Glossary

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2-chlorodeoxyadenosine: An anticancer drug that inhibits tumour cells from growing and also acts to make tumour 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 three-dimensional picture of the tumour. This allows doctors to give the highest possible dose of radiation to the tumour 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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activated B cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (ABC-DLBCL): A subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma that originates in the post-germinal centre of B cells.

acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: 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 leukaemia.

acute lymphocytic leukaemia: 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 leukaemia.

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

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

acyclovir: A drug used to treat viral infections.

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

adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma or leukaemia (ATLL): Associated with the human T-cell leukaemia virus-1 (HTLV-1), which is transmitted through sexual intercourse, childbirth, blood transfusions, shared needles and breast milk.

adverse event (AE): An unexpected or dangerous reaction to a treatment.

AEMPS (Spanish Medicines Agency, Spain): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Spain.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

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

aggressive lymphoma: Lymphoma that grows quickly.

AIDS-related B-cell lymphomas: AIDS-related lymphomas are usually B-cell types of lymphomas. AIDS-related lymphoma starts in the lymphatic system. It is often aggressive and tends to grow and spread quickly. People with AIDS-related lymphoma are often at an advanced stage when they are diagnosed. The bone marrow, brain and spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract are often affected.

AIFA (Italian Medicines Agency, Italy):  The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Italy.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

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, 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: A chemotherapy drug that interferes with the growth of tumour 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 tumour growth.

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.

anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL): A fairly new type of large cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Most cases are T-cell or cell type unknown (null). It can be systemic in children or young adults or cutaneous (in/on the skin). Disease limited to the skin is quite indolent and remains localised to the skin with many examples of spontaneous remission. The systemic form can involve lymph nodes and extranodal sites that act aggressively but respond to chemotherapy used to treat other large cell lymphomas. Previously called Ki-1 lymphoma.

angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL): Usually occurs in the lymph nodes and may affect the spleen or liver. Symptoms may include fever, weight loss and rashes.

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

anaesthetics: 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 anaesthetics are given throughout the body and put the person to sleep.

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

ANMAT (National Administration of Drugs Food and Medical Technology, Argentina): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Argentina.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

anthracenediones: A group of drugs used in chemotherapy.

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.

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

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

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.

antibody therapy: Treatment with an antibody, a substance that can directly kill specific tumour cells or stimulate the immune system to kill tumour 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. Antifungal 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 recognised by the immune system as foreign to the body.

antimetabolites: A group of chemotherapy drugs that stop cancer from growing.

antineoplastic antibiotics: A group of chemotherapy drugs.

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.

ANVISA (Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency, Brazil): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Brazil.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

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: Tumours 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 recognises 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 tumour cells: Cancer cells from the patient’s own tumour.

AWMSG (All Wales Medicines Strategy Group, Wales): Reviews clinical effectiveness and undertakes economic assessment of new therapies intended for use in Wales.

axilla: The armpit.

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

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

B3 antigen: A protein found on some tumour cells.

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

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

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 that 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 that 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 tumour 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 recognise more than one protein on different cells. Some examples are bispecific antibodies 2B I, 52OC9xH22, MDX-H210 and MDX447.

blastic NK-cell lymphoma: A very rare, fast growing and difficult to treat T-cell lymphoma.

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

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: Tumour cells that have spread from the original (primary) tumour 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 tumour cells. Radiation is directed at the boron, killing the tumour cells and sparing the surrounding normal tissue.

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

brain stem glioma: Tumours 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 tumour.

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

BRM: see Biologic Response Modifier

Burkitt’s lymphoma: A type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that most often occurs in young people between the ages of 12 and 30 years. The disease usually causes a rapidly growing tumour in the abdomen.

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

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CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Canada): Reviews effectiveness and efficiency of health technologies intended for use in Canada.

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

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 tumours.

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

carcinoembryonic peptide-1: A protein that can stimulate an immune response to certain tumours. 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 as well as dark green leafy vegetables that may prevent the development of cancer.

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.

CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, India):  The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in India.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

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 tumours.

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

chemoprotective: Agents that protect healthy tissue from the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs.

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

chemosensitiser: A drug which makes tumour 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.

CHMP (Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, EU):  An agency within the European Medicines Agency (EMA) which evaluates applications for new medicinal products.

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

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

chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL): A slowly progressing disease in which too many infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes are found in the body.

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

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

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.

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

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

clodronate: A drug used as treatment for hypercalcaemia (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.

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

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

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

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

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

colony-stimulating factors (CSFs): Substances that stimulate the production of blood cells. Treatment with CSFs can help in recovery from the effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. CSFs include granulocyte colony-stimulating factors and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors.

combination chemotherapy: Chemotherapy using more than one drug.

COMP (Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products, EU): The agency within the European Medicines Agency (EMA) responsible for reviewing applications from persons or companies seeking orphan medicinal product designation.

complete remission: The disappearance of all signs of tumour.

complete response: The disappearance of all signs of tumour.

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.

CONITEC (National Commission for Incorporation of Technologies, Brazil): Reviews efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of new therapies intended for use in Brazil.

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 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 antitumour activity in lymphomas and lymphoid leukaemias; in addition, corticosteroids (steroids) may be used for hormone 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.
CRM/CTG (Drug Reimbursement Committee, Belgium):  Reviews efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of new therapies intended for use in Belgium.

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.

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.

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 leukaemia 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 given to the patient to destroy tumour cells. Certain drugs can also assist in the formation of cytotoxic T cells within the patient's body.

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

dactinomycin: An investigational chemotherapy drug.

DCGI (Drugs Controller General India): Agency with CDSCO responsible for approving new drugs in India.

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

depsipeptide: An experimental anticancer drug.

dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin.

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

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.

DGFPS (Directorate General for Pharmacy and Health Care Products, Spain): Approves new therapies and adds them to the national reimbursement list in Spain.

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.

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

diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): The most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that is usually aggressive. It is marked by rapidly growing tumours in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow or other organs. Other symptoms include fever, night sweats and weight loss.

dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO): A colourless chemical with a variety of uses in industry and medicine. DMSO is used in stem cell 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 tumour 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.

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

double-blinded: A double-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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EF5: A drug that is used to plan cancer treatment by measuring oxygen levels in tumour cells.

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

EMA (European Medicines Agency): Reviews and approves all cancer therapies intended for use in European Union member countries.

end point: In clinical trials, an event or outcome that can be measured objectively to determine whether the intervention being studied is beneficial. The end points of a clinical trial are usually included in the study objectives. Examples of end points include survival, improvements in quality of life, relief of symptoms, etc.

