piperacillin is a synthetic penicillin; tazobactam enhances the effectiveness of piperacillin.

pirfenidone
A substance that is being studied in the prevention and treatment of scar tissue caused by radiation therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called anti-inflammatory agents.

piritrexim
An anticancer drug.

pituitary gland
The main endocrine gland. It produces hormones that control other glands and many body functions, especially growth.

placebo
An inactive substance that looks the same as, and is administered in the same way as, a drug in a clinical trial.

placebo-controlled
Refers to a clinical study in which the control patients receive a placebo.

placenta
The organ that nourishes the developing fetus in the uterus.

placental blood transplantation
The transfer of blood from a placenta to an individual whose own blood production system is suppressed. Placental blood contains high levels of stem cells needed to produce new blood cells. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and severe blood disorders such as aplastic anemia. Also called umbilical cord blood transplant.

plasma
The clear, yellowish, fluid part of the blood that carries the blood cells. The proteins that form blood clots are in plasma.

plasma cells
A type of white blood cell that produces antibodies.

plasmacytic
Having to do with plasma cells (a type of white blood cells).

plasmacytoma
Cancer of the plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies) that may turn into multiple myeloma.

plasmapheresis
The process of separating certain cells from the plasma in the blood by a machine; only the cells are returned to the person. Plasmapheresis can be used to remove excess antibodies from the blood.

plastic surgeon
A surgeon who specializes in reducing scarring or disfigurement that may occur as a result of accidents, birth defects, or treatment for diseases.

platelets
A type of blood cell that helps prevent bleeding by causing blood clots to form. Also called thrombocytes.

platinum
A metal that is an important component of some anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin.

pleura
A thin layer of tissue covering the lungs and the wall of the chest cavity to protect and cushion the lungs. A small amount of fluid that acts as a lubricant allows the lungs to move smoothly in the chest cavity during breathing.

pleural cavity
A space enclosed by the pleura (thin tissue covering the lungs and lining the interior wall of the chest cavity). The pleural cavity is bound by thin membranes.

pleural effusion
An abnormal collection of fluid between the thin layers of tissue (pleura) lining the lung and the wall of the chest cavity.

plexiform neurofibroma
A nerve that has become thick and misshapen due to the abnormal growth of cells and tissues that cover the nerve.

pluripotent
Able to mature or develop in any of several ways.

pluripotent stem cells
Cells that are able to develop into several different types of cells or tissues in the body.

pM-81 monoclonal antibody
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

pneumatic larynx
A device that is used to help a person talk after a laryngectomy. It uses air to produce a humming sound, which is converted to speech by movement of the lips, tongue, or glottis.

pneumonectomy
An operation to remove an entire lung.

pneumonia
An inflammatory infection that occurs in the lung.

PNU 166148
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is being studied for its ability to treat cancer.

PNU-93914
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

polymerase chain reaction
PCR. A laboratory method used to make many copies of a specific DNA sequence.

polymorphism
A common variation or mutation in DNA.

polyp
A growth that protrudes from a mucous membrane.

polyposis
The development of numerous polyps (growths that protrude from a mucous membrane).

porfimer sodium
An anticancer drug that is also used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called photosensitizing agents.

porfiromycin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called anticancer antibiotics.

port
An implanted device through which blood may be withdrawn and drugs may be infused without repeated needle sticks. Also called a port-a-cath.

portal vein
A blood vessel that carries blood from the digestive organs and the spleen to the liver.

positive axillary lymph nodes
Lymph nodes in the area of the armpit (axilla) to which cancer has spread. This spread is determined by surgically removing some of the lymph nodes and examining them under a microscope to see whether cancer cells are present.

positron emission tomography scan
PET scan. A computerized image of the metabolic activity of body tissues used to determine the presence of disease.

postmenopausal
Refers to the time after menopause. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when menstrual periods stop permanently; also called "change of life."

postremission therapy
Anticancer drugs given to kill cancer cells that survive after remission induction therapy.

precancerous
A term used to describe a condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer. Also called premalignant.

precancerous polyps
Growths that protrude from a mucous membrane. Precancerous polyps may (or are likely to) become cancer.

prednisolone
A synthetic corticosteroid used in the treatment of blood cell cancers (leukemias) and lymph system cancers (lymphomas).

prednisone
Belongs to the family of drugs called steroids and is used to treat several types of cancer and other disorders. Prednisone also inhibits the body's immune response.

preleukemia
A disease in which the bone marrow does not function normally. Also called myelodysplastic syndrome or smoldering leukemia.

premalignant
A term used to describe a condition that may (or is likely to) become cancer. Also called precancerous.

premenopausal
Refers to the time before menopause. Menopause is the time of life when a women's menstrual periods stop permanently; also called "change of life."

primary central nervous system lymphoma
Cancer that arises in the lymphoid tissue found in the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord.

primary tumor
The original tumor.

primitive neuroectodermal tumors
PNET. A type of bone cancer that usually forms in the middle (shaft) of large bones. Also called Ewing's sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

prinomastat
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Prinomastat is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor. Also called AG3340.

probenecid
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antibiotic therapy adjuncts.

procarbazine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

prochlorperazine
A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiemetics.

proctoscopy
An examination of the rectum using a thin, lighted tube called a proctoscope.

proctosigmoidoscopy
An examination of the rectum and the lower part of the colon using a thin, lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope.

progesterone
A female hormone.

progesterone receptor negative
PR-. Breast cancer cells that do not have a protein (receptor molecule) to which progesterone will attach. Breast cancer cells that are PR- do not need the hormone progesterone to grow and usually do not respond to hormonal therapy.

progesterone receptor positive
PR+. Breast cancer cells that have a protein (receptor molecule) to which progesterone will attach. Breast cancer cells that are PR+ need the hormone progesterone to grow and will usually respond to hormonal therapy.

prognosis
The likely outcome or course of a disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence.

progression-free survival
One type of measurement that can be used in a clinical study or trial to help determine whether a new treatment is effective. It refers to the probability that a patient will remain alive, without the disease getting worse.

progressive disease
Cancer that is increasing in scope or severity.

proliferative index
A measure of the number of cells in a tumor that are dividing (proliferating). May be used with the S-phase fraction to give a more complete understanding of how fast a tumor is growing.

prolymphocytic leukemia
PLL. A type of chronic lymphocyctic leukemia (CLL), in which too many immature white blood cells (prolymphocytes) are found in the blood and bone marrow. PLL usually progresses more rapidly than classic CLL.

promegapoietin
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of blood cells, especially platelets; it is given during chemotherapy to increase blood cell regeneration. Promegapoietin is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents.

promyelocytic leukemia
A type of acute myeloid leukemia, a quickly progressing disease in which too many immature blood-forming cells are found in the blood and bone marrow.

prophylactic cranial irradiation
Radiation therapy to the head to reduce the risk that cancer will spread to the brain.

prophylactic oophorectomy
Surgery intended to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by removing the ovaries before disease develops.

prophylactic surgery
Surgery to remove an organ or gland that shows no signs of cancer, in an attempt to prevent development of cancer of that organ or gland. Prophylactic surgery is sometimes chosen by people who know they are at high risk for developing cancer.

prophylaxis
An attempt to prevent disease.

Prost 30 monoclonal antibody
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

prostate
A gland in the male reproductive system just below the bladder. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, the canal that empties the bladder, and produces a fluid that forms part of semen.

prostate-specific antigen
PSA. A substance produced by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or infection or inflammation of the prostate.

prostatectomy
An operation to remove part or all of the prostate. Radical (or total) prostatectomy is the removal of the entire prostate and some of the tissue around it.

prostatic acid phosphatase
PAP. An enzyme produced by the prostate. It may be found in increased amounts in men who have prostate cancer.

prosthesis
An artificial replacement of a part of the body.

prosthodontist
A dentist with special training in making replacements for missing teeth or other structures of the oral cavity to restore an individual's appearance, comfort, or health.

protease inhibitors
Compounds that interfere with the ability of certain enzymes to break down proteins. Some protease inhibitors can keep a virus from making copies of itself (e.g., AIDS virus protease inhibitors), and some can prevent cancer cells from spreading.

protein
A molecule made up of amino acids that are needed for the body to function properly. Proteins are the basis of body structures such as skin and hair and of substances such as enzymes, cytokines, and antibodies.

PS-341
A drug that is being studied for its ability to treat cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called dipeptidyl boronic acids. Also called bortezomib.

PSA
Prostate-specific antigen. A substance produced by the prostate that may be found in an increased amount in the blood of men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or infection or inflammation of the prostate.

PSC 833
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called cyclosporine analogues. It is used with chemotherapy to prevent or overcome the resistance of tumor cells to some anticancer drugs.

psoralen
A substance that binds to the DNA in cells and stops them from multiplying. It is being studied in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease and is used in the treatment of psoriasis and vitiligo.

PTC
Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (per-kyoo-TAN-ee-us trans-heh-PAT-ik ko-LAN-jee-AH-gra-fee). A procedure to x-ray the hepatic and common bile ducts. A contrasting agent is injected into the liver or bile duct, and the ducts are then x-rayed to find the point of obstruction.

PTK787/ZK 222584
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

pulmonary
Relating to the lungs.

pump
A device that is used to deliver a precise amount of drug at a specific rate.

pyrazine diazohydroxide
An anticancer drug.

pyrazoloacridine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called acridines.

