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The Medical Terminology and Drug Database is provided as a convenience to our users. Definitions are provided by the National Cancer Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health, for informational purposes only. This list is updated monthly.

A

A&O x3

Alert and oriented to person, place and time

A/P

assessment / plan

A33

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

A33 monoclonal antibody

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

AA

anaplastic astrocytoma

AAP

Alanine aminopeptidase. An enzyme that is used as a biomarker to detect damage to the kidneys, and that may be used to help diagnose certain kidney disorders. It is found at high levels in the urine when there are kidney problems.

ABCD rating

A staging system for prostate cancer that uses ABCD. "A" and "B" refer to cancer that is confined to the prostate. "C" refers to cancer that has grown out of the prostate but has not spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body. "D" refers to cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or to other places in the body. Also called the Jewett staging system or the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

ABG

arterial blood gas

ABI-007

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a special form of the anticancer drug paclitaxel that may have fewer side effects and may be able to be given in higher doses. It belongs to the families of drugs called mitotic inhibitors and taxanes.

ABT-510

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

ABT-751

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called sulfonamides.

ABVD

adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblatime, dacarbazine

ABX-EGF

A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the diagnosis and treatment of some types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Also called panitumumab.

AC or ac

before meals

ACE inhibitor

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor. A type of drug that is used to lower blood pressure. ACE inhibitors belong to the family of drugs called antihypertensives.

ACT

after completion of therapy

ACU

ambulatory care unit

AD

right ear

AD 32

A drug that is used to treat bladder cancer that does not respond to BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin). It is an anthracycline and belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. Also called valrubicin.

ADL

Activities of daily living. The tasks of everyday life. Basic ADLs include eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone.

AE-941

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

AEE788

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors.

AFB

acid fast bacillus

AFP

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

AG-013736

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors and protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

AG2037

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

AG3340

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor and belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called prinomastat.

AG337

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of liver cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called thymidylate synthase inhibitors. Also called Thymitaq and nolatrexed.

AIDS

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (ah-KWY-erd im-YOON-o-de-FISH-en-see SIN-drome). A disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People with AIDS are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system.

AJCC staging system

A system developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer for describing the extent of cancer in a patient's body. The descriptions include TNM: T describes the size of the tumor and if it has invaded nearby tissue, N describes any lymph nodes that are involved, and M describes metastasis (spread of cancer from one body part to another).

AKA

above the knee amputation

ALL

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

ALVAC-CEA vaccine

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

AMD3100

A substance that is being studied for its ability to move stem cells out of the bone marrow and into circulating blood where they can be collected for use in stem cell transplantation. Stem cell transplantation is a method of replacing blood-forming stem cells that were destroyed by cancer treatment. AMD3100 belongs to the families of drugs called stem cell mobilizers and CXCR4 inhibitors.

AMG 706

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors and protein kinase inhibitors.

AML

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

AMML

acute myelomonoblastic leukemia

AMSA

amsacrine

ANC

absolute neutrophil count

ANLL

acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia

APC

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

APC vaccine

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

APC8015

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

APL

acute promyelocytic leukemia

ATLL

Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. An aggressive (fast-growing) type of T-cell non-Hodgkin�s lymphoma caused by the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). It is marked by bone and skin lesions, high calcium levels, and enlarged lymph nodes, spleen and liver.

ATP

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

AZD2171

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

AZQ

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

AZT

A drug that inhibits the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Also called zidovudine.

Abtc

antibiotics

Activase

A protein that is made by the body and that helps dissolve blood clots. It can also be made in the laboratory and is used in the treatment of heart attack and stroke. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. Activase belongs to the family of drugs called systemic thrombolytic agents. Also called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-tPA), and Alteplase.

Actos

A drug that is used to treat type 2 diabetes and is being studied in the prevention of head and neck cancer. It may be able to stop leukoplakia (a precancerous condition affecting the mouth) from developing into cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called thiazolidinediones. Also called pioglitazone.

Adderall

A combination of drugs that is used as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder). It belongs to the family of drugs called stimulants. Also called dextroamphetamine-amphetamine.