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.

enteropathy-associated lymphoma: Usually associated with coeliac disease, a chronic intestinal disorder caused by a hypersensitivity to gluten proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. Symptoms usually include stomach pain, weight loss, gastrointestinal bleeding or bowel perforation.

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.

etidronate: Belongs to the group of drugs known as bisphosphonates that are used as treatment for hypercalcaemia (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 tumour 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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FAMHP (Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products, Belgium): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Belgium.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

Fanconi anaemia: 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 leukaemia.

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

fazarabine: An investigational chemotherapy drug.

FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in the United States.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

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

fertility: the ability to produce children.

foetus: 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.

FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridisation): A blood test can be performed that looks for mutations within the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells. The presence of certain chromosomal changes may mean that your CLL is a more aggressive type. This test is done in specialised labs.

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

flow cytometry: A procedure that examines the cancer cells and their DNA. It is helpful in the diagnosis of cancers where a mediastinal mass (a mass/tumour behind the breastbone in the central area of the upper chest) is present.

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 tumour 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.

follicular lymphoma (FL): A type of B-cell lymphoma that is usually indolent that typically occurs in middle-aged and older adults but can affect younger people in their 30s and 40s. Usually appears in lymph nodes throughout the body. Follicular lymphoma (FL) arises in the germinal centre or follicle of the lymph node. Often, the first sign of FL is a painless swelling in the neck, armpit or groin caused by enlarged lymph nodes.

FOPH, (Federal Office of Public Health, Switzerland): Makes decision on whether to reimburse new therapies intended for use in Switzerland.

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

G-BA (Federal Joint Committee, Germany): Determines reimbursement for new therapies intended for use in Germany.

gallium nitrate: A drug that lowers blood calcium. Used as treatment for hypercalcaemia (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.

gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT) lymphoma: Lymphoma that develops in the stomach.

gastrointestinal tract: The stomach and intestines.

GDPP (General Directorate of Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacy, Turkey): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Turkey.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.
GEM 231: An investigational drug that may inhibit the growth of malignant tumours.

gemcitabine: A drug that stops tumour growth by disrupting the DNA in cancer cells.

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 tumour 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.

germinal centre B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: A subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma that originates in the germinal centre of B cells.

grade: The grade of a tumour is determined by how different the tumour cells are from normal cells, the growth rate of the tumour and its tendency to spread (infiltrate). The systems used to grade tumours 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-tumour: An immune response to a person's tumour 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 tumour cells from growing.

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

haematocrit: A measure of the percentage of red blood cells found in the body.

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

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

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

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

HALMED (Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, Croatia):  Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in Croatia

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

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

hepatosplenic lymphoma: A very rare and aggressive T-cell lymphoma that starts in the liver or spleen. It usually affects young adults in their 20s and 30s.

heterogeneous: Made up of elements or ingredients that are diverse.

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

high-intermediate and high-risk International Prognostic Index (IPI) patients: Patients are categorised 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 lymphoma (HL): A malignant disease of the lymph nodes that is characterised 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 tumour 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.

HSE (Health Services Executive, Ireland): Determines reimbursement for new therapies intended for use in Ireland.

HTA (health technology assessment): A review of the clinical effectiveness of a health technology as well as its cost effectiveness.

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.

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

hypercalcaemia: 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 tumour 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 tumour. It is used to try to shrink tumours and relieve symptoms.

hyperuricaemia: 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.

HZZO (Croatian Health Insurance Fund, Croatia): Determines reimbursement for new therapies intended for use in Croatia.

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ICE: The abbreviation for the combination chemotherapy drugs ifosfamide, carboplatin and etoposide.

ICI D 1 694: An investigational chemotherapy drug that inhibits tumour cells from multiplying by interfering with the ability of cells to make DNA.

idarubicin: A drug used in cancer chemotherapy.

idoxuridine: A drug that prevents the growth of cancer cells by interfering with the cells’ DNA.

imagery: A technique where the patient focuses on positive images to try to help the body to fight cancer and feel better.

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

IMB (Irish Medicines Board): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in Ireland.

immune function: Production of cells that fight disease or infection.

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

immune system: A number of related body organs whose main role is protection of the body against disease organisms and other foreign bodies.

immunocompromised: Having a weakened immune system caused by certain diseases or drugs. This condition is sometimes present in the very young and the very old, in patients with HIV and in patients who have received a bone marrow transplant.

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

immunoglobulins: Proteins that function as antibodies.

immunologic adjuvant: A drug that stimulates the ability of the immune system to respond to disease.

immunoscintigraphy: An imaging procedure involving the infusion of antibodies labelled with radioactive substances followed by an imaging scan.

immunosuppression: Prevention or inhibition of the immune system to respond to foreign substances in the body.

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 patient's immune system to fight infection and destroy tumour cells. Also called biological therapy.

immunotoxin: A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumour cells and kills them. There are many different types, including LMB-1, LMB-7 and B43-BAP.

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

in situ cancer: Early cancer that has not spread to any other tissue.

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

in vitro fertilisation: The egg cell is fertilised by a sperm cell in an artificial environment such as a test tube or dish.

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

indolent lymphoma: Lymphoma that is slow growing and has few symptoms.

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.

infusion: The introduction of a fluid, including medications, into the blood stream. Also called intravenous infusion.

INHRR (National Health Institute, Venezuela): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Colombia.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

interferon: Interferons are a type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body’s natural response to disease). Interferons interfere with the division of cancer cells and thus slow the growth of the tumour. There are several types of interferon, including interferon alfa, beta and gamma.

interleukin: A substance used in biological therapy to help the immune system fight infection and cancer.

interleukin-11: A substance that stimulates immune response and may reduce toxicity to the gastrointestinal system resulting from cancer therapy. Also called IL-11.

interleukin-12: A substance that enhances the ability of the immune system to kill tumour cells and that may interfere with blood flow to the tumour. Also called IL-12.

interleukin-2: A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body’s natural response to disease) that stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system. Also called IL-2.

interleukin-4: A substance that enhances the immune system’s ability to fight tumour cells. Also called IL-4.

intermediate-grade lymphomas: Includes diffuse small, cleaved cell lymphoma and diffuse large, non-cleaved cell lymphoma. These are more aggressive than low-grade lymphomas but they have a high response rate to combination chemotherapy.