Q

QS21
A plant extract that may improve the ability of the immune system to respond to disease. It is being studied in combination with vaccine therapy.

quadrantectomy
Surgical removal of the region of the breast (approximately one quarter) containing cancer.

quality of life
The overall enjoyment of life. Many clinical trials measure aspects of an individual's sense of well-being and ability to perform various tasks to assess the effects of cancer and its treatment on the quality of life.

R

R101933
A substance that is being studied for its ability to make cancer cells respond to drugs to which they have become resistant. It belongs to the family of drugs called multidrug resistance inhibitors.

R115777
An anticancer drug that inhibits the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors.

radiation
Energy released in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. Common sources of radiation include radon gas, cosmic rays from outer space, and medical x-rays.

radiation fibrosis
The formation of scar tissue as a result of radiation therapy.

radiation oncologist
A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.

radiation surgery
A radiation therapy technique that delivers radiation directly to the tumor while sparing the healthy tissue. Also called radiosurgery and stereotactic external beam irradiation.

radiation therapy
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or from materials called radioisotopes. Radioisotopes produce radiation and can be placed in or near the tumor or in the area near cancer cells. This type of radiation treatment is called internal radiation therapy, implant radiation, interstitial radiation, or brachytherapy. Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the body. Also called radiotherapy, irradiation, and x-ray therapy.

radical cystectomy
Surgery to remove the bladder as well as nearby tissues and organs.

radical mastectomy
Surgery for breast cancer in which the breast, chest muscles, and all of the lymph nodes under the arm are removed. For many years, this was the operation most used, but it is used now only when the tumor has spread to the chest muscles. Also called the Halsted radical mastectomy.

radical prostatectomy
Surgery to remove the entire prostate. The two types of radical prostatectomy are retropubic prostatectomy and perineal prostatectomy.

radioactive
Giving off radiation.

radioactive iodine
A radioactive form of iodine, often used for imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer. For imaging tests, the patient takes a small amount of radioactive iodine by mouth, and it collects in the thyroid. A probe is used to scan the thyroid. For treatment, the patient takes a large dose of radioactive iodine, which kills thyroid cells.

radiofrequency ablation
The use of electrodes to heat and destroy abnormal tissue.

radioimmunoguided surgery
A procedure that uses radiolabeled substances to detect tumors for surgical removal.

radioimmunotherapy
Treatment with a radioactive substance that is linked to an antibody that will attach to the tumor when injected into the body.

radioisotope
An unstable element that releases radiation as it breaks down. Radioisotopes can be used in imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer.

radiolabeled
Any compound that has been joined with a radioactive substance.

radiologist
A doctor who specializes in creating and interpreting pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are produced with x-rays, sound waves, or other types of energy.

radiology
The use of radiation (such as x-rays) or other imaging technologies (such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging) to diagnose or treat disease.

radionuclide scanning
A test that produces pictures (scans) of internal parts of the body. The person is given an injection or swallows a small amount of radioactive material; a machine called a scanner then measures the radioactivity in certain organs.

radiopharmaceuticals
Drugs containing a radioactive substance that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and in pain management of bone metastases. Also called radioactive drugs.

radiosensitization
The use of a drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

radiosensitizers
Drugs that make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

radon
A radioactive gas that is released by uranium, a substance found in soil and rock. Breathing in too much radon can damage lung cells and lead to lung cancer.

raloxifene
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and is used in the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Raloxifene is also being studied as a cancer prevention drug.

raltitrexed
An anticancer drug that inhibits tumor cells from multiplying by interfering with cells' ability to make DNA. Also called ICI D1694.

randomized clinical trial
A study in which the participants are assigned by chance to separate groups that compare different treatments; neither the researchers nor the participants can choose which group. Using chance to assign people to groups means that the groups will be similar and that the treatments they receive can be compared objectively. At the time of the trial, it is not known which treatment is best. It is the patient's choice to be in a randomized trial.

ras gene
A gene that has been found to cause cancer when it is altered (mutated). Agents that block its activity may stop the growth of cancer. A ras peptide is a protein fragment produced by the ras gene.

rebeccamycin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antineoplastic antibiotics.

receptor
A molecule inside or on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific substance and causes a specific physiologic effect in the cell.

rectum
The last 6 inches of the large intestine.

recur
To occur again.

recurrence
The return of cancer, at the same site as the original (primary) tumor or in another location, after the tumor had disappeared.

recurrent cancer
Cancer that has returned, at the same site as the original (primary) tumor or in another location, after the tumor had disappeared.

red blood cell
RBC. A cell that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Also called an erythrocyte.

Reed-Sternberg cell
A type of cell that appears in people with Hodgkin's disease. The number of these cells increases as the disease advances.

reflux
The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

refractory cancer
Cancer that has not responded to treatment.

regimen
A treatment plan that specifies the dosage, the schedule, and the duration of treatment.

regional cancer
Refers to cancer that has grown beyond the original (primary) tumor to nearby lymph nodes or organs and tissues.

regional chemotherapy
Treatment with anticancer drugs directed to a specific area of the body.

regression
A decrease in the size of a tumor or in the extent of cancer in the body.

relapse
The return of signs and symptoms of cancer after a period of improvement.

remission
A decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some, but not all, signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although there still may be cancer in the body.

remission induction therapy
The initial chemotherapy a person receives to bring about a remission.

renal capsule
The fibrous connective tissue that surrounds each kidney.

renal cell cancer
Cancer that develops in the lining of the renal tubules, which filter the blood and produce urine.

renal fascia
A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called Gerota's fascia.

renal pelvis
The area at the center of the kidney. Urine collects here and is funneled into the ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder.

reproductive cells
Egg and sperm cells. Each mature reproductive cell carries a single set of 23 chromosomes.

reproductive system
In women, this system includes the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus (womb), the cervix, and the vagina (birth canal). The reproductive system in men includes the prostate, the testes, and the penis.

resected
Surgical removal of part or all of an organ.

resection
Removal of tissue or part or all of an organ by surgery.

residual disease
Cancer cells that remain after attempts to remove the cancer have been made.

resistance
Failure of a cancer to shrink after treatment.

respiratory syncytial virus
RSV. A virus that causes respiratory infections with cold-like symptoms.

respiratory system
The organs that are involved in breathing. These include the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs.

respiratory therapy
Exercises and treatments that help improve or restore lung function.

retinoblastoma
An eye cancer that most often occurs in children younger than 5 years. It occurs in hereditary and nonhereditary (sporadic) forms.

retinoid
Vitamin A or a vitamin A-like compound.

retinol
Vitamin A. It is essential for proper vision and healthy skin and mucous membranes. Retinol is being studied for cancer prevention; it belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

retinyl palmitate
A drug being studied in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

retropubic prostatectomy
Surgery to remove the prostate through an incision made in the abdominal wall.

retrospective study
A study that looks backward in time, usually using medical records and interviews with patients who already have or had a disease.

retroviral vector
RNA from a virus that is used to insert genetic material into cells.

RevM10 gene
An antiviral gene being studied for treatment of cancer in patients who have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

rhabdoid tumor
A malignant tumor of either the central nervous system (CNS) or the kidney. Malignant rhabdoid tumors of the CNS often have an abnormality of chromosome 22. These tumors usually occur in children younger than 2 years.

rhabdomyosarcoma
A malignant tumor of muscle tissue.

rhizoxin
An anticancer drug isolated from a fungus. It is similar to the family of drugs called vinca alkaloids.

ribavirin
A drug used to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in the lungs.

ribonucleic acid
RNA. One of the two types of nucleic acids found in all cells. The other is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Ribonucleic acid transmits genetic information from DNA to proteins produced by the cell.

risk factor
Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease, including a substance, agent, genetic alteration, trait, habit, or condition.

ritonavir
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called protease inhibitors. It interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.

rituximab
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

RMP-7
A substance that is being studied for its ability to help other drugs reach the brain. It belongs to the family of drugs called bradykinin agonists. Also called lobradimil.

RNA
Ribonucleic acid. One of the two types of nucleic acids found in all cells. The other is deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). RNA transmits genetic information from DNA to proteins produced by the cell.

Ro 31-7453
An anticancer drug that may prevent cancer cells from dividing.

rofecoxib
A substance used for pain relief that is also being studied for its ability to prevent cancer and to block the growth of new blood vessels to solid tumors. It belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

rosiglitazone
A drug taken to help reduce the amount of sugar in the blood. Rosiglitazone helps make insulin more effective and improves regulation of blood sugar. It belongs to the family of drugs called thiazolidinediones.

RPI.4610
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

RPR 109881A
A drug that belongs to the family of anticancer drugs called taxanes.

RSR13
A drug that may increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

RSV
Respiratory syncytial virus. A virus that causes respiratory infections with cold-like symptoms.

S

S-1
A drug that is being studied for its ability to enhance the effectiveness of fluorouracil and prevent gastrointestinal side effects caused by fluorouracil. It belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

S-phase fraction
A measure of the percentage of cells in a tumor that are in the phase of the cell cycle during which DNA is synthesized. The S-phase fraction may be used with the proliferative index to give a more complete understanding of how fast a tumor is growing.

saline
A solution of salt and water.

salivary glands
Glands in the mouth that produce saliva.

salpingo-oophorectomy
Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

samarium 153
A radioactive substance used in cancer therapy.

saquinavir mesylate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called protease inhibitors. It interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.

sarCNU
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

sarcoma
A cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.

sargramostim
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of white blood cells, especially granulocytes and macrophages, and cells (in the bone marrow) that are precursors of platelets. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF).

