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Learning About Lymphoma

Glossary of Terms

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2-chlorodeoxyadenosine: An anticancer drug that inhibits tumor cells from growing and also acts to make tumor cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy. Also called cladribine.

3-dimensional: A graphic display of depth, width, and height. Three-dimensional radiation therapy uses computers to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor. This allows doctors to give the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumor while sparing the normal tissue as much as possible.

9-cis retinoic acid: Belongs to a group of drugs known as retinoids. It is used as a form of biological therapy.

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A
AC: The abbreviation for the chemotherapy drug combination of an anthracycline (usually doxorubicin) and cyclophospharnide.

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

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

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

acute: Having a short and relatively severe course; not chronic.

acyclovir: A drug used to treat viral infections. Also known as Zovirax.

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: Adjuvant therapy is treatment given in addition to the primary treatment. Such therapy may be given to increase the effectiveness of the primary treatment or to prevent the spread or recurrence of cancer, or may consist of the use of a substance to enhance the body's immune response. Adjuvant therapy may be chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy.

AG337: An anticancer drug used to shrink tumors; may also enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

aggressive lymphoma: Lymphoma that grows quickly.

alkaloids: Drugs used in chemotherapy. Vinca alkaloids can kill cancer cells.

alkylating agents: A family of anticancer drugs (including nitrosoureas) that combine with a cancer cell's DNA to prevent normal cell division. Alkylating agents include busulfan, carmustine, carzelesin, cyclophosphamide (also called Cytoxan), ifosfamide, lomustine, melphalan, porfiromycin and semustine.

allogeneic: Adjective referring to the transfer of material such as bone marrow or skin from one person (the "donor") to another person ("the recipient").

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

allovectin-7: A compound used for gene therapy.

alopecia: The loss of hair from the body and/or scalp. An effect of some cancer treatments.

altretamine: An chemotherapy drug that interferes with the growth of tumor cells and kills them.

amifostine: A drug used to control some side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

aminocamptothecin: Belongs to the group of drugs known as topoisomerase inhibitors. Also known as 9-AC.

aminoglutethimide: A drug used to decrease hormone production and suppress tumor growth. Also known as Cytadren.

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

analogue: A chemical compound with a similar structure to another but different from it in some respect. May have a similar or opposite effect in the body.

anaplastic: Refers to cancer cells that grow and divide rapidly.

anastrozole: A drug used to prevent the formation of estrogen from other hormones.

androgen suppression: Treatment to suppress or block the production of male hormones in order to reduce the spread of prostate cancer. Androgen suppression is achieved by removing the testicles, by taking female sex hormones, or by taking drugs. Also called androgen ablation.

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

anesthetics: Substances that cause loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthetics are given to a certain part of the body causing loss of feeling in that part of the body. General anesthetics are given throughout the body and puts the person to sleep.

anetholtrithione: A drug that may prevent the development or progression of cancer.

angina: A severe, often constricting pain, usually associated with chest pains.

anthracenediones: A group of drugs used in chemotherapy. This group includes mitoxantrone.

anthraquinones: A group of chemotherapy drugs.

antibodies (immunoglobulins): Disease-fighting substances found in the blood and produced by B-cells, a type of white blood cell. Antibodies interact only with a specific target (antigen). Antibodies can be artificially made in the lab and used as forms of therapy for various types of lymphoma. FDA approved antibodies used to treat lymphoma are Rituxan® and ONTAK™. Other antibody therapies being studied include Bexxar™, CAMPATH-1H®, Lym-1 and LL2.

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

antiandrogen therapy: Treatment with drugs to block the production of male hormones.

antiandrogen: Drugs used to block the production of male hormones. Antiandrogens include bicalutamide, cyproterone acetate, and flutamide (Eulexin).

antiangiogenesis: Prevention of the growth of new blood vessels to a tumor.

antibiotics: Drugs that fight infection caused by bacteria. Antibiotic drugs include amikacin, amoxicillin (amoxicillin-clavulanic acid), ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, imipenem, metronidazole, novobiocin, penicillin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.

antibodies: Disease-fighting substances produced by certain white blood cells and found in the blood. Antibodies interact only with a specific target (antigen). Also known as "immunoglobulins".