International Prognostic Index (IPI): A list of factors that help doctors assess how a patient might respond to a certain treatment.  It can also predict the likelihood of relapses. These factors are:
1.    The patient’s age
2.    The stage of their lymphoma: an indication of how localised or widespread the disease is lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) levels: levels of an enzyme found in the blood that often correlates to the
3.    Amount of tumour in the body
4.    The number of extranodal sites: places outside of the lymphatic system where tumours are found
5.    The patient's overall health

intracarotid: The carotid artery is the main artery in the neck; it carries blood from the heart to the brain. An intracarotid infusion is the introduction of fluids and drugs directly into the carotid artery.

intrathecal: The thin space between the lining of the spinal cord and brain. Chemotherapy drugs can be infused into the spinal fluid there to treat or prevent cancers in the brain and spinal cord.

intravenous infusion: The long-term (minutes to hours) administration of a fluid into the vein, either by letting the fluid flow by gravity or by pumping it.

intraventricular: The delivery of a drug into a space within an organ.

invasive cancer: Cancer that has spread beyond its site of origin and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues. Also called infiltrating cancer.

INVIMA (National Institute of Drugs and Food Vigilance, Colombia): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Colombia.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

IQWiG (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare, Germany):  Independent federal organization for the evaluation of medical efficiency, quality and effectiveness.  It also performs cost-benefit and economic analyses and makes reimbursement recommendations to the G-BA.

ISIS 3521: An anticancer drug that inhibits tumour growth.

ISIS 5132: An anticancer drug that inhibits tumour growth.

isosulfan blue: A dye used in identifying sites of tumour development.

IVSS (Venezuela Institute of Social Insurance): Determines reimbursement for new therapies intended for use in Venezuela.

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JAZMP (Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, Slovenia): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in Slovenia.

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keratinocyte growth factor: Stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that line the surface of the mouth and intestinal tract.

keyhole limpet haemocyanin: One of a group of drugs known as immune modulators, given as a vaccine to help the body respond to cancer. Also called KLH.

killer cells: blood cells that attack tumour cells and body cells that have been invaded by foreign substances.

kinase inhibitor: a substance that blocks a type of enzyme called a kinase. Many different kinases are found in human cells. Kinases help control important functions, such as cell signalling, metabolism, division and survival. Certain kinases are more active in some types of cancer cells and blocking them may help keep the cancer cells from growing. Some kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer.

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lactic dehydrogenase: An enzyme with five forms: LDH-1 is in the heart, its blood level can rise when heart muscle is damaged. Other forms can be found in the liver, brain, kidney, skeletal muscle and bone. A useful blood test in the evaluation of many disease processes, including cancers, heart attacks, liver diseases, muscular dystrophy and bone diseases. In lymphoma, an increase in LDH levels sometimes correlates with the presence and/or the increase of tumour cells.

lactose intolerance: The inability to digest or absorb lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

laparoscopy: The insertion of a thin lighted instrument (a laparoscope) through the abdominal wall to inspect the inside of the abdomen and perform biopsies.

laparotomy: A surgical incision made into the wall of the abdomen.

laser therapy: The use of a narrow beam of light to kill cancer cells.

laser: An intensely powerful beam of light that is used in surgery, to diagnose disease and in cancer therapy.

leukaemia: Cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

leukapheresis: Removal of the blood to harvest specific blood cells; the remaining blood is returned to the body.

leukocyte: A white blood cell.

leukoplakia: A precancerous lesion that may develop on mucous membranes.

levamisole: A drug that restores immune function.

lipid: The main type of fat found in the body.

liposomal: A drug preparation that contains the active drug in very tiny fat particles. This fat-encapsulated drug is better absorbed and its distribution to the tumour site is improved.

lisofylline: An investigational drug that may protect healthy cells from chemotherapy and radiation without inhibiting the effects of these therapies on tumour cells.

local therapy: Treatment that affects cells in the tumour and close to it.

localised: Restricted to the site of origin without evidence of spread.

locally advanced cancer: Cancer that has spread only to nearby tissues or lymph nodes.

loperamide hydrochloride: An antidiarrheal drug.

low-grade lymphomas: Includes chronic lymphocytic lymphoma and follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma. Patients with no symptoms, even with widespread disease, may require no initial treatment. These disorders are associated with a high response rate to treatment.

lumpectomy: Removal of the tumour and a small amount of normal tissue around it.

lymphadenectomy: Lymphadenectomy (also known as lymph node dissection) is a surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and examined to see if they contain cancer.

lymphatic system: The tissues and organs that produce and store cells that fight infection and disease.

lymphoedema: A condition in which excess lymph 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.

lymph fluid: The almost colourless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that helps fight infection and disease.

lymph node drainage: The area of tissue that drains lymphatic fluid into a particular lymph node.

lymph node mapping: The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that contain tumour cells.

lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped organs located throughout the body along the channels of the lymphatic system. Bacteria or cancer cells that enter the lymphatic system may be found in the lymph nodes (also called lymph glands). Lymph nodes associated with the organ in which the cancer is found are often examined to see if the cancer has spread.

lymphoblastic lymphoma: An aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in which too many lymphoblasts are found in the lymph nodes and thymus gland. These lymphoblasts may spread to other places in the body. Most common in teenagers and young adults and affects more males than females. It may be a T or B cell type. Also called precursor lymphoblastic lymphoma.

lymphocyte: White blood cell. 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.

lymphography: An x-ray of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels after injection of a dye.

lymphoid organs: Organs that make up the lymphatic system such as lymph nodes and the spleen. The primary lymphoid organs, where lymphocytes are generated, are the thymus and the bone marrow. Secondary lymphoid organs include the lymph nodes and the spleen.

lymphokine-activated killer cells: White blood cells that are stimulated in a laboratory to kill tumour cells. Also called LAK cells.

lymphoma: Cancer of cells of the lymphatic system, a network of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, tonsils and the spleen, which are involved in fighting infection.

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 of the lymphatic system.

lymph vessels: A series of interconnected tubes linking different lymphoid organs, such as lymph nodes, together within the lymphatic system.

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maintenance therapy: Treatment that is given to help prevent relapse in patients whose cancer is in remission.

malabsorption syndrome: A group of symptoms resulting from the body's inability to properly absorb nutrients.

malignancy: A cancerous tumour that spreads to other parts of the body.

malignant: A malignant tumour is a cancerous growth with a tendency to spread to other parts of the body.

malignant ascites: A condition in which fluid collects in the abdomen (ascites) and contains cancer (malignant) cells.

malignant cells/cancerous cells: Cells characterised by uncontrolled and unregulated growth. These cells have a tendency to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma: A type of cancer that arises in the cells of mucosal tissue that are involved in antibody production. Also called mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.

mantle cell lymphoma (MCL): An aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that usually occurs in middle-aged or older adults. Marked by small- to medium-size cancer cells that may be in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood and gastrointestinal system.

marginal zone lymphoma (MZL): An indolent (slow-growing) type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that begins forming in certain areas (the marginal zones) of lymph tissue. There are three types based on whether it forms in the spleen, lymph nodes or other lymphoid tissue that contains a lot of B cells (a type of white blood cell). Also called marginal zone B-cell lymphoma and MZL.

marimastat: An investigational drug that is being studied for its ability to reduce and prevent tumour growth.

marker: A diagnostic indication that disease may develop.

measurable disease: A tumour that can be accurately measured in size. This information can be used to judge response to treatment.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A painless diagnostic tool which uses a magnetic field and radio waves to see inside the body without using x-rays or surgery; a computer then interprets the radio waves and creates a picture of the internal body tissues.