SC-70935
A substance that is being studied for its ability to stimulate the production of blood cells during chemotherapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called colony-stimulating factors. Also known as leridistim.

scans
Pictures of structures inside the body. Scans often used in diagnosing, staging, and monitoring disease include liver scans, bone scans, and computed tomography (CT) or computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. In liver scanning and bone scanning, radioactive substances that are injected into the bloodstream collect in these organs. A scanner that detects the radiation is used to create pictures. In CT scanning, an x-ray machine linked to a computer is used to produce detailed pictures of organs inside the body. MRI scans use a large magnet connected to a computer to create pictures of areas inside the body.

SCH 54031
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called biological response modifiers. SCH 54031 is a cytokine. Also called PEG-interferon alfa-2b.

SCH 66336
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors.

SCH-58500
A drug that inhibits the growth of tumor cells that express the mutated p53 gene.

Schiller test
A test in which iodine is applied to the cervix. The iodine colors healthy cells brown; abnormal cells remain unstained, usually appearing white or yellow.

schwannoma
A tumor of the peripheral nervous system that begins in the nerve sheath (protective covering). It is almost always benign, but rare malignant schwannomas have been reported.

screening
Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.

scrotum
In males, the external sac that contains the testicles.

sebum
An oily substance produced by certain glands in the skin.

second cancer
Refers to a new primary cancer that is caused by previous cancer treatment, or a new primary cancer in a person with a history of cancer.

second-look surgery
Surgery performed after primary treatment to determine whether tumor cells remain.

secondary tumor
Cancer that has spread from the organ in which it first appeared to another organ. For example, breast cancer cells may spread (metastasize) to the lungs and cause the growth of a new tumor. When this happens, the disease is called metastatic breast cancer and the tumor in the lungs is called a secondary tumor. Also called secondary cancer.

sedoxantrone trihydrochloride
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called DNA-intercalating compounds. Also called CI-958.

segmental mastectomy
The removal of a cancer as well as some of the breast tissue around the tumor and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor. Usually some of the lymph nodes under the arm are also taken out. Also called partial mastectomy.

seizures
Convulsions; sudden, involuntary movements of the muscles.

selenium
An essential dietary mineral.

semen
The fluid that is released through the penis during orgasm. Semen is made up of sperm from the testicles and fluid from the prostate and other sex glands.

seminal vesicles
Glands that help produce semen.

seminoma
A type of cancer of the testicles. Seminomas may spread to the lung, bone, liver, or brain.

semustine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

sentinel lymph node
The first lymph node that cancer is likely to spread to from the primary tumor. Cancer cells may appear first in the sentinel node before spreading to other lymph nodes.

sentinel lymph node biopsy
Procedure in which a dye or radioactive substance is injected near the tumor and flows into the sentinel lymph nodes(s) (the first lymph node(s) that cancer is likely to spread to from the primary tumor). A surgeon then looks for the dye or uses a scanner to find the sentinel lymph node(s) and removes it (or them) to check for the presence of tumor cells.

sentinel lymph node mapping
The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the primary tumor. Cancer cells may appear first in the sentinel node before spreading to other lymph nodes and other places in the body.

septicemia
Disease caused by the spread of bacteria and their toxins in the bloodstream. Also called blood poisoning.

sequential treatment
One treatment after the other.

Sezary syndrome
A form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a cancerous disease that affects the skin.

SGN-15
A substance that combines a monoclonal antibody with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. The monoclonal antibody helps deliver doxorubicin directly to tumor cells. SGN-15 belongs to the family of drugs called antibody drug conjugates.

sham therapy
An inactive treatment or procedure that is intended to mimic as closely as possible a therapy in a clinical trial. Also called placebo therapy.

shave biopsy
A procedure in which the parts of a mole that are above and just below the surface of the skin are removed with a small blade. There is no need for stitches with this procedure.

shunt
A surgically created diversion of fluid (e.g., blood or cerebrospinal fluid) from one area of the body to another area of the body.

sialyl Tn-KLH
A vaccine composed of a substance that enhances immunity plus an antigen found on some tumors of the colon, breast, lung, ovary, pancreas, and stomach.

side effects
Problems that occur when treatment affects tissues or organs other than the ones meant to be affected by the treatment. Common side effects of cancer treatment are fatigue, pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased blood cell counts, hair loss, and mouth sores.

sigmoidoscope
A thin, lighted tube used to view the inside of the colon.

sigmoidoscopy
Inspection of the lower colon using a thin, lighted tube called a sigmoidoscope. Samples of tissue or cells may be collected for examination under a microscope. Also called proctosigmoidoscopy.

signal transduction inhibitors
A family of drugs that may prevent the ability of cancer cells to multiply quickly and invade other tissues.

simple mastectomy
Removal of the breast. Also called total mastectomy.

sirolimus
A drug used to help prevent rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants by the body.

skin graft
Skin that is moved from one part of the body to another.

skin test
A test for an immune response to a compound by placing it on or under the skin.

small cell lung cancer
A type of lung cancer in which the cells appear small and round when viewed under the microscope. Also called oat cell lung cancer.

small intestine
The part of the digestive tract that is located between the stomach and the large intestine.

smoldering leukemia
Disease in which the bone marrow does not function normally. Also called preleukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome.

SMT-487
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called somatostatin analogs.

sodium salicylate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Sodium salicylate may be tolerated by people who are sensitive to aspirin.

soft diet
A diet consisting of bland foods that are softened by cooking, mashing, pureeing, or blending.

soft tissue
Refers to muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or other supporting tissue of the body.

soft tissue sarcoma
A sarcoma that begins in the muscle, fat, fibrous tissue, blood vessels, or other supporting tissue of the body.

solid tumor
Cancer of body tissues other than blood, bone marrow, or the lymphatic system.

somatic cells
All the body cells except the reproductive (germ) cells.

somatic mutations
Alterations in DNA that occur after conception. Somatic mutations can occur in any of the cells of the body except the germ cells (sperm and egg) and therefore are not passed on to children. These alterations can (but do not always) cause cancer or other diseases.

sonogram
A computer picture of areas inside the body created when sound waves bounce off organs and other tissues. Also called ultrasonogram or ultrasound.

speculum
An instrument used to widen an opening of the body to make it easier to look inside.

SPF
Sun protection factor. A scale for rating the level of sunburn protection in sunscreen products. The higher the SPF, the more sunburn protection it provides. Sunscreens with an SPF value of 2 through 11 provide minimal protection against sunburns. Sunscreens with an SPF of 12 through 29 provide moderate protection, which is adequate for most people. Those with an SPF of 30 or higher provide high protection against sunburn and are sometimes recommended for people who are highly sensitive to the sun.

spinal tap
A procedure in which a needle is put into the lower part of the spinal column to collect cerebrospinal fluid or to give anticancer drugs intrathecally. Also called a lumbar puncture.

spiral CT scan
A detailed picture of areas inside the body. The pictures are created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine that scans the body in a spiral path. Also called helical computed tomography.

spleen
An organ that is part of the lymphatic system. The spleen produces lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood cells, and destroys old blood cells. It is located on the left side of the abdomen near the stomach.

splenectomy
An operation to remove the spleen.

sputum
Mucus and other matter that is brought up from the lungs by coughing.

squalamine lactate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. It prevents the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor.

squamous cell carcinoma
Cancer that begins in squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that look like fish scales. Squamous cells are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the passages of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Also called epidermoid carcinoma.

squamous cells
Flat cells that look like fish scales under a microscope. These cells cover internal and external surfaces of the body.

squamous intraepithelial lesion
SIL. A general term for the abnormal growth of squamous cells on the surface of the cervix. The changes in the cells are described as low grade or high grade, depending on how much of the cervix is affected and how abnormal the cells appear.

SR-29142
A drug that may protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of anticancer drugs.

SR-45023A
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates. It affects cancer cell receptors governing cell growth and cell death.

SR49059
An anticancer drug that inhibits a hormone growth factor responsible for stimulating some cancer cells to multiply.

St. John's wort
Hypericum perforatum, an herbal product sold as an over-the-counter treatment for depression. It is being studied for its ability to lessen certain side effects of cancer treatment.

stable disease
Cancer that is neither decreasing nor increasing in extent or severity.

stage
The extent of a cancer within the body, especially whether the disease has spread from the original site to other parts of the body.

stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Too many lymphocytes are in the blood but there are usually no other symptoms of leukemia.

stage I adrenocortical cancer
Cancer that is smaller than 5 centimeters (smaller than 2 inches) and has not spread into tissues around the adrenal gland.

stage I anal cancer
Cancer that has spread beyond the top layer of anal tissue and is smaller than 2 centimeters (smaller than 1 inch).

stage I bladder cancer
Cancer that has spread into the inner lining of the bladder but not to the muscular wall of the bladder.

stage I breast cancer
Cancer no bigger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) that has not spread outside the breast.

stage I cancer of the cervix
Cancer that involves the cervix but has not spread to nearby tissues. In stage IA cancer of the cervix, a very small amount of cancer that is only visible under a microscope is found deeper in the tissues of the cervix. In stage IB cancer, a larger amount of cancer is found in the tissues of the cervix.

stage I cancer of the esophagus
Cancer that is found in the lining of the esophagus but has not spread to nearby tissues, lymph nodes, or other organs.

stage I cancer of the uterus
Cancer found in only the main part of the uterus, not the cervix.

stage I cancer of the vulva
Cancer found in the vulva only or the space between the opening of the rectum and the vagina (perineum). The tumor is 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) or smaller.

stage I chronic lymphocytic leukemia
The blood has too many lymphocytes, and lymph nodes are swollen.