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

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

anticonvulsant: A drug that prevents or relieves convulsions or seizures.

antiemetic: A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting that may be associated with anticancer therapies. Antiemetic drugs include granisetron, metoclopramide, and ondansetron.

antifungal: A drug that treats infections caused by fungi such as yeast and molds. Anti-fungal drugs include amphotericin B, fluconazole, flucytosine, metronidazole, mycostatin, nystatin, and voriconazole.

antihistamines: Drugs used in the treatment of allergy symptoms.

antigen: A substance that is recognized by the immune system as foreign to the body.

antimetabolites: A group of chemotherapy drugs that stop cancer from growing. Antimetabolites include cladribine (2-chlorodeoxyadenosine), capecitabine, cytarabine (also called ARA-C and cytosine arabinoside), edatrexate, fluorouracil (5-FU), methotrexate, pentostatin, piritrexim, and trimetrexate.

antineoplastic antibiotics: A group of chemotherapy drugs including cordycepin and the anthracyclines doxorubicin (Adriamycin, AD 32), daunorubicin, epirubicin, and mitomycin.

antiparasitic: An anti-infection drug used to treat bacterial and parasitic infections and some cancers. Antiparasitic drugs include metronidazole and surainin.

antisense c-fos: Synthetic genetic material that may slow or stop the growth of cancer cells; being tested for use as gene therapy.

antithymocyte globulin: A substance that increases immune responses.

antiviral: A drug or substance active against viruses such as the hepatitis virus, measles virus or HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Viruses are submicroscopic organisms causing infectious disease. Antiviral drugs include cidofovir, didanosine, stavudine, lamivudine, and indinavir.

apheresis: Sometimes called leukapheresis, apheresis is a procedure in which blood is taken from a donor, circulated through the apheresis machine, which removes the fraction of the blood containing stem cells and returns the remaining fraction of the blood back to the patient.

apheresis machine: A machine that collects the blood from a donor through a catheter, separates and collects the portion of the blood containing stem cells, and returns the remaining portion of blood back into the donor.

arrhythmia: An irregular heartbeat.

ascites: A collection of fluid within the abdominal cavity that may contain cancer cells.

aspergillosis: A fungal infection.

aspirin: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat fever, pain, and inflammation in the body.

astrocytomas: Tumors that are composed of brain cells called astrocytes. The different kinds of astrocytomas are identified by the way the cancer cells look under a microscope.

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

autologous: The transfer of material such as bone marrow or skin from a donor to him or herself. To make this possible, donated material is removed and stored prior to the procedure which will make the donation necessary.

autologous lymphocytes: A person's own white blood cells. Lymphocytes have a number of roles in the immune system, including antibody production, attacking and destroying cancer cells, and producing substances that kill cancer cells.

autologous tumor cells: Cancer cells from the patient's own tumor.

axilla: The armpit.

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

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B
B cells: White blood cells that develop from bone marrow and produce antibodies.

B3 antigen: A protein found on some tumor cells.

bacterial toxin: A poison made by a bacterium that can be modified to kill specific tumor cells without harming normal cells.

BAY 12-9566: An investigational drug that prevents the growth of new blood vessels to a tumor.

BCG vaccine: The Bacille Calmett-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is a drug that activates the body's immune system.

BCL-2 antisense/G3139: An experimental drug that may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer.

benign: Not cancer; does not invade or spread to other parts of the body.

Biafine cream: A topical preparation for the prevention and treatment of radiation-induced skin reactions.

biological: Pertaining to life and living organisms.

biological therapy: Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the patient's immune system to fight infection and disease. Also called immunotherapy or biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.

biologic response modifier (BRM): A substance that can improve the body's natural immune response to disease. Cytokine therapy is a form of biological response modifier therapy.

biomarkers: Substances sometimes found in an increased amount in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues and which can be used to indicate the presence of some types of cancer.

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

biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues, which are then examined under a microscope to check for cancer cells. When only a sample of tissue is removed, the procedure is called incisional biopsy or core biopsy. When the whole tumor is removed, it is called excisional biopsy. Removing tissue or fluid with a needle for microscopic examination is called needle biopsy or needle aspiration. Removing tissue from a lymph node is called lymph node biopsy.

bispecific antibody: An antibody developed in the laboratory to recognize more than one protein on different cells. Some examples are bispecific antibodies 2B I, 52OC9xH22, MDX-H210, and MDX447.

bleomycin: A drug that inhibits cancer cell growth by interfering with the formation of DNA.

blood transfusion: The transfer of blood or blood products from one person to another.