MCC (Medicines Control Council, South Africa): The previous regulatory agency responsible for drug approvals and regulation of medicines in South Africa.

MEB (Medicines Evaluation Board, The Netherlands): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in The Netherlands.

mechlorethamine: A topical ointment for treatment of infections of the skin.

medial supraclavicular lymph nodes: Lymph nodes located above the collar bone and between the centre of the body and a line drawn through the nipple to the shoulder.

Medicaid: A USA federally mandated, state delivered medical insurance program for those with a low income, certain disabilities or those receiving Supplemental Security Income (a government initiative that provides stipends for those with a low income, aged 65 years or older, the blind and those with disabilities.)

Medicare: A USA federal medical insurance program for senior citizens and the disabled.

MEDSAFE (Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, New Zealand): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in New Zealand.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

megestrol: A drug that belongs to the group of hormones known as progestins, used as hormone therapy to block oestrogen and suppress the effects of androgens. It is also used to stimulate the appetite in cancer patients.

menopausal symptoms: symptoms associated with menopause which is the time of life when a women’s menstrual periods stop for at least one year. Symptoms include hot flashes, sweats and vaginal dryness.

menstruation: A periodic discharge of blood and tissue from the uterus. Until menopause, menstruation occurs approximately every 28 days for about a week when a woman is not pregnant.

mental impairment: The inability to make cohesive decisions and formulate logical thoughts.

mesenchymal: Refers to cells that develop into connective tissue, blood vessels and lymphatic tissue.

mesenchymal: Refers to cells that develop into connective tissue, blood vessels and lymphatic tissue.

mesna: A drug that protects healthy cells from the toxic effects of ifosfainide and cyclophosphamide.

metaplasia: The change of cells in adult tissue from normal to abnormal.

metastatic cancer: Cancer that has spread from the place in which it started to other parts of the body.

mineral: A nutrient required to maintain health.

mitotane: A drug that increases the amount of chemotherapy drugs that can accumulate in tumour cells.

MHLW (Ministry of Labour and Welfare, Japan): Reviews new applications, sets drug price and makes final reimbursement decision for therapies intended for use in Japan.

MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, UK): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in the UK.

monoclonal antibody: Laboratory-produced substances that are directed against cancer cells and can be used to deliver drugs, toxins or radioactive material directly to the cancer cells. There are many monoclonal antibodies used in cancer therapy and each one recognises a different protein on a variety of cancer cells.

montanide ISA-51: A drug used in vaccine therapy to stimulate the immune system.

MPA (Medical Products Agency, Sweden): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Barbados.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

MRA (Medicines Regulatory Authority, Barbados): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Barbados.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

mucositis: Inflammation of the lining of the digestive system, often seen as sores in the mouth, that is a complication of some cancer therapies.

mucous membrane: Any membrane or lining which contains mucous secreting glands such as the lubricated inner lining of the mouth, nasal passages, vagina and urethra.

multidrug resistance: Adaptation of tumour cells to chemotherapy by eliminating the drugs faster or breaking them down so they are no longer effective.

multidrug resistance inhibition: Treatment used to suppress resistance of cells to chemotherapy.

multimodality treatment: Therapy that combines more than one method of treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

multiple myeloma: Cancer of the bone marrow in multiple sites.

mutation: A change in a gene that causes it to make a different product.

mycophenolate mofetil: An investigational drug that is being studied for its effectiveness in preventing graft-versus-host disease and autoimmune disorders.

mycosis fungoides: A long-term, rapidly developing form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a cancerous disease that affects the skin. It commonly results in infections or tumours of the skin that can spread to the lymph nodes or other organs such as the spleen, liver or lungs.

myelodysplastic syndrome: Disease in which the bone marrow does not function normally and not enough blood cells are made. Also called pre-leukaemia or “smoldering leukaemia” myeloma: Cancer found in bone marrow cells.

myeloproliferative disorders: Diseases in which too many blood cells are made in the bone marrow. Myeloproliferative disorders include myelofibrosis.

myelosuppressive therapy: Inhibition of blood cell production.

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N-acetyl cysteine: An antioxidant drug that may keep cancer cells from developing or prevent the growth of existing cancer.

NDA (new drug application): Filed with the relevant health authorities in the country where the applicant wishes to sell their drug.

narcotic pain relievers: Any drugs, synthetic or naturally occurring, with effects similar to those of opium and opium derivatives, used in alleviating pain caused by cancer, cancer treatments or other medications.

narcotics: Any drug, synthetic or naturally occurring, with effects similar to those of opium and opium derivatives.

nasal, natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphoma: Extranodal nasal, NK/T-cell lymphoma typically affects the nasal area and paranasal sinus areas behind the nose and cheeks. However, this type of lymphoma can occur at extranodal sites such as the skin, gastrointestinal track and testes.

national clinical trial cooperative groups: Cancer centres that join together to form groups to coordinate and take part in large clinical trials. These groups are the Southwest Oncology Group, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the Cancer, the North Central Cancer Treatment Group, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, the Pediatric Oncology Group, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and Acute Leukemia Group B.

natural killer cell: a type of immune cell that contains small particles with enzymes that can kill tumour cells or cells infected with a virus. A natural killer cell is a type of white blood cell. Also called NK cell and NK-LGL.

needle biopsy: The removal of tumour tissue or fluid from a tumour for microscopic examination. This procedure is sometimes called fine needle aspiration.

negative axillary lymph nodes: Nodes in the armpit that have been examined and found to be free of cancer.

neoadjuvant therapy: Therapy given before the primary treatment to improve the effectiveness of the treatment. Neoadjuvant therapy can be chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormone therapy.

neoplasia: Abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth.

neuroendocrine: Refers to the nervous system and the endocrine system (and the hormones produced by the endocrine glands).

neurotoxicity: The tendency of some treatments to cause damage to the nervous system.

neutropenia: An abnormal decrease in the number of certain white blood cells in the blood.

neutropenic: Experiencing neutropenia, an abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils or white blood cells.

neutrophils: A type of white blood cell that functions to destroy bacteria.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, UK): Reviews clinical and cost effectiveness and conducts technology appraisals of new therapies and provides reimbursement recommendations for England and Northern Ireland.

nicotinamide: A form of vitamin B3. It acts to increase the effect of radiation therapy on tumour cells.

nimodipine: Belongs to a group of drugs known as calcium channel blockers. It is being investigated for use with chemotherapy to prevent or overcome drug resistance and improve response to chemotherapy.

nodal marginal zone lymphoma: A rare form of lymphoma that may also be called monocytoid B-cell lymphoma. More common in adults aged 60 years and older and is slightly more common in women than men. Usually only involves the lymph nodes but can sometimes be found in the bone marrow. Often slow growing but can transform into more aggressive large cell lymphoma.

node-negative: Cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

non-gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues (MALT) lymphoma: Lymphoma that develops outside the stomach.

non-Hodgkin lymphoma (formerly referred to as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma): A group of malignant cancers of the immune system, including acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, 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-metastatic: Cancer that has not spread from the primary site of origin to other sites in the body.