stage I colorectal cancer
Tumor cells that are found in deeper layers of tissue lining the colon/rectum but have not spread to nearby lymph nodes. Also called Dukes A colorectal cancer.

stage I cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
May be either of the following: (1) stage IA cancer affecting less than 10% of the skin's surface and appearing as red, dry, scaly patches; (2) stage IB cancer affecting 10% or more of the skin's surface and appearing as red, dry, scaly patches.

stage I endometrial cancer
Cancer found in only the main part of the uterus, not the cervix.

stage I Hodgkin's disease
Cancer found in only one lymph node area or one area or organ outside the lymph nodes.

stage I hypopharynx cancer
Tumor that is confined to one area of the hypopharynx and is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 0.75 inch).

stage I kidney cancer
A tumor that is 7 centimeters (2.75 inches) or smaller.

stage I laryngeal cancer
Cancer that is only in the area where it started and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes or other parts of the body. The exact definition of stage I depends on whether the cancer started in the supraglottis (cancer in only one area of the supraglottis, and the vocal cords can move normally); the glottis (cancer in only the vocal cords, and the vocal cords can move normally); or the subglottis (cancer that has not spread outside the subglottis).

stage I lip and oral cavity cancer
Cancer that is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) and has not spread to nearby lymph nodes.

stage I melanoma
Cancer found in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), the upper part of the inner layer of skin (dermis), or both but not in nearby lymph nodes. The tumor is no thicker than 1.5 millimeters (about 1/16 of an inch).

stage I mesothelioma
Cancer found in the lining of the chest cavity near the lung and heart, in the diaphragm (the thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen), or in the lung.

stage I multiple myeloma
Relatively few cancer cells have spread throughout the body. There may be no symptoms of disease.

stage I nasopharynx cancer
Cancer confined to the nasopharynx.

stage I non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Cancer found in only one lymph node area or one area or organ outside the lymph nodes.

stage I non-small cell lung cancer
Cancer in the lung only and not in tissue around the lung.

stage I oropharynx cancer
Cancer that is no larger than 2 centimeters (about 0.75 inch) and is confined to the oropharynx.

stage I ovarian cancer
Cancer that is found in one or both of the ovaries and has not spread.

stage I pancreatic cancer
Cancer that is found only in the pancreas itself or has started to spread to the tissues next to the pancreas (such as the small intestine, the stomach, or the bile duct).

stage I prostate cancer
Cancer that is only in the prostate gland, cannot be felt during a digital rectal examination, is not visible by imaging, and causes no symptoms. It is usually found accidentally or because a blood test showed an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. Cancer cells may be found in only one area of the prostate, or they may be found in many areas of the prostate. Similar to stage A in the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

stage I stomach cancer
Cancer that is in the second or third layers of the stomach wall and has not spread to lymph nodes near the cancer, or is in the second layer of the stomach wall and has spread to lymph nodes very close to the tumor.

stage I testicular cancer
Cancer that is found in the testicle only or has spread into the scrotum.

stage I Wilms' tumor
Cancer that is found in the kidney only and can be completely removed by surgery.

stage IA soft tissue sarcoma
Cancer in which the cells look very much like normal cells. The cancer is smaller than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage IB soft tissue sarcoma
Cancer in which the cells look somewhat different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage II adrenocortical cancer
Cancer that is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread into tissues around the adrenal gland.

stage II anal cancer
Cancer that has spread beyond the top layer of anal tissue and is larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) but has not spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes.

stage II bladder cancer
Cancer that has spread to the muscular wall of the bladder.

stage II breast cancer
Stage II breast cancer means one of the following: cancer is no larger than 2 centimeters but has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit (the axillary lymph nodes); cancer is between 2 and 5 centimeters (1 to 2 inches) and may have spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit; cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches) but has not spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit.

stage II cancer of the cervix
Cancer that has spread to nearby areas but is still inside the pelvis. In stage IIA cancer of the cervix, cancer has spread beyond the cervix to the upper two thirds of the vagina; in stage IIB, cancer has spread to the tissue around the cervix.

stage II cancer of the esophagus
Cancer that may be found in all layers of esophageal tissue and may have spread to regional lymph nodes, but has not spread to other tissues.

stage II cancer of the uterus
Cancer that has spread to the cervix.

stage II cancer of the vulva
Cancer that is found in the vulva, the space between the opening of the rectum and the vagina (perineum), or both. The tumor is larger than 2 centimeters (larger than 1 inch).

stage II chronic lymphocytic leukemia
The blood has too many lymphocytes, and the liver or spleen is swollen.

stage II colorectal cancer
Cancer that has spread beyond the colon/rectum but not to the lymph nodes. Also called Dukes B colorectal cancer.

stage II endometrial cancer
Cancer that has spread to the cervix.

stage II Hodgkin's disease
Cancer that is found in two or more lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm (the thin muscle under the lungs that helps one breathe), or is found in only one area or organ outside of the lymphatic system and in the lymph nodes around it. Other lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm may also have cancer.

stage II hypopharynx cancer
Cancer that involves more than one area of the hypopharynx or is between 2 and 4 centimeters (between 0.75 and 1.5 inches).

stage II kidney cancer
Tumor that is larger than 6 centimeters (2.75 inches).

stage II laryngeal cancer
Cancer that is found in the larynx only and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area or to other parts of the body. The exact definition of stage II depends on whether the cancer started in the supraglottis (cancer is in more than one area of the supraglottis, but the vocal cords can move normally); the glottis (cancer has spread to the supraglottis, the subglottis, or both, and the vocal cords may not be able to move normally); or the subglottis (cancer has spread to the vocal cords, which may not be able to move normally).

stage II lip and oral cavity cancer
Cancer that is larger than 2 centimeters (about 1 inch) but smaller than 4 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area.

stage II melanoma
Tumor that is 1.5 to 4 millimeters (less than 1/4 inch) thick and has spread to the lower part of the inner layer of skin (dermis), but not into the tissue below the skin or into nearby lymph nodes.

stage II mesothelioma
Cancer that has spread beyond the lining of the chest to lymph nodes in the chest.

stage II multiple myeloma
Cancer in which a moderate number of cancer cells have spread throughout the body.

stage II nasopharynx cancer
Stage II nasopharynx cancer may be either of the following: (1) stage IIA, in which cancer extends from the nasopharynx to the oropharynx, nasal fossa, or both; (2) stage IIB, in which cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or extends to the parapharyngeal area.

stage II non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Cancer that is found in two or more lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm (the muscle under the lungs that helps breathing). Cancer is found in only one area or organ outside the lymph nodes and in the lymph nodes around it. Other lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm may also have cancer.

stage II non-small cell lung cancer
Cancer that has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

stage II oropharynx cancer
Tumor that is between 2 and 4 centimeters (0.75 and 1.5 inches) and is confined to the oropharynx.

stage II ovarian cancer
Cancer that is found in one or both ovaries and/or has spread to one of more of the following: uterus, fallopian tubes, other body parts within the pelvis.

stage II pancreatic cancer
Cancer that has spread to nearby organs such as the stomach, spleen, or colon but has not entered the lymph nodes.

stage II prostate cancer
Cancer that may be found by a needle biopsy performed because a blood test showed elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA); or cancer that may be felt in the prostate during a rectal examination, even though the cancer cells are found only in the prostate gland. Similar to stage B in the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

stage II stomach cancer
Stage II stomach cancer is defined by any of the following: (1) cancer is in the second layer of the stomach wall and has spread to lymph nodes further away from the tumor; (2) cancer is only in the muscle layer (the third layer) of the stomach and has spread to lymph nodes very close to the tumor; (3) cancer is in all four layers of the stomach wall but has not spread to lymph nodes or other organs.

stage II testicular cancer
Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen.

stage II Wilms' tumor
Cancer has spread to tissue near the kidney, to blood vessels, or to the renal sinus (a part of the kidney through which blood and fluid enter and exit). The cancer can be completely removed by surgery.

stage IIA soft tissue sarcoma
The cancer cells look somewhat different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage IIB soft tissue sarcoma
The cancer cells look very different from normal cells. The cancer is smaller than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage IIC soft tissue sarcoma
The cancer cells look very different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) and has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage III adrenocortical cancer
The cancer has spread into tissues around the adrenal gland or has spread to the lymph nodes around the adrenal gland.

stage III anal cancer
Stage III anal cancer is divided into stage IIIA and IIIB. Stage IIIA anal cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the rectum or to nearby organs such as the vagina or bladder. Stager IIIB cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the abdomen or in the groin, or the cancer has spread to both nearby organs and the lymph nodes around the rectum.

stage III bladder cancer
Cancer cells have spread throughout the muscular wall of the bladder, to the layer of tissue surrounding the bladder, and/or to the nearby reproductive organs.

stage III breast cancer
Stage III is divided into stages IIIA and IIIB. In stage IIIA breast cancer, the cancer (1) is smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches) and has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit, which have grown into each other or into other structures and are attached to them; or (2) is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes in the armpit. In stage IIIB breast cancer, the cancer (1) has spread to tissues near the breast (skin, chest wall, including the ribs and the muscles in the chest); or (2) has spread to lymph nodes inside the chest wall along the breast bone.

stage III cancer of the cervix
Cancer has spread throughout the pelvic area, and cancer cells may have spread to the lower part of the vagina. The cells also may have spread to block the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder (the ureters).

stage III cancer of the esophagus
Cancer has spread to tissues or lymph nodes near the esophagus but has not spread to other parts of the body.

stage III cancer of the uterus
Cancer cells have spread outside the uterus to the vagina and/or lymph nodes in the pelvis but have not spread outside the pelvis.