BMS-182751: A platinum compound used in chemotherapy.

bolus infusion: The introduction of a single dose of fluid into a vein or artery.

bolus: A single dose of drug.

bone marrow: The soft sponge-like material inside some bones. Blood cells are formed in the bone marrow. Bone marrow used in cancer therapy may be autologous (the patient's own marrow saved earlier), allogeneic (marrow from someone else), or syngeneic (marrow from an identical twin).

bone marrow ablation: Destruction of cancerous bone marrow using radiation or drugs.

bone marrow metastases: Tumor cells that have spread from the original (primary) tumor and are growing in the bone marrow.

bone marrow transplantation: A procedure in which doctors give marrow to replace marrow destroyed by treatment with high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation. Transplantation may be autologous (the patient's own marrow saved earlier), allogeneic (marrow from someone else), or syngeneic (marrow from an identical twin).

boron neutron capture therapy: A type of radiation therapy. The patient is given an intravenous infusion containing boron which is absorbed by the tumor cells. Radiation is directed at the boron, killing the tumor cells and sparing the surrounding normal tissue.

brachytherapy: Internal radiation therapy using an implant of radioactive material placed directly into or near the tumor.

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

brain stem tumor: An abnormal growth on the back of the head where the spinal cord joins the brain.

BRM: see Biologic Response Modifier

broxuridine: A drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to radiation.

bryostatin-1: A drug used for its antitumor activity.

buserelin: A drug used to block hormone production in the ovaries or testicles.

buthionine sulfoximine: An investigational drug that may help prevent resistance to some chemotherapy drugs.

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C
CA: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin.

CAF: An abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophospharnide, doxorubicin, and fluorouracil. This combination is also known as FAC.

calcitonin: A hormone secreted by the thyroid that lowers blood calcium. Often used in the treatment of hypercalcemia.

calcitriol: A compound made in the lab that is chemically similar to vitamin D.

calcium carbonate: A form of calcium used as a dietary supplement.

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

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

camptothecin: Belongs to the group of anticancer drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

cancer: an abnormal cell that cannot be controlled by the body's natural defenses. Cancerous cells can grow and eventually form tumors.

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

carboplatin: An alkylating-like chemotherapy agent that contains platinum in its structure. Also called Paraplatin.

carboxyamidotriazole: Belongs to a group of chemotherapy drugs that affect how cells use calcium. Also known as carboxyaminoimidazole or CAI.

carcinoembryonic peptide-1: A protein that can stimulate an immune response to certain tumors. Also known as CAP-1.

carcinoma: A cancer of the tissue that covers the internal and external surfaces of the body.

cardiopulmonary: Related to the heart and lungs.

carotenoid: A substance found in yellow/orange fruits and vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables that may prevent the development of cancer.

cataracts: The loss of transparency of the lens of the eye, or its capsule.

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

CD20: Proteins present on the surface of both normal and malignant B-cells responsible for "turning on" B-cells, to help generate an immune response.

CD22: Proteins present on the surface of mature B-cells enabling them to attach to other cells in the immune system.

CD23: A protein present on the surface of many immune cells, including mature B-cells that allows those cell to "turn on" B-cells, and help generate an immune response.

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

CEF: An abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, and fluorouracil. This combination is also known as FEC.

celecoxib: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

central venous access catheter: A tube surgically placed into a blood vessel for continuous or repeated drug infusions. This device avoids the need for separate needle insertions for each infusion.

cerebrospinal fluid: The fluid that is present around the spine and brain. This fluid may be examined to see if lymphoma has spread to these parts of the body.

CGP 48664: An investigational chemotherapy drug that inhibits the growth of some tumors.

chemoprevention: The use of drugs, vitamins, or other agents to try to prevent or delay the development or recurrence of cancer. Chemoprevention drugs include celecoxib and fenretinide.

chemoprotective: Agents that protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs. Chemoprotective drugs include deoxycytidine, fenretinide, pentetic acid calcium, and SR-29142.

chemosensitivity assay: A test to determine the most beneficial chemotherapy treatment by analyzing the responsiveness of a tumor to a specific drug.