NR-LU-10 antigen: A protein found on the surface of some cancers.

NSAIDS: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) decrease the symptoms of swelling, pain and redness.

nutritional supplements: Vitamins and minerals consumed in addition to those obtained from a regular diet.

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observation: The patient's condition is closely monitored but treatment is withheld until symptoms appear or change.

octreotide: A hormone-like drug.

oedema: Swelling caused by excess fluid in body tissues.

OEP (National Health Insurance Fund Administration, The Netherlands): Determines reimbursement for new therapies intended for use in The Netherlands).

omega-3 fatty acid: A type of fat obtained in the diet that is involved in immunity.

omeprazole: A drug that inhibits gastric acid secretion.

osteolytic: Causing the breakdown of bone.

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.

overall survival (OS): Denotes the chances of staying alive for a group of individuals suffering from a cancer. It denotes the percentage of individuals in the group who are likely to be alive after a particular duration of time.

overexpress: When a cell has an excess of a particular protein on its surface.

ovulating: The process in which a woman releases an egg(s) to be fertilised.

oxygen molecule: A colourless, tasteless, odourless, gaseous element occurring in the atmosphere.

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p53 gene: A gene that has been found to be mutated in many types of cancer. Also called a tumour-suppressor protein.

palliative: Treatment aimed at improving a patient’s quality of life by relieving the symptoms caused by cancer.

palpation: Examination by touch.

palpitations: Irregular pulsation of the heart, perceptible to the patient, usually with an increase in frequency or force, with or without irregularity in rhythm.

pamidronate: Belongs to the group of drugs known as bisphosphonates that are used as treatment for hypercalcaemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

paroxetine hydrochloride: An antidepressant drug.

partial remission: The shrinking, but not complete disappearance, of a tumour in response to therapy. Also called partial response.

partial response: When tumours shrink as a result of therapy but do not completely disappear.

pathologic fracture: A broken bone caused by disease, often by metastases to the bone.

pathologist: A doctor who specialises in studying disease through the gross and microscopic evaluation of body tissues and organs.

PBAC (Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, Australia): Assesses applications for listing of medicines on the PBS to ensure that all products listed as benefits meet the criteria specified in the National Health Act.

PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Australia): A listing of medicines that are reimbursed in Australia.

pCODR (pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review, Canada): Reviews cost effectiveness and clinical evidence of new oncology therapies intended for use in Canada.

PEG-MGDF: A synthetic form of a protein that is normally made in the body to regulate the production of platelets.

peldesine: A chemotherapy drug used to treat T-cell lymphomas.

pentoxifylline: A drug used to prevent blood clotting and as an investigational treatment that may help reduce weight loss in cancer patients.

peptide 946: A protein that causes white blood cells to recognise and destroy melanoma cells.

peptide: Any compound consisting of two or more amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Peptides are combined to make proteins.

perfusion: Bathing an organ or tissue, or the blood vessels of an organ, with a fluid.

pericardial effusion: Presence of fluid inside the membrane that covers the heart.

peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified (PTCL-U): Most common type of PTCL comprising a group of mixed T-cell diseases that do not fit into any of the other subtypes of PTCL. Most patients with PTCL-U will have nodal involvement but extranodal sites such as the liver, bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract and skin may also be involved.

perillyl alcohol: An investigational drug that may inhibit the growth of some cancers.

peripheral blood: Circulating blood.

peripheral blood stem cell transplantation: Similar to bone marrow transplantation, peripheral stem cell transplantation is a method of replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by cancer treatment. Immature blood cells (stem cells) in the blood that are similar to those in the bone marrow are removed from the patient's blood before treatment. These cells are given back to the patient after treatment to help the bone marrow recover and continue producing healthy blood cells. Transplantation may be autologous (the patient's own blood cells saved earlier), allogeneic (blood cells from someone else), or syngeneic (blood cells from an identical twin).

peripheral stem cells: Immature cells from which blood cells that are found circulating in the bloodstream develop.

peritoneum: The tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen. A peritoneal perfusion and an intraperitoneal infusion are methods of delivering fluids and drugs to tumours in the peritoneum.

PET: PET (positron emission tomography) is an x-ray test to determine the activity and location of the tumour.

PFS (progression-free survival): Denotes the chances of staying free of disease progression for a group of individuals suffering from a cancer after a particular treatment. It is the percentage of individuals in the group whose disease is likely to remain stable (and not show signs of progression) after a specified duration of time. PFS rates are an indication of how effective a particular treatment is.

PHARMAC (Pharmaceutical Management Agency, New Zealand): Undertakes an economic assessment and reviews the cost effectiveness of new therapies intended for use in New Zealand.

phase I trial: In these trials, a small number of patients are given a new treatment to determine the safety of the treatment, including appropriate dosage levels. Because many of the treatments researched in phase I trials are new, participants may face substantial risks. Therefore, these trials are usually open only to patients in an advanced stage of cancer, whose disease is not controllable with standard treatment.

phase I/II trial: These trials study the safety and dosage levels of a new treatment as in phase I trials and the response of tumour to treatment as in phase II trials.

phase II trial: These trials involve a larger number of participants than phase I trials and focus not only on side effects that may not have been seen in phase I trials, but also on tumour response to treatment.

phase II/III trial: These trials study tumour response to treatment as in phase II trials and the effectiveness of the treatment compared to the standard treatment regimen as in phase III trials.

phase III trial: Once a treatment has been shown to be effective against a cancer, it is studied in a phase III trial to compare the new treatment with the standard treatment regimen. Safety, effectiveness, dosage and side effects are all evaluated. More people are needed in phase III trials than in phase II trials to determine whether the new treatment is better than the standard treatment.

phase IV trial: Once a treatment has been approved and is being marketed, it is studied in a phase IV trial to evaluate side effects of the new treatment that were not apparent in the phase III trial. A very large number of people are usually involved in a phase IV trial.