stage III cancer of the vulva
Cancer is found in the vulva, perineum, or both. The cancer has also spread to nearby tissues such as the lower part of the urethra (the tube through which urine passes), the vagina, and the anus (the opening of the rectum); to nearby lymph nodes; or both.

stage III chronic lymphocytic leukemia
There are too many lymphocytes in the blood, and there are too few red blood cells (anemia). Lymph nodes, liver, or spleen may be swollen.

stage III colorectal cancer
Tumor cells have spread to organs and lymph nodes near the colon/rectum. Also called Dukes C colorectal cancer.

stage III cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
Nearly all of the skin is red, dry, and scaly; lymph nodes are either normal or enlarged but do not contain cancer cells.

stage III endometrial cancer
Cancer cells have spread outside the uterus to the vagina and/or lymph nodes in the pelvis but have not spread outside the pelvis.

stage III Hodgkin's disease
Cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm (the thin muscle under the lungs that helps one breathe). The cancer may have also spread to an area or organ near the lymph node areas and/or to the spleen.

stage III hypopharynx cancer
The tumor is larger than 4 centimeters (about 1.5 inches) in size, has spread to a single lymph node on the same side of the neck, or both.

stage III kidney cancer
Kidney cancer that has spread to the major veins of the kidney and may have spread to a single lymph node.

stage III laryngeal cancer
The cancer has not spread outside of the larynx, but the vocal cords cannot move normally, or the cancer has spread to tissues next to the larynx; or the cancer has spread to one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the original tumor, and the lymph node measures no larger than 3 centimeters (just over 1 inch).

stage III lip and oral cavity cancer
The cancer is larger than 4 centimeters (about 2 inches); or the cancer is any size but has spread to only one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer. The lymph node that contains cancer is no larger than 3 centimeters (just over one inch).

stage III melanoma
Stage III melanoma is defined by any of the following: 1) the tumor is more than 4 millimeters (1/4 inch) thick; 2) the tumor has spread to the body tissue below the skin; 3) there are additional tumor growths within 2 centimeters (3/4 inch) of the original tumor (satellite tumors); or 4) the tumor has spread to nearby lymph nodes or there are additional tumor growths (satellite tumors) between the original tumor and the lymph nodes in the area.

stage III mesothelioma
Cancer has spread into the lung, chest wall, diaphragm (the muscle between the chest and the abdomen), the sac surrounding the heart, or the ribs. It may also have spread to other organs or tissues in the chest.

stage III multiple myeloma
A relatively large number of cancer cells have spread throughout the body. There may be one or more of the following: 1) a decrease in the number of red blood cells, causing anemia; 2) the amount of calcium in the blood is very high, because the bones are being damaged; 3) more than three bone tumors (plasmacytomas) are found; or 4) high levels of M protein are found in the blood or urine.

stage III nasopharynx cancer
Cancer that has spread to lymph nodes on both sides of the neck or has spread to nearby bones or sinuses.

stage III non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Cancer is found in lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm. The cancer may also have spread to an area or organ near the lymph node areas, to the spleen, or both.

stage III non-small cell lung cancer
Cancer has spread to structures near the lung; to the lymph nodes in the area that separates the two lungs

stage III oropharynx cancer
The tumor is larger than 4 centimeters (about 1.5 inches) in size and may involve a single lymph node on the same side of the neck.

stage III ovarian cancer
Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread to lymph nodes or to other body parts inside the abdomen (such as the surface of the liver or intestine).

stage III pancreatic cancer
Cancer of the pancreas in which the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes near the pancreas. Cancer may have spread to nearby organs.

stage III prostate cancer
Cancer cells have spread outside the covering (capsule) of the prostate to tissues around the prostate but not to the lymph nodes. The glands that produce semen (the seminal vesicles) may have cancer cells in them. Similar to stage C in the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

stage III soft tissue sarcoma
The cancer cells look very different from normal cells. The cancer is larger than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) but has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

stage III stomach cancer
Stage III stomach cancer is defined by any of the following: 1) cancer is in the third layer of the stomach wall and has spread to lymph nodes further away from the tumor; 2) cancer is in all four layers of the stomach wall and has spread to lymph nodes either very close to the tumor or further away from the tumor; or 3) cancer is in all four layers of the stomach wall and has spread to nearby tissues. The cancer may or may not have spread to lymph nodes very close to the tumor.

stage III testicular cancer
Cancer has spread beyond the lymph nodes in the abdomen. There may be cancer in parts of the body far away from the testicles.

stage III Wilms' tumor
Cancer has spread to tissues near the kidney and cannot be completely removed by surgery. The cancer may have spread to blood vessels or organs near the kidney or throughout the abdomen. The cancer may also have spread to lymph nodes near the kidney.

stage IIIA anal cancer
Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes around the rectum or to nearby organs such as the vagina or bladder.

stage IIIA breast cancer
Stage IIIA breast cancer is defined by either of the following: (1) the cancer is smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches) and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, which have grown into each other or into other structures and are attached to them; (2) the cancer is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm.

stage IIIB anal cancer
Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the middle of the abdomen or in the groin, or the cancer has spread to both nearby organs and the lymph nodes around the rectum.

stage IIIB breast cancer
Stage IIIB breast cancer is defined by either of the following: (1) the cancer has spread to tissues near the breast (skin, chest wall, including the ribs and the muscles in the chest); (2) the cancer has spread to lymph nodes inside the chest wall along the breast bone.

stage IV adrenocortical cancer
The cancer has spread to tissues or organs in the area and to lymph nodes around the adrenal cortex, or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV anal cancer
Cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes within the abdomen or to organs in other parts of the body.

stage IV bladder cancer
Cancer cells have spread to the wall of the abdomen or pelvis or to nearby lymph nodes, or it has spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body far from the bladder.

stage IV breast cancer
Cancer has spread to other organs of the body, most often the bones, lungs, liver, or brain; or tumor has spread locally to the skin and lymph nodes inside the neck, near the collarbone.

stage IV cancer of the cervix
Cancer has spread to other parts of the body. In stage IVA cancer of the cervix, cancer has spread to the bladder or rectum (organs close to the cervix); in stage IVB cancer of the cervix, cancer has spread to distant organs such as the lungs.

stage IV cancer of the esophagus
Cancer has spread to lymph nodes and other parts of the body far from the esophagus.

stage IV cancer of the uterus
Cancer cells have spread to the lining of the bladder or rectum or to distant parts of the body.

stage IV cancer of the vulva
Cancer has spread beyond the urethra, vagina, and anus into the lining of the bladder (the sac that holds urine) and the bowel (intestine); or it may have spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvis or to other parts of the body.

stage IV chronic lymphocytic leukemia
There are too many lymphocytes in the blood and too few platelets. This makes it hard for the blood to clot. Lymph nodes, liver, or spleen may be swollen and there may be too few red blood cells present (anemia).

stage IV colorectal cancer
Cancer cells have spread to organs and lymph nodes in other parts of the body.

stage IV cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
Stage IV cutaneous T-cell lymphoma may be either of the following: in stage IVA cancer, the skin is red, dry, and scaly, and the lymph nodes contain cancer cells; in stage IVB cancer, the skin is red, dry and scaly, cancer cells may be found in lymph nodes, and cancer has spread to other organs in the body.

stage IV endometrial cancer
Cancer cells have spread to the lining of the bladder or rectum or to distant parts of the body.

stage IV Hodgkin's disease
Cancer has spread to an organ or organs outside the lymph system; or cancer has spread to only one organ outside the lymph system, but lymph nodes far away from that organ are involved. Cancer cells may be found in the lymph nodes near these organs.

stage IV hypopharynx cancer
The tumor has spread to nearby tissues and lymph nodes of the neck and may have spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV kidney cancer
Kidney cancer that has spread beyond the kidney to lymph nodes or organs.

stage IV laryngeal cancer
The cancer has spread to tissues around the larynx, such as the pharynx or the tissues in the neck. The lymph nodes in the area may contain cancer; the cancer has spread to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer, to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, or to any lymph node that measures more than 6 centimeters (over 2 inches); or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV lip and oral cavity cancer
The cancer has spread to tissues around the lip and oral cavity (the lymph nodes in the area may contain cancer); the cancer is any size and has spread to more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer, to lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neck, or to any lymph node that is larger than 6 centimeters (larger than 2 inches); or the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV melanoma
The tumor has spread to other organs or to lymph nodes far from the original tumor.

stage IV mesothelioma
Cancer has spread to distant organs or tissues.

stage IV nasopharynx cancer
Stage IV nasopharynx cancer may be one of the following. 1) Stage IVA: Cancer has spread beyond the nasopharynx to other areas in the head and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. 2) Stage IVB: Cancer has spread beyond the nasopharynx to other areas in the head and to lymph nodes above the collarbone or that are larger than 6 cm. (larger than 2 inches). 3) Stage IVC: Cancer that has spread to other organs of the body.

stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Cancer has spread to more than one organ or organs outside the lymph system. Cancer cells may be found in the lymph nodes near these organs. Cancer has spread to only one organ outside the lymph system, but lymph nodes far away from that organ are involved.

stage IV non-small cell lung cancer
Cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV oropharynx cancer
The tumor has spread to the hard palate, tongue, or larynx, to nearby lymph nodes, and may have spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV ovarian cancer
Cancer is found in one or both ovaries and has spread outside the abdomen or has spread to the inside of the liver.

stage IV pancreatic cancer
Cancer of the pancreas in which the cancer has spread to organs near the pancreas (stage IVA) or to organs far away from the pancreas (stage IVB).