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

chemotherapy: Treatment with anticancer drugs. Chemotherapy may be taken by mouth or it may be put into the body by a needle inserted into a vein or muscle.

chemotherapy regimen: Combinations of anticancer drugs given at a certain dose in a specific sequence according to a strict schedule.

chlorambucil: A drug used to inhibit or prevent the development of new or abnormal tissue growth.

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 infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes are found in the body.

chronic myclogenous leukemia: Cancer in which too many white blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Also called chronic myeloid leukemia.

chronic phase chronic myelogenous leukemia: A phase that may last from several months to several years. Although there may be no symptoms of leukemia, there are few bone marrow cells, or blast cells, in the blood and bone marrow.

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

CI-958: Belongs to a group of chemotherapy drugs that affect how cells use DNA, the molecule that carries genetic information.

CI-980: A drug used in cancer chemotherapy.

cimetidine: A drug usually used to treat stomach ulcers. It is also used to control one type of white blood cell that controls immune responses. This drug is also known as Tagamet.

cisplatin: A chemotherapy drug that contains platinum in its structure. Also called Platinol.

cladribine: A radiosensitization drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy.

clinical trial: A research study to evaluate new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer

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), and may decrease pain, the risk of fractures, and the development of new bone metastases.

clotting: Coagulation of blood forming a soft, non-rigid soluble mass when blood vessels are severed to prevent further bleeding.

CMF: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil.

CMFPT: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, fluorouracil, prednisone, and tamoxifen.

CMP: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, mitoxantrone, and cisplatin.

CNS metastases: Central nervous system (CNS) metastases are tumor cells that have spread from the original (primary) tumor and are growing in the central nervous system.

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

CNS: The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain, spinal cord, and meninges (the surrounding membranes).

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

COL-3: An investigational drug that may stop tumor growth by preventing the development of blood vessels.

colony-stimulating factors: Substances that stimulate the production of blood cells. Treatment with colony-stimulating factors (CSFS) can help in recovery from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Colony-stimulating factors include granulocyte colony-stimulating factors (G-CSF, filgrastim, Neupogen) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (GM-CSF, sargramostim, Leukine, Prokine).

combination chemotherapy: Chemotherapy using more than one drug.

complete remission: The disappearance of all signs of tumor.

complete response: The disappearance of all signs of tumor.

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

congestive heart failure: Weakness of the heart muscle, usually due to heart disease but sometimes due to other conditions, that causes a buildup of fluid in body tissues.

consolidation therapy: A second round of chemotherapy to further reduce the number of cancer cells.

constipation: A condition in which bowel movements are infrequent or incomplete.

continuous infusion: The slow introduction of a fluid into a vein or artery over a period of time.

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

core biopsy: The removal of tissue samples with a needle to check for cancer cells.

corticosteroids: Hormones that have antitumor activity in lymphomas and lymphoid leukemias; in addition, corticosteroids (steroids) may be used for hon-none replacement and for the management of some of the complications of cancer and its treatment.

Corynebacterium granulosum: A bacterium that stimulates the immune system to fight cancer.

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

Crohn's disease: Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the bowel.

cryosurgery: Freezing body tissues to subzero temperatures to destroy cancer cells.

cryotherapy: The use of cold to treat disease.

CSF: The abbreviation for cerebrospinal fluid, which is the liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. An abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, thiotepa, and carboplatin.

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

CVP: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone.

cyclosporine: A drug used to help prevent rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants by the body. It is also used to inhibit multidrug resistance.

cystectomy: Surgery to remove the bladder.

cystoscopy: Examination of the bladder with removal of tissue samples and small tumors using an instrument called a cystoscope.

cytomegalovirus: A virus that may be carried in an inactive state by healthy individuals for life. It is a cause of severe pneumonia in bone marrow transplantation patients and patients with leukemia or lymphoma.

cytotoxic chemotherapy: Chemotherapy that kills cells, especially cancer cells.

cytotoxic T cells:White blood cells that can directly destroy specific cells. T cells can be separated from other blood cells and grown in the laboratory and then be given to the patient to destroy tumor cells. Certain drugs can also assist in the formation of cytotoxic T cells within the patient's body.