phenobarbital: A sedative/anticonvulsant barbiturate that has been used to treat diarrhea and to increase the antitumour effect of other therapies.

photodynamic therapy: Treatment that destroys cancer cells with lasers and drugs that become active when exposed to light.

photosensitiser: A drug used in photodynamic therapy that is absorbed by tumour cells; when exposed to light, it becomes active and kills the cancer cells. Dihaematoporphyrin ether, haematoporphyrin derivative, lutetium texaphyrin and photofrin are photosensitising drugs.

physician’s choice: Physicians entering a patient into a clinical trial may be able to choose which treatment the patient should receive.

physiologic: Related to the functions of the body. When used in the phrase “physiologic age,” it refers to an age assigned by general health, as opposed to the calendar age.

pilot study: The initial study examining a new method or treatment.

placebo: An inactive substance resembling a medication, given as a control in evaluating a medicine believed to be active. It is usually a tablet, capsule, injection or infusion that contains a harmless substance but appears to be the same as the medicine being tested. A placebo may be compared with a new drug or treatment when no one knows if the new approach will be effective.

plasma: The clear, yellowish fluid portion of the blood in which cells are suspended.

platelets: Blood cells that help prevent bleeding by causing blood clots to form at the site of an injury. An abnormally low number of platelets (called thrombocytopenia) may result in easy bruising and excessive bleeding from wounds or bleeding in mucous membranes and other tissues.

platinum: A metal that is an important component of some anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin.

pleura: Two thin layers of tissue, one covering the lung and one lining the wall of the chest cavity. These two layers of tissue are separated by a small amount of fluid that acts as a lubricant, allowing the lungs to move smoothly during breathing.

pleural effusion: A collection of fluid between the thin layers of tissue lining the lung and the wall of the chest cavity (pleura). This fluid may contain cancer cells.

pleurodesis: Treatment to eliminate the space between the tissues in the chest cavity and the membrane that lines the cavity to prevent the build-up of fluid in that space.

PMDA (Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency, Japan): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Japan.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

polyp: A growth on a mucous membrane.

porfimer sodium: A drug used in some treatments to destroy cancer cells when exposed to light.

positive axillary lymph nodes: Lymph nodes in the area of the armpit (axilla) to which cancer has spread. This is determined by surgically removing some of the lymph nodes and examining them under a microscope to see whether cancer cells are present.

post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD): With lymphoproliferative disorders, lymphocytes are over-produced or act abnormally. PTLD can occur after allogeneic stem cell transplant, especially if people received stem cells with many of the T-cells removed. PTLD is almost always related to a virus that has been linked to lymphoma, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). However, people who are EBV negative can also develop PTLD. Those with PTLD present with enlarged lymph nodes or a malignant mass. The cancer has often spread to organs or tissues outside of the lymph nodes.  

precursor T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma or leukaemia: Can be diagnosed as leukaemia or lymphoma or both. Found in both children and adults, it is most commonly diagnosed in adolescent and adult males.

prednisolone: A synthetic corticosteroid used in the treatment of blood cell cancers (leukaemias) and lymph gland cancers (lymphomas).

prednisone: Belongs to the group of drugs known as steroids. It is used to treat several types of cancer. Prednisone also inhibits the body’s immune response and is not allowed as treatment for patients participating in some clinical trials.

premalignant: Precancerous; changes have occurred that may develop into cancer.

primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma: Cancer of the lymph tissue in the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and meninges).

primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma: A disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the lymph tissue of the brain and/or spinal cord.

primary cutaneous B-cell lymphomas: These types of lymphomas are usually indolent. They may appear on the skin as a reddish rash, lump or nodule and may have a slightly raised and smooth appearance. The disease tends to recur on the skin but will rarely develop into a systemic lymphoma.

primary cutaneous CD30+ T-cell lymphoproliferative disorders: A lymphoma of the skin made up of CD30+ anaplastic lymphoid cells. The condition generally has a good prognosis with skin lesions usually regressing on their own though relapses can be frequent.

primary mediastinal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL): PMBCL is a subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that occurs in the thymus gland or lymph nodes in the centre of the chest (mediastinum). PMBCL occurs more frequently in adults between the ages of 30 and 40 years and is slightly more common in women than in men. It is usually a fast-growing lymphoma. It can cause shortness of breath, cough or chest pain.

primary therapy: The first therapy given after a diagnosis of cancer.

primary tumour: The tumour is located in the place where the cancer first started to grow.

procarbazine: An anticancer drug used in combination chemotherapy.

prognosis: The likely outcome or course of a disease; the chance of recovery.

progressive disease: Cancer that is increasing in scope or severity.

proliferation: rapid reproduction or increase in numbers.

protease inhibitor: A drug that interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.

protein: One type of compound found within the body. Proteins make up much of the body's tissue in addition to being the main part of enzymes, hormones and immunologic substances.

pruritus: Itching of the skin, sometimes accompanied by a rash, which may be associated with various types of cancers, cancer treatments and other medications.

PSC 833: Belongs to a group of drugs known as cyclosporine analogues. Used with chemotherapy to prevent or overcome the resistance of tumour cells to some chemotherapy drugs.

pulmonary: Refers to the lungs.

purging: In bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant, a process by which certain types of cells are removed prior to stem cell infusion into the patient. In autologous transplantation, marrow or blood may be purged to remove cancer cells that may be contaminating the collection. In allogeneic transplantation, the donor stem cells collected may be purged to remove cells that cause graft-versus-host disease.

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QS21: A plant extract that can improve the ability of the immune system to respond to disease, often used with vaccine therapy.

quality of life: The overall enjoyment of life. Many clinical trials measure aspects of a patient’s sense of well-being and ability to perform various tasks to assess the effects that cancer and its treatment have on the patient.

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radiation surgery: A radiation therapy technique that delivers a single high dose of radiation directly to the tumour while sparing the healthy tissue. Also called radiosurgery and stereotactic external beam irradiation.

radiation therapy: Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy radiation from x-rays and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external radiation therapy) or from materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) that are placed inside the body in the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy, implant radiation or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy involves giving a radioactive substance, e.g., a radiolabelled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the entire body.

radioactive iodine: A radioactive form of the chemical element iodine often used for imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer.

radioactive particles: Substances that emit, i.e., give off high levels of energy.

radioimmunotherapy: Treatment with a radioactive substance that is linked to an antibody that will attach to the tumour when injected into the body.

radioisotope: An unstable molecule that releases radiation as it decays. Can be used in testing or as treatment.

radiolabelled: An antibody that has been joined with a radioactive substance (often iodine).

radiosensitisation: The use of a drug to make cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

raltitrexed: An investigational chemotherapy drug that inhibits tumour cells from multiplying by interfering with cells’ ability to make DNA.

randomised clinical trial: A study in which participants are assigned by chance to separate groups that compare different treatments. Using chance to assign people means that the groups will be similar and the treatments they receive can be compared. At the time of the trial, there is no way for the researchers to know which of the treatments is best. It is the patient’s choice to be in a randomised trial or not.