stage IV prostate cancer
Cancer cells have spread to lymph nodes (near or far from the prostate) or to organs and tissues far away from the prostate such as the bone, liver, or lungs. Similar to stage D in the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

stage IV soft tissue sarcoma
The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the area or other parts of the body (such as the lungs, head, or neck).

stage IV stomach cancer
Cancer has spread to nearby tissues and to lymph nodes further away from the tumor or has spread to other parts of the body.

stage IV Wilms' tumor
Cancer has spread to organs further away from the kidney (such as the lungs, liver, bone, and brain).

stage IVA pancreatic cancer
Cancer has spread to organs that are near the pancreas (such as the stomach, spleen, or colon) but has not spread to distant organs (such as the liver or lungs).

stage IVB pancreatic cancer
Cancer of the pancreas in which the cancer has spread to distant organs (such as the liver or lungs).

stage V Wilms' tumor
Cancer cells are found in both kidneys.

staging
Performing exams and tests to learn the extent of the cancer within the body, especially whether the disease has spread from the original site to other parts of the body. It is important to know the stage of the disease in order to plan the best treatment.

standard therapy
A currently accepted and widely used treatment for a certain type of cancer, based on the results of past research.

staurosporine
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkaloids. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

stavudine
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nucleoside analogues. It is used to treat infection caused by viruses.

stem cell factor
A drug that is being studied for its ability to increase the number of stem cells in the blood.

stem cell transplantation
A method of replacing immature blood-forming cells that were destroyed by cancer treatment. The stem cells are given to the person after treatment to help the bone marrow recover and continue producing healthy blood cells.

stem cells
Cells from which other types of cells can develop.

stent
A device placed in a body structure (such as a blood vessel or the gastrointestinal tract) to provide support and keep the structure open.

stereotactic radiosurgery
A radiation therapy technique involving a rigid head frame that is attached to the skull; high-dose radiation is administered through openings in the head frame to the tumor while decreasing the amount of radiation given to normal brain tissue. This procedure does not involve surgery. Also called stereotaxic radiosurgery and stereotactic radiation therapy.

stereotaxis
Use of a computer and scanning devices to create three-dimensional pictures. This method can be used to direct a biopsy, external radiation, or the insertion of radiation implants.

sterile
Unable to produce children.

steroid therapy
Treatment with corticosteroid drugs to reduce swelling, pain, and other symptoms of inflammation.

steroids
Drugs used to relieve swelling and inflammation.

stoma
A surgically created opening from an area inside the body to the outside.

stomach
An organ that is part of the digestive system. It helps in the digestion of food by mixing it with digestive juices and churning it into a thin liquid.

stomatitis
Inflammation or irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth.

stool
The waste matter discharged in a bowel movement; feces.

stool test
A test to check for hidden blood in the bowel movement.

streptavidin
A small bacterial protein that binds with high affinity to the vitamin biotin. This streptavidin-biotin combination can be used to link molecules such as radioisotopes and monoclonal antibodies together. These bound products have the property of being attracted to, and attaching to, cancer cells, rather than normal cells. The radiolabeled products are more easily removed from the body, thus decreasing their toxicity.

streptozocin
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

Stromagen
A drug that is derived from a patient's stem cells (specialized cells in the bone marrow that form new blood cells) and may be given back to the patient to help restore bone marrow that has been damaged by high-dose chemotherapy.

stromal tumors
Tumors that arise in the supporting connective tissue of an organ.

strontium
A metal often used in a radioactive form for imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer.

strontium-89
A radioactive compound that is absorbed by the bone. It is used to treat bone pain associated with prostate cancer.

study agent
A medicine, vitamin, mineral, food supplement, or a combination of them that is being tested in a clinical trial.

SU101
An anticancer drug that works by inhibiting a cancer cell growth factor. Also called leflunomide.

SU5416
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

SU6668
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called SU006668.

subcutaneous
Beneath the skin.

subcutaneous port
A tube surgically placed into a blood vessel and attached to a disk placed under the skin. It is used for the administration of intravenous fluids and drugs; it can also be used to obtain blood samples.

suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug.

subglottis
The lowest part of the larynx; the area from just below the vocal cords down to the top of the trachea.

sucralfate
A drug used to treat ulcers. It adheres to proteins at the ulcer site and forms a protective coating over the ulcer. Sucralfate is also used to treat mucositis.

sulindac
A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

sun protection factor
SPF. A scale for rating the level of sunburn protection in sunscreen products. The higher the SPF, the more sunburn protection it provides. Sunscreens with an SPF value of 2 through 11 provide minimal protection against sunburns. Sunscreens with an SPF of 12 through 29 provide moderate protection, which is adequate for most people. Those with an SPF of 30 or higher provide high protection against sunburn and are sometimes recommended for people who are highly sensitive to the sun.

sunscreen
A substance that helps protect the skin from the sun's harmful rays. Sunscreens reflect, absorb, and scatter both ultraviolet A and B radiation. Using lotions, creams, or gels that contain sunscreens can help protect the skin from premature aging and damage that may lead to skin cancer.

superior vena cava syndrome
A condition in which a tumor presses against the superior vena cava (the large vein that carries blood from the head, neck, arms, and chest to the heart). This pressure blocks blood flow to the heart and may cause coughing, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the face, neck, and upper arms.

supplementation
Adding nutrients to the diet.

support group
A group of people with similar disease who meet to discuss how better to cope with their disease and treatment.

supportive care
Treatment given to prevent, control, or relieve complications and side effects and to improve the comfort and quality of life of people who have cancer.

supraclavicular lymph nodes
Lymph nodes located above the clavicle (collarbone).

supraglottis
The upper part of the larynx (voice box), including the epiglottis; the area above the vocal cords.

supratentorial
Located in the upper part of the brain.

suramin
A drug used to treat bacterial and parasitic infections. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer.

surgery
A procedure to remove or repair a part of the body or to find out whether disease is present. An operation.

surgical castration
Surgical removal of the testicles (orchiectomy) or ovaries (oophorectomy) to stop the production of sex hormones. Decreasing the levels of hormones may stop the growth of certain cancers.

surgical oncologist
A doctor who performs biopsies and other surgical procedures in cancer patients.

symptom
An indication that a person has a condition or disease. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and pain.

syndrome
A set of symptoms or conditions that occur together and suggest the presence of a certain disease or an increased chance of developing the disease.

synthetic protegrin analogs
A family of drugs that may prevent oral mucositis (sores on the lining of the mouth), a side effect of some cancer treatments.

systemic
Affecting the entire body.

systemic lupus erythematosus
SLE. A chronic inflammatory connective tissue disease marked by skin rashes, joint pain and swelling, inflammation of the kidneys, inflammation of the fibrous tissue surrounding the heart (i.e., the pericardium), as well as other problems. Not all affected individuals display all of these problems. Also called lupus.

systemic therapy
Treatment using substances that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and affecting cells all over the body.

T

T cell
One type of white blood cell that attacks virus-infected cells, foreign cells, and cancer cells. T cells also produce a number of substances that regulate the immune response.

T-cell depletion
Treatment to destroy T cells, which play an important role in the immune response. Elimination of T cells from a bone marrow graft from a donor may reduce the chance of an immune reaction against the recipient's tissues.

T-cell lymphoma
A disease in which certain cells of the lymph system (called T lymphocytes) become cancerous.

T138067
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells by preventing cell division.

T4N5 liposomal lotion
Enzyme lotion used in treating xeroderma pigmentosum.

tacrolimus
A drug used to help reduce the risk of rejection by the body of organ and bone marrow transplants.

TAG-72 antigen
A protein/sugar complex found on the surface of many cancer cells, including breast, colon, and pancreatic cells.

tamoxifen
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antiestrogens. Tamoxifen blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the body. It is used to prevent or delay the return of breast cancer or to control its spread.

taurolidine
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anti-infectives.

taxanes
Anticancer drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. Also called antimitotic or antimicrotubule agents or mitotic inhibitors.

technetium Tc 99m dextran
A radiolabeled substance that is used in cancer diagnosis.

technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid
A radiolabeled substance that is used to help identify sites of tumor development.

tegafur
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

teicoplanin
A substance used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called antibiotics.

temoporfin
An anticancer drug that is also used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called photosensitizing agents.

temozolomide
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

teniposide
An anticancer drug that is a podophyllotoxin derivative and belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors.

TENS
Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation. A technique in which mild electric currents are applied to some areas of the skin by a small power pack connected to two electrodes.

testicles
The two egg-shaped glands found inside the scrotum. They produce sperm and male hormones. Also called testes.

testosterone
A hormone that promotes the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.

tetanus toxoid
A substance that is derived from the toxin released by the bacterium that causes the disease tetanus. It is used as a vaccine to prevent tetanus or to help boost the immune response to other vaccines.

tetracycline
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection.