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D
D-20761: A synthetic luteinizing hormone-releasing hon-none (LH-RH) antagonist that suppresses LH and sex steroid levels. Also called Cetrorelix.

dacarbazine: A chemotherapy drug that combines with the DNA in cancer cells to prevent them from multiplying.

dactinomycin: An investigational chemotherapy drug.

decitabine: A chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of cancer of the blood.

DepoFoam-encapsulated cytarabine: The anticancer drug cytarabine inside small particles of a synthetic material called DepoFoam. This method of administering cytarabine results in its slow release over time.

depsipeptide: An experimental anticancer drug.

dermatitis: Inflamation of the skin.

desferrioxamine: A drug that inhibits tumor cell growth by preventing the nutrient iron from being metabolized.

dexamethasone: A synthetic hormone that may be used to relieve some of the side-effects of cancer.

dexrazoxane: A drug used to protect the heart from drugs used in cancer treatment. Also called Zinecard.

diagnostic procedure: A method used to identify a disease.

diaziquone: An anticancer drug that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and kill cancer cells in the central nervous system. Also called A7-Q.

difluoromethylornithine: An investigational drug that has been shown to prevent cancer in animals. Also called DFMO.

dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO): A colorless chemical with a variety of uses in industry and medicine. DMSO is used in stem cells transplants, preventing the water in the stem cells from forming ice crystals that would damage the cells during the freezing process.

dipyridamole: A drug that enhances the ability of methotrexate to kill tumor cells.

disease progression: When cancer continues to grow or spread.

distant cancer: Refers to cancer that has spread 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.

DNA: A molecule that carries genetic information.

docetaxel: One of a type of chemotherapy agents called taxanes that block microtubule formation during cell division. Also called Taxotere.

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

double-blinded: A doubled-blinded trial is a clinical trial in which neither the medical staff nor the patient knows if the patient is receiving the investigational drug or the placebo.

dysplasia: Abnormal changes in the way tissue cells look under a microscope.

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E
edema: Swelling caused by excess fluid in body tissues.

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

eflornithine: An investigational drug that reduces the growth of tumor cells and may stop abnormal cells from turning into cancer cells.

electroporation therapy: Treatment that generated electrical pulses through an electrode placed in a tumor to enhance the ability of chemotherapy drugs to enter tumor cells. Also called EPT.

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

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

endoscopy: The use of an endoscope, a flexible, lighted tube, for examining the inside of the body.

engraftment: A process that occurs during the first few weeks after stem cell transplantation, by which the infused stem cells migrate to the patient's bone marrow and begin the process of producing replacement blood cells.

ependymal tumors: Brain tumors that begin in the ependyma, the cells that line the passageways in the brain where special fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord (called cerebrospinal fluid) is made and stored. An ependymoma is an ependymal tumor. The different kinds of ependymal tumors are identified by the way the cells look under a microscope.

epidural: An injection given into the lower back.

epinephrine: A hormone. Also called adrenaline.

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

epoetin alfa: A drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Epstein-Barr virus: A common virus that remains dormant in most people. It has the potential to cause B cells to multiply uncontrollably in some patients with weakened immune systems.

erythropoietin: A hormone that stimulates peripheral stem cells in the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

estramustine: An anticancer drug that may stop the growth of cancer cells and eventually destroy them.

etanidazole: A drug that increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

ethynyluracil: A chemotherapy drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil.

etidronate: Belongs to the group of drugs known as bisphosphonates that 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).

etoposide: Belongs to a group of drugs known as plant alkaloids. Also known as VP-16.

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

extranodal sites: Involving site(s) or organ(s) outside of the lymphatic system.

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F
FAC: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide. This combination is also known as CAF.

Fanconi 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.

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

fazarabine: An investigational chemotherapy drug.

FEC: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide. This combination is also known as CEF.

fenretinide: A synthetic retinoid that may help prevent the development of some cancers.

fertility: the ability to produce children

fetus: the developing offspring from seven to eight weeks after conception until birth.

fibrosis: The growth of excessive amounts of fibrous tissue.

fine-needle aspiration: Use of a needle to remove fluid from a lump or cyst.

flavopiridol: Belongs to a group of chemotherapy drugs known as flavinols.

flecainide: A drug that may relieve the burning and stinging of neuropathic pain associated with some types of cancer.

floxuridine:An anticancer drug that may stop the growth of tumor cells by interfering with the cells' ability to make DNA.