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.

rebeecamycin: A drug that interferes with tumour cell DNA and inhibits tumour growth.

recurrence: The return of cancer after it had apparently completely disappeared.

recurrent cancer: Cancer that has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the site of the original cancer or in another part of the body.

refractory cancer: Cancer that does not respond 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 organ of origin to regional lymph nodes and/or organs and tissues next to the original site.

relapse: Cancer that has come back after it has been treated.

remission: Disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer. When this happens, the disease is said to be “in remission.” A remission may be temporary or permanent.

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, Couper's gland, the testes and the penis. This system is responsible in producing offspring.
 
“rescue”: After high-dose chemotherapy in a bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant, the patient is given back their own stem cells or a donor's stem cells to re-build their immune system. The patient is “rescued” from being susceptible to infections and diseases due to the absence of a functional immune system.

resected: Surgically removed.

residual disease: Cancer cells that remain after attempts have been made to remove the cancer.

retinoid: Vitamin A or a vitamin A-like compound.

retroviral vector: RNA from a virus that is used to insert genetic material into cells.

rigours: A symptom sometimes associated with cancer treatment which involves a feeling or sensation of shivering, trembling or shaking.
 
risk factor: Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease.

RMP-7: A drug that allows chemotherapy drugs (such as carboplatin) to reach tumours in the brain.

RPR 109881A: Belongs to a group of anticancer drugs called taxanes.

RSR: A drug that increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Also called RSR-13.

RSR-13: A drug that increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy.

 

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SAHPRA (South African Health Products Regulatory Agency, South Africa):  The new agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in South Africa.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

salvage chemotherapy: Chemotherapy given after the primary treatment has failed to eliminate all of the cancer or when the cancer returns after having been in remission.

SAM (State Agency of Medicines): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in Latvia.

samarium 153: A radioactive substance used in cancer therapy.

sarcoma: A cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels or other connective tissue.

SBR grade: A histologic grading system by which tumour cells are grouped based on their appearance when compared with normal cells.

SCH-58500: An investigational drug that inhibits the growth of tumour cells that express the mutated p53 gene.

second-look surgery: Surgery performed after primary treatment to determine whether tumour cells remain.

secondary tumour: Cancer that has spread from the organ in which it first appeared to another organ. For example, breast cancer cells may spread (metastasise) to the lungs and cause the growth of a new tumour. When this happens, the disease is called metastatic breast cancer and the new tumour is called a secondary tumour.

sentinel lymph node: The lymph node closest to the primary tumour. Cancer cells may appear first in the sentinel node before spreading to other lymph nodes.

sequential: One treatment after the other.

Sezary syndrome: A form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a cancerous disease that affects the skin.

SFDA (State Food and Drug Administration, China): The agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in China.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

SGK (Social Security Institution, Turkey): Agency responsible for the implementation of the public health care system.  The SGK also approves which medicines will be publically reimbursed.

sialyl TN-KLH: A vaccine composed of a substance that enhances immunity plus an antigen commonly found on some tumours of the colon, breast, lung, ovary, pancreas and stomach.

sirolimus: A drug used to help prevent rejection of organ and bone marrow transplants by the body.

skin testing: Testing for an immune response to a compound by placing it on or under the skin.

small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL): An indolent type of lymphoma in which too many white blood cells (lymphocytes) are found mostly in the lymph nodes. This causes the lymph nodes to become larger than normal. Sometimes cancer cells are found in the blood and bone marrow and the disease is called chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The disease is most often seen in people older than 50 years.

SMC (Scottish Medicines Consortium, Scotland): Reviews clinical effectiveness and undertakes economic assessment of new therapies intended for use in Scotland.

Sn-117m DTPA: A radioactive chemical used to treat bone pain associated with cancer.

soft tissue: Soft tissue refers to fat or muscle.

solid tumour: Cancer of body tissues other than blood, bone marrow or the lymphatic system.

somatostatin: A substance that stops the release of certain hormones.

sperm banking: Freezing and storing of sperm for future use. This procedure can allow men to father children after the loss of fertility.

sperm cells: The male reproductive cells responsible for fertilising an egg cell.

spleen: An organ that is part of the lymphatic system. The spleen produces lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood cells and destroys those that are aging. It is located on the left side of the abdomen near the stomach.

splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL): A rare type of lymphoma that may also be called splenic lymphoma with villous lymphocytes. Often affects the spleen, bone marrow and blood, often without any lymph node involvement. Those with SMZL often have an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), anaemia and low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia). The liver may also be enlarged (hepatomegaly). Occurs most often in the elderly.

squamous cell: A layer of cells that covers internal and external surfaces of the body.

stable disease: Cancer that is not decreasing or increasing in scope or severity.

stage: The extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spread from the original site to other parts of the body. Staging refers to the determination of the extent of cancer.

stage I Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer is found in only one lymph node area or in only one area or organ outside the lymph nodes.

stage I non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer is found in only one lymph node area or in only one area or organ outside the lymph nodes.

stage II Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer 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 cancer 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 non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer 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 III Hodgkin lymphoma: 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 non-Hodgkin 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 and/or to the spleen.

stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer has spread in more than one place 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 or may not be found in the lymph nodes near these organs.

stage IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Cancer has spread to more than one organ or organs outside the lymph system. Cancer cells may or may not 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.

standard induction chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs that are given as the first step toward shrinking the cancer and considered the most effective for a particular type of lymphoma. Additional therapy usually follows to eliminate any remaining cancer.

stem cells: The cells from which all blood cells develop from, such as the white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

sterility: The inability to produce children.

steroid therapy: Treatment with corticosteroid drugs to reduce swelling, pain and other symptoms of inflammation.

streptavidin: A bacterial protein that is used in a two-step process of treating patients with radiolabelled biotin (a vitamin). A monoclonal antibody that finds tumour cells is given with streptavidin that attaches to the radioactive biotin.

strontium chloride Sr 89: An injectable, radioactive compound that is absorbed by the bone and used to relieve cancer pain.

strontium: A metal often used in a radioactive form for imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer.

strontium-89: An injectable, radioactive compound that is absorbed by the bone and used to relieve cancer pain.

SUKL (State Institute for Drug Control, Czech Republic): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in the Czech Republic.