TG4010
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug.

thalidomide
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. It prevents the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor.

theophylline
A drug used to improve breathing in people who are short of breath. It belongs to the family of drugs called bronchodilators or respiratory smooth muscle relaxants.

therapy
Treatment.

thioguanine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

thiotepa
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

thoracentesis
Removal of fluid from the pleural cavity through a needle inserted between the ribs.

thoracic
Having to do with the chest.

thoracoscopy
The use of a thin, lighted tube (called an endoscope) to examine the inside of the chest.

thoracotomy
An operation to open the chest.

thrombocytes
Blood cells that help prevent bleeding by causing blood clots to form. Also called platelets.

thrombocytopenia
A decrease in the number of platelets in the blood that may result in easy bruising and excessive bleeding from wounds or bleeding in mucous membranes and other tissues.

thrombophlebitis
Inflammation of a vein that occurs when a blood clot forms.

thrombopoietin
A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of blood cells, especially platelets, during chemotherapy. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood forming) agents.

thrush
A condition in which Candida albicans, a type of yeast, grows out of control in moist skin areas of the body. It is usually a result of a weakened immune system, but can be a side effect of chemotherapy or treatment with antibiotics. Thrush usually affects the mouth (oral thrush); however, rarely, it spreads throughout the entire body. Also called Candidiasis or Candidosis.

thymidine
A chemical compound found in DNA. Also used as treatment for mucositis.

thymidylate synthase inhibitors
A family of drugs that block DNA synthesis and may prevent tumor cell growth. They are being studied as a treatment for cancer.

thymoma
A tumor of the thymus, an organ that is part of the lymphatic system and is located in the chest, behind the breastbone.

thymus
An organ that is part of the lymphatic system, in which T lymphocytes grow and multiply. The thymus is in the chest behind the breastbone.

thyroid
A gland located beneath the voice box (larynx) that produces thyroid hormone. The thyroid helps regulate growth and metabolism.

thyroid gland
A gland located beneath the voice box (larynx) that produces thyroid hormone. The thyroid helps regulate growth and metabolism.

tiazofurin
An anticancer drug being studied to stop cell growth.

time to progression
A measure of time after a disease is diagnosed (or treated) until the disease starts to get worse.

tin ethyl etiopurpurin
An anticancer drug that is also used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called photosensitizing agents. Also called SnET2.

tin Sn 117m DTPA
A radioactive chemical being studied to treat bone pain associated with cancer.

tinidazole
A drug used to treat protozoal infections, such as amebiasis, giardiasis, and trichomoniasis. It belongs to a family of drugs called antiprotozoal agents. Tinidazole is also being evaluated in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections in people with low-grade gastric lymphoma.

tirapazamine
A drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

tissue
A group or layer of cells that are alike and that work together to perform a specific function.

tissue flap reconstruction
A type of breast reconstruction in which a flap of tissue is surgically moved from another area of the body to the chest, and formed into a new breast mound.

TLK286
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called glutathione analogs.

TNP-470
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. It prevents the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor.

tocladesine
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It is an analogue of a substance that occurs naturally in the body (cyclic adenosine monophosphate).

tonsils
Small masses of lymphoid tissue on either side of the throat.

topical
On the surface of the body.

topical chemotherapy
Treatment with anticancer drugs in a lotion or cream applied to the skin.

topoisomerase inhibitors
A family of anticancer drugs. The topoisomerase enzymes are responsible for the arrangement and rearrangement of DNA in the cell and for cell growth and replication. Inhibiting these enzymes may kill cancer cells or stop their growth.

topotecan
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

toremifene
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antiestrogens. Toremifene blocks the effect of the hormone estrogen in the body. It may help control some cancers from growing, and it may delay or reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

total androgen blockade
Therapy used to eliminate male sex hormones (androgens) in the body. This may be done with surgery, hormonal therapy, or a combination.

total estrogen blockade
Therapy used to eliminate estrogen in the body. This may be done with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these procedures.

total hysterectomy
Surgery to remove the entire uterus, including the cervix. Sometimes, not all of the cervix is removed. Also called complete hysterectomy.

total mastectomy
Removal of the breast. Also called simple mastectomy.

total nodal irradiation
Radiation therapy to the mantle field, the spleen, the lymph nodes in the upper abdomen, and the lymph nodes in the pelvic area.

total pancreatectomy
Surgery to remove the entire pancreas. Part of the stomach, part of the small intestine, the common bile duct, gallbladder, spleen, and nearby lymph nodes also are removed.

total parenteral nutrition
TPN. Intravenous (into a vein) feeding that provides necessary nutrients when a person is unable to eat normally.

total-body irradiation
Radiation therapy to the entire body. Usually followed by bone marrow or peripheral stem cell transplantation.

totipotent
Having to do with cells that are able to develop into any type of cell found in the body.

toxins
Poisons produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

TPA
12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. A drug that is being studied as a treatment for hematologic cancer.

tracer
A substance (such as a radioisotope) used in imaging procedures.

trachea
The airway that leads from the larynx to the lungs. Also called the windpipe.

tracheoesophageal puncture
A small opening made by a surgeon between the esophagus and the trachea. A valve keeps food out of the trachea but lets air into the esophagus for esophageal speech.

tracheostomy
Surgery to create an opening (stoma) into the windpipe. The opening itself may also be called a tracheostomy.

tracheostomy button
A 0.5-inch- to 1.5-inch-long plastic tube placed in a surgically created opening (tracheostomy) in the windpipe to keep it open.

tracheostomy tube
A 2-inch- to 3-inch-long curved metal or plastic tube placed in a surgically created opening (tracheostomy) in the windpipe to keep it open. Also called a trach ("trake") tube.

transcendental meditation
TM. A mental technique used to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve quality of life.

transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation
TENS. A technique in which mild electric currents are applied to some areas of the skin by a small power pack connected to two electrodes.

transdermal
Through the skin.

transformation
The change that a normal cell undergoes as it becomes malignant.

transfusion
The infusion of components of blood or whole blood into the bloodstream. The blood may be donated from another person, or it may have been taken from the person earlier and stored until needed.

transitional cell carcinoma
A type of cancer that develops in the lining of the bladder, ureter, or renal pelvis.

transitional cells
Cells that vary in shape depending on whether the tissue is being stretched. The cells may be stretched without breaking apart. They line hollow organs such as the bladder.

transplantation
The replacement of an organ with one from another person.

transrectal ultrasound
A procedure used to examine the prostate. An instrument is inserted into the rectum, and sound waves bounce off the prostate. These sound waves create echoes, which a computer uses to create a picture called a sonogram.

transurethral resection
Surgery performed with a special instrument inserted through the urethra. Also called TUR.

transurethral resection of the prostate
Surgical procedure to remove tissue from the prostate using an instrument inserted through the urethra. Also called TURP.

transvaginal ultrasound
A procedure used to examine the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and bladder. An instrument is inserted into the vagina, and sound waves bounce off organs inside the pelvic area. These sound waves create echoes, which a computer uses to create a picture called a sonogram. Also called TVS.

trastuzumab
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells. Trastuzumab blocks the effects of the growth factor protein HER2, which transmits growth signals to breast cancer cells.

treatment field
In radiation therapy, the place on the body where the radiation beam is aimed.

treosulfan
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

tretinoin
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids. It is used in the treatment of acne and is being studied in cancer prevention.

triacetyluridine
A substance that is being studied for its ability to protect against the gastrointestinal side effects caused by fluorouracil. It is a precursor of uridine, which is a component of RNA.

triamcinolone
A substance that is being studied for the prevention of nonmelanoma skin cancer. It is an anti-inflammatory drug that is applied to the skin to relieve irritation, rashes, and infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called topical corticosteroids.

tributyrin
A triglyceride drug that may inhibit cell growth and induce cell differentiation. Differentiating agents may be effective in changing cancer cells back into normal cells.

trichothiodystrophy
A hereditary condition characterized by sparse and brittle hair, short stature, and mental retardation.

trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection and prevent pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.

trimetrexate glucuronate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. It is used in the treatment of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

triptorelin
A hormonal anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing analogues.

troglitazone
A drug used in diabetes treatment that is being studied for its effect on reducing the risk of cancer cell growth in fat tissue.

troxacitabine
A drug being studied for use as an anticancer agent.

tubal ligation
An operation to tie the fallopian tubes closed. This procedure prevents pregnancy by blocking the passage of eggs from the ovaries to the uterus.

tubulovillous adenoma
A type of polyp that grows in the colon and other places in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes in other parts of the body. These adenomas may become malignant (cancerous).

tumor
An abnormal mass of tissue that results from excessive cell division. Tumors perform no useful body function. They may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

tumor antigen vaccine
A vaccine made of tumor antigens (proteins isolated from tumor cells).

tumor debulking
Surgically removing as much of the tumor as possible.

tumor infiltrating lymphocytes
White blood cells that have left the bloodstream and migrated into a tumor.

tumor load
Refers to the number of cancer cells, the size of a tumor, or the amount of cancer in the body. Also called tumor burden.

tumor marker
A substance sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues and which may mean that a certain type of cancer is in the body. Examples of tumor markers include CA 125 (ovarian cancer), CA 15-3 (breast cancer), CEA (ovarian, lung, breast, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract cancers), and PSA (prostate cancer). Also called biomarker.

tumor necrosis factor
A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to disease). Three types of tumor necrosis factor have been identified: alpha, beta, and gamma. Tumor necrosis factor seems to play a role in the breakdown of cancer cells.

tumor suppressor gene
Genes in the body that can suppress or block the development of cancer.

tumor-derived
Taken from an individual's own tumor tissue; may be used in the development of a vaccine that enhances the body's ability to build an immune response to the tumor.

tyrosinase peptide
A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines.

tyrosine kinase inhibitors
A family of drugs that interfere with cell communication and may prevent tumor growth. They are being studied as a treatment for cancer.