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

fludarabine: A chemotherapy drug that interferes with tumor cell DNA.

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

fludrocortisone: A drug used to relieve symptoms of hormone shortage.

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G
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).

ganciclovir: A drug that interferes with DNA synthesis and stops the growth of cancer cells.

gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines.

GEM 231: An investigational drug that may inhibit the growth of malignant tumors.

gemcitabine: A drug that stops tumor growth by disrupting the DNA in cancer cells. Also known as Gemzar.

gene: A unit of DNA that determines and transmits hereditary characteristics from parent to offspring.

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

gene therapy: Treatment to modify the genes of a person's white blood cells or tumor cells to try to control or cure the cancer.

genetic material: The DNA found, within the nucleus of the cell, which encodes information responsible for determining a person's characteristics.

G1147211: Belongs to the group of drugs known as carnptothecin analogues.

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

glioblastoma: A general term that refers to malignant astrocytoma.

glioma: A general term for many types of cancers of the brain and spinal cord.

gliosarcoma: A type of glioma.

grade: The grade of a tumor is determined by how different the tumor cells are from normal cells, the growth rate of the tumor, and its tendency to spread (infiltrate). The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer.

graft-versus-host disease: An immune response to the body's normal tissue by immune cells present in a donor's transplanted tissue, such as bone marrow or peripheral stem cells.

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.

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. Growth factor antagonists, such as CEP-2563 dihydrochloride, stop tumor cells from growing.

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

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H

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

hairy cell leukemia: A rare type of chronic leukemia in which the abnormal white blood cells appear to be covered with tiny hairs.

Helicobacter pylori: Bacteria that may cause inflammation of the stomach; they are found in persons with chronic gastritis, ulcers, or lymphoma of the stomach.

hemangiopericytoma: A form of cancer involving blood vessels and soft tissue.

hematocrit: a measure of the percentage of red blood cells found in the body.

hematologic malignancies: Cancer of the blood or bone marrow, including leukemia and lymphoma. Also called hematologic cancer.

hemoglobin: a protein contained within red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

heparin: A drug that helps prevent blood clots from forming.

HER2/neu: The gene that controls cell growth by making the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Also known as c-erbB-2. The protein produced is called the HER2/neu antigen.

high-grade lymphomas: Includes large cell, immunoblastic, lymphoblastic, and small noncleaved cell lymphomas. These lymphomas have a high growth rate and a lower response rate to most chemotherapy regimens than that seen with intermediate grade lymphomas.

high-intermediate and high risk IPI patients: Patients are categorized into risk groups based on the number of poor IPI factors.  This is used to predict the patient's disease free survival rate and has different treatment implications.

  • low risk: 0-1 poor IPI factors
  • low-intermediate risk: 2 poor IPI factors
  • high-intermediate risk: 3 poor IPI factors
  • high risk: 4-5 poor IPI factors

Hodgkin's Disease (formerly referred to as Hodgkin's lymphoma): A malignant disease of the lymph nodes that is characterized by painless enlargement of lymphatic tissues and the spleen. It often involves symptoms such as fever, weight loss, anemia, and night sweats.

homeopathic remedies: Small doses of medicines and herbs that are believed to stimulate the immune system by causing the same symptoms in healthy people as those of the disease being treated.

homoharringtonine: A drug used to stop tumor cells from dividing.

hormone therapy: Treatment of cancer by removing, blocking, or adding hormones. Also called endocrine therapy.

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

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. Also called Dilaudid.

hydroxyurea: Belongs to the group of chemotherapy drugs known as DNA synthesis inhibitors.

hypercalcemia: High levels of calcium in the blood.

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

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

hyperthermia: Body temperature that has been raised abnormally high to kill tumor cells or make them more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain chemotherapy drugs.

hyperthermic perfusion: A warmed solution containing chemotherapy drugs that bathes the tumor. It is used to try to shrink tumors and relieve symptoms.

hyperuricemia: A build up in the blood of uric acid (a byproduct of metabolism); a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs.

hypotension: Reduced pressure or tension within the arterial blood.

hypothyroidism: A decrease in the production of thyroid hormone, leading to signs of thyroid insufficiency, including low metabolic rate, tendency to weight gain and sleepiness.

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