SUKL (State Institute for Drug Control, Slovakia): Regulatory body responsible for the evaluation, approval and registration of new drugs in Slovakia.

subcutaneous: Beneath the skin.

subcutaneous panniculitis-like lymphoma (SPTCL): Of the all the T-cell lymphomas, it is the rarest and least well defined. Occurs primarily in the subcutaneous fat tissue where it causes nodules to form. Symptoms include fever, chills, weight loss and oral mucosal ulcers.

subcutaneous port: The placement of a catheter into a vein to receive fluids, including chemotherapy drugs, that will be administered repeatedly or over a period of time.

supplementation: Adding nutrients to the diet, usually in high doses.

support group: A group of patients with similar disease who meet to discuss how to cope better with their cancer and/or treatment.

suppository: A small solid body shaped for introduction into one of the orifices of the body other than the oral cavity, made of a substance, usually medicated, which is solid at ordinary temperatures but melts at body temperature.

supraclavicular lymph nodes: Lymph nodes located above the clavicle or “collar bone.”

supratentorial: Located in the upper part of the brain.

Swissmedic (Swiss Agency of Therapeutic Products, Switzerland): Reviews efficacy, safety and quality of new therapy applications intended for use in Switzerland.

systemic therapy: Treatment that reaches and affects cells throughout the body.

systemic: Affecting the entire body.

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T cells: One type of white blood cell that attacks virus-infected cells, foreign cells and cancer cells. They 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 another person may reduce the chance of an immune reaction against the patient’s own tissues.

T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukaemia: A rare lymphoproliferative cancer of T-cell origin. Occurs most often in older adults. The average age at diagnosis is 60 years. However, it can occur in all age groups. Some patients will not have any symptoms while others have recurring infections and anaemia due to lower numbers of blood cells (cytopenia). The bone marrow, spleen and liver are often affected. Lymph nodes are rarely enlarged.

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

T-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia (T-PLL): With T-PLL, leukaemia cells can be found in the skin and the liver may be enlarged (hepatomegaly). Lymph nodes are not usually enlarged.

tacrolimus: A drug to suppress the immune system.

technetium Tc 99m sulfur colloid: A radiolabelled substance that is used to help identify sites of tumour development.

testes: One of the two male reproductive glands, located in the cavity of the scrotum where sperm is developed, stored and starts its maturation process.

TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia): agency responsible for the evaluation and regulation of medicines and health products in Australia.  It reviews the efficacy, safety and quality of new therapies and medical devices and grants marketing authorisation for use.

thrombocytopenia: A decrease in the number of platelets in the blood.

thymidine: A chemical compound found in DNA. Also used as treatment for mucositis.

tin ethyl etiopurpurin: A drug used in photodynamic therapy; it destroys cancer cells when activated by light. Also called SnET2.

tirapazamine: A drug that makes tumour cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.

TLV (Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Board, Sweden): Reviews clinical effectiveness and undertakes economic assessment of new therapies intended for use in Sweden.  It also makes the final reimbursement decision for new therapies.

TNP-470: Belongs to a group of drugs known as angiogenesis inhibitors, which block the growth of new blood vessels.

topical: At the surface of the body. Topical chemotherapy, for example, is applied to the skin.

total body irradiation: Radiation therapy to the entire body. Usually followed by bone marrow or peripheral stem cell transplantation.

TPB (Therapeutics Product Branch, Singapore): Agency of the Health Services Authority responsible for the registration of medicines and the continual review of approved medicinal products in Singapore.

tracer: A substance, such as a radioisotope, used in imaging procedures to diagnose disease or to see how the body is responding to treatment.

transfusion: The infusion of components of blood or whole blood into the bloodstream.

tretinoin: A drug that inhibits the growth of some types of cancer cells.

tributyrin: A drug used to cause cancer cells to mature into normal blood cells.

trimetrexate glucuronate: An anti-cancer drug used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia that is resistant to methotrexate.

trimetrexate: An anti-cancer drug used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia that is resistant to methotrexate.

tumour infiltrating lymphocytes: White blood cells that have left the bloodstream and migrated into a tumour.

tumour-derived: Taken from a patient's own tumour tissue; may be used in the development of a vaccine that enhances the body's ability to build an immune response to the tumour.

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UCN-01: Belongs to the group of anticancer drugs known as staurosporine analogues.

ultrasound: The use of sound waves to visualise the inside of the body.

ultraviolet radiation: A form of high-energy radiation used in the treatment of cancer.

umbilical cord blood: Blood from the placenta (afterbirth) that contains cells that can grow healthy new bone marrow.

unresectable: Unable to be surgically removed.

urokinase: A drug that dissolves blood clots or prevents them from forming.

urologist: A doctor who specialises in disease of the urinary organs in females and the urinary and sex organs in males.

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vaccination: Treatment with a vaccine.

vaccine: A compound or group of compounds designed to produce an immune response to a tumour or disease.

video-assisted surgery: Surgery that is aided by the use of a video camera which projects and enlarges the tumour on a television screen. Also called video-assisted resection.

vinblastine: Belongs to the group of anticancer drugs known as vinca alkaloids.

vincristine: A chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of cancer.

vindesine: A drug used to stop the growth of tumour cells.

vinorelbine: Belongs to the group of anticancer drugs known as vinca alkaloids.

virus: Microscopic organisms that cause infectious disease. In cancer therapy, some viruses may be made into vaccines that help the body build an immune response to and kill tumour cells.

visualisation: A technique that involves focusing on imagined mental pictures, used for problem-solving, self-healing or stress-reduction.

VWS (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Netherlands): The agency responsible for making reimbursement decisions for medicines in The Netherlands.

 

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Waldenström’s macroglobulinaemia (WM): An indolent type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma marked by abnormal levels of IgM antibodies in the blood and an enlarged liver, spleen or lymph nodes. Also called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma.

warfarin: An anticoagulant drug. Also called a blood thinner.

watchful waiting: Planned treatment in which the doctor follows the condition closely for any changes, without actual treatment, until symptoms appear. If the situation changes, curative treatments such as surgery or radiation can then be used.

white blood cell: White blood cells have a number of roles in the immune system, including antibody production, attacking and destroying cancer cells, and producing substances that kill cancer cells. Also called lymphocytes.

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x-ray: High-energy radiation used in low doses to diagnose diseases and in high doses to treat cancer.

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ziconotide: An investigational drug used in the treatment of chronic pain. Also known as SNX- I 1 1.

zinc oxide: A compound that may enhance immune function, especially when administered by inhalation.


Source: Lymphoma Research Foundation (www.lymphoma.org)
Updated July 2014

 

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The information on this website is for general use only. Please consult your physician if you think you may have lymphoma or require more detailed information on the best course of treatment for you.

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