U

UCN-01
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called staurosporine analogues.

ulcerative colitis
Chronic inflammation of the colon that produces ulcers in its lining. This condition is marked by abdominal pain, cramps, and loose discharges of pus, blood, and mucus from the bowel.

ultrasonography
A procedure in which sound waves (called ultrasound) are bounced off tissues and the echoes produce a picture (sonogram).

ultrasound energy
A form of therapy being studied as an anticancer treatment. Intensified ultrasound energy can be directed at cancer cells to heat them and kill them.

ultrasound test
A test that bounces sound waves off tissues and internal organs and changes the echoes into sonograms (pictures).

ultraviolet radiation
UV radiation. Invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. UV radiation can damage the skin and cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer. UV radiation that reaches the earth's surface is made up of two types of rays, called UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are more likely than UVA rays to cause sunburn, but UVA rays pass deeper into the skin. Scientists have long thought that UVB radiation can cause melanoma and other types of skin cancer. They now think that UVA radiation also may add to skin damage that can lead to skin cancer and cause premature aging. For this reason, skin specialists recommend that people use sunscreens that reflect, adsorb, or scatter both kinds of UV radiation.

ultraviolet radiation therapy
A form of radiation used in the treatment of cancer.

umbilical cord blood
Blood from the placenta (afterbirth) that contains high concentrations of stem cells needed to produce new blood cells.

umbilical cord blood transplantation
The injection of umbilical cord blood to restore an individual's own blood production system suppressed by anticancer drugs, radiation therapy, or both. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and severe blood disorders such as aplastic anemia. Cord blood contains high concentrations of stem cells needed to produce new blood cells.

unconventional cancer treatments
Approaches that use substances or methods of treating cancer that have not been shown to be effective by accepted scientific methods, such as carefully designed clinical trials.

undifferentiated
A term used to describe cells or tissues that do not have specialized ("mature") structures or functions. Undifferentiated cancer cells often grow and spread quickly.

unilateral
Having to do with one side of the body.

unresectable
Unable to be removed with surgery.

unresectable gallbladder cancer
Cancer that has spread to the tissues around the gallbladder (such as the liver, stomach, pancreas, intestine, or lymph nodes in the area) and cannot be surgically removed.

unsealed internal radiation therapy
Radiation therapy given by injecting a radioactive substance into the bloodstream or a body cavity, or by swallowing it. This substance is not sealed in a container.

upper GI series
A series of x-rays of the upper digestive (gastrointestinal, or GI) system that are taken after a person drinks a barium solution, which outlines the digestive organs on the x-rays.

uracil
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

urea nitrogen
A chemical in the blood produced by the breakdown of protein. Urea nitrogen is removed from the blood by the kidneys. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) tests are sometimes done to see how well the kidneys are working.

ureter
The tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.

urethra
The tube through which urine leaves the body. It empties urine from the bladder.

urinalysis
A test that determines the content of the urine.

urinary tract
The organs of the body that produce and discharge urine. These include the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

urine
Fluid containing water and waste products. Urine is made by the kidneys, stored in the bladder, and leaves the body through the urethra.

urokinase
A drug that dissolves blood clots or prevents them from forming.

urologist
A doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary organs in females and the urinary and sex organs in males.

urostomy
An operation to create an opening from inside the body to the outside, making a new way to pass urine.

urothelium
The lining of the ureters, bladder, and urethra.

uterus
The small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis. This is the organ in which a fetus develops. Also called the womb.

V

vaccinated
Treated with a vaccine.

vaccination
Treatment with a vaccine.

vaccine
A substance or group of substances meant to cause the immune system to respond to a tumor or to microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses. A vaccine can help the body recognize and destroy cancer cells or microorganisms.

vaccinia CEA vaccine
A cancer vaccine containing the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) gene.

vagina
The muscular canal extending from the uterus to the exterior of the body. Also called the birth canal.

valdecoxib
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for pain and other side effects of cancer therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors.

valganciclovir
An antiviral agent that is being studied as a treatment for AIDS-related cytomegalovirus. It is changed in the body to ganciclovir.

vancomycin
An antibiotic drug used to fight resistant bacterial infections.

vapreotide
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family

vasectomy
An operation to cut or tie off the two tubes that carry sperm out of the testicles.

venlafaxine
An antidepressant drug that is being evaluated for the treatment of hot flashes in women who have breast cancer.

ventricles
Fluid-filled cavities in the heart or brain.

video-assisted surgery
Surgery that is aided by the use of a video camera that projects and enlarges the image on a television screen. Also called video-assisted resection.

villous adenoma
A type of polyp that grows in the colon and other places in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes in other parts of the body. These adenomas may become malignant (cancerous).

villus
A tiny hair-like projection, often on the surface of mucous membranes. The plural is villi.

vinblastine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids. It is a mitotic inhibitor.

vinca alkaloids
Anticancer drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. They are also called antimitotic or antimicrotubule agents, or mitotic inhibitors.

vincristine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.

vindesine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.

vinorelbine
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.

vinyl chloride
A substance used in manufacturing plastics. Exposure to vinyl chloride may increase the risk of liver, brain, and lung cancers; lymphoma; and leukemia.

virtual colonoscopy
A method under study to examine the colon by taking a series of x-rays (called a CT scan) and then using a high-powered computer to reconstruct 2-D and 3-D pictures of the interior surfaces of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, manipulated to better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomography colography.

virulent
Refers to the ability of a virus or a bacterium to cause damage to its host.

virus
A microorganism that can infect cells and cause disease.

visceral
Having to do with the viscera, which are the soft internal organs of the body, including the lungs, the heart, and the organs of the digestive, excretory, reproductive, and circulatory systems.

visual pathway glioma
A rare, slow-growing tumor of the eye.

vital
Necessary to maintain life. Breathing is a vital function.

vitamin A
A substance used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

vitamin E
A substance used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called tocopherols.

vitamin K
A substance that promotes the clotting of blood.

vitamins
Key nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to grow and stay strong. Examples are vitamins A, C, and E.

VNP20009
A genetically modified Salmonella bacterium that is injected into the tumor. It is being studied for its ability to shrink solid tumors.

VNP40101M
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

vocal cords
Two small bands of muscle within the larynx that vibrate to produce the voice.

von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
A rare inherited disorder in which blood vessels grow abnormally in the eyes, brain, spinal cord, adrenal glands, or other parts of the body. People with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome have a higher risk of developing some types of cancer.

voriconazole
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

vorozole
A hormone therapy drug used to decrease the production of estrogen.

vulva
The external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina.

vulvar cancer
Cancer of the vulva (the external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina).

VX 853
A drug being studied to make cancer cells less resistant to the effects of chemotherapy.

VX-710
A drug being studied to make cancer cells less resistant to the effects of chemotherapy.

W

Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia
A rare cancer of the lymph cells that causes the body to produce abnormal levels of plasma cells (plasmacytosis) and lymphocytes (lymphocytosis) in the bone marrow. Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia may also cause a decrease in the number of red blood cells (anemia) and enlargement of the liver (hepatomegaly), spleen (splenomegaly), or glands (adenopathy).

warfarin
A drug that prevents blood from clotting. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants (blood thinners).

wart
A raised growth on the surface of the skin or other organ.

watchful waiting
Closely monitoring a patient's condition but withholding treatment until symptoms appear or change. Also called observation.

Whipple procedure
A type of surgery used to treat pancreatic cancer. The head of the pancreas, the duodenum, a portion of the stomach, and other nearby tissues are removed.

white blood cell
WBC. Refers to a blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin. White blood cells include lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, and mast cells. These cells are made by bone marrow and help the body fight infection and other diseases.

Whitmore-Jewett staging system
A staging system for prostate cancer that uses ABCD. “A� and “B� refer to cancer that is confined to the prostate. “C� refers to cancer that has grown out of the prostate but has not spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body. “D� refers to cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or to other places in the body. Also called the ABCD rating or the Jewett staging system.

whole cell vaccine
Vaccine made from whole tumor cells that have been changed in the laboratory.

Wilms' tumor
A kidney cancer that usually occurs in children younger than 5 years old.

Wobe-Mugos E
A mixture made from an extract of the calf thymus gland and enzymes (proteins that speed up chemical reactions in the body) from the papaya plant, the pancreas of cows, and the pancreas of pigs. It has been used in Europe as a treatment for a variety of cancers and for herpes virus infections.

X

x-ray
A type of high-energy radiation. In low doses, x-rays are used to diagnose diseases by making pictures of the inside of the body. In high doses, x-rays are used to treat cancer.

xeroderma pigmentosum
A genetic condition characterized by a sensitivity to all sources of ultraviolet radiation.

xerogram
A picture of the body recorded on paper rather than on film. Also called a xeroradiograph.

xeroradiography
A type of x-ray in which a picture of the body is recorded on paper rather than on film.

XK469
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase II beta inhibitors.

XR9576
A substance that is being studied for its ability to overcome tumor-cell resistance to anticancer drugs. It belongs to the family of drugs called anthranilic acid derivatives.

Y

yttrium Y 90 SMT 487
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. Also called yttrium Y 90-DOTA-tyr3-octreotide.

yttrium Y90 ibritumomab tiuxetan
An anticancer drug that is a combination of a monoclonal antibody and a radioisotope (yttrium-90). Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells. Also called IDEC-Y2B8 monoclonal antibody.

Z

ZD 1839
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called gefitinib.

ZD0473
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called platinum analogs.

ziconotide
A drug used in the treatment of chronic pain. Also called SNX 111.

zidovudine
A drug that inhibits the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Also called AZT. It belongs to the family of drugs called systemic antivirals.

zinc oxide
A compound that may enhance immune function, especially when administered by inhalation.

zoledronate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates. It is used to prevent bone fractures and reduce bone pain in people who have cancer that has spread to the bone.


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