Adeno

adenovirus

Adriamycin

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

Agno3

silver nitrate

Alimta

A drug that is used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma and advanced non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. Also called pemetrexed disodium and LY231514.

Alkeran

A drug that is used to treat multiple myeloma and ovarian epithelial cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents. Also called melphalan.

Allo BMT

allogeneic bone marrow transplant

Allovectin-7

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

Alteplase

A protein that is made by the body and that helps dissolve blood clots. It can also be made in the laboratory and is used in the treatment of heart attack and stroke. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. Alteplase belongs to the family of drugs called systemic thrombolytic agents. Also called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (r-tPA), and Activase.

Amanita phalloides

A type of poisonous mushroom that has harmful effects on the kidneys and liver. It is responsible for most fatal cases of mushroom poisoning. Also called death cap.

Ambien®

A drug used to treat insomnia (inability to sleep), and anxiety. It belongs to a family of drugs known as imidazopyridines (sedative hypnotics). Also called zolpidem.

Ambien®

A drug used to treat insomnia (inability to sleep), and anxiety. It belongs to a family of drugs known as imidazopyridines (sedative hypnotics). Also called zolpidem.

Ampho B

amphotericin B

Amt

amount

Angiozyme

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of kidney cancer. It may prevent the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to the tumor. It belongs to the families of drugs called VEGF receptor and angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called RPI.4610.

Ara-C

cytosine arabinoside

Aspergillus

A family of fungi commonly found in soil. Certain types may cause disease, especially in people who have suppressed immune systems.

Avastin

A monoclonal antibody used in the treatment of colorectal cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It may prevent the growth of new blood vessels from surrounding tissue to a solid tumor. Also called bevacizumab.

abarelix

A drug used to reduce the amount of testosterone made in patients with advanced symptomatic prostate cancer for which no other treatment options are available. It belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists. Also called Plenaxis.

abd

abdomen

abdomen

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

abdominal

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

abdominoperineal resection

Surgery to remove the anus, the rectum, and part of the sigmoid colon through an incision made in the abdomen. The end of the intestine is attached to an opening in the surface of the abdomen and body waste is collected in a disposable bag outside of the body. This opening is called a colostomy. Lymph nodes that contain cancer may also be removed during this operation.

ablation

In medicine, the removal or destruction of a body part or tissue or its function. Ablation may be performed by surgery, hormones, drugs, radiofrequency, heat, or other methods.

abnormal

Not normal. An abnormal lesion or growth may be cancerous, premalignant (likely to become cancer), or benign.

abscess

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

accelerated phase

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

accelerated phase chronic myelogenous leukemia

A phase of chronic myelogenous leukemia in which the disease is progressing. In this phase, 6% to 30% of the cells in the blood and bone marrow are blast cells (immature blood cells).

acetaminophen

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

acetylcysteine

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

achlorhydria

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

acitretin

A substance that is used in the prevention of cancer and in the treatment of psoriasis. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

acne

A disorder of the skin in which oil glands and hair glands become inflamed.

acoustic

Having to do with sound or hearing.

acoustic neurofibromatosis

A genetic condition in which tumors form on the nerves of the inner ear and cause loss of hearing and balance. Tumors may also occur in the brain and on nerves in the skull and spinal cord, and may cause loss of speech, eye movement, and the ability to swallow. Also called neurofibromatosis type 2.

acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

AIDS. A disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People with AIDS are at an increased risk for developing certain cancers and for infections that usually occur only in individuals with a weak immune system

acridine carboxamide

DACA. A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

acrylonitrile

A substance used to make plastics, rubber, and textiles. Being exposed to acrylonitrile may increase the risk of developing certain cancers, such as lung, brain, or prostate cancer.

actinic keratosis

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

action study

In cancer prevention clinical trials, a study that focuses on finding out whether actions people take can prevent cancer.

activate

In biology, to stimulate a cell in a resting state to become active. This causes biochemical and functional changes in the activated cell.

activities of daily living

ADL. The tasks of everyday life. Basic ADLs include eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet. Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) are activities related to independent living and include preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone.

acupressure

The application of pressure or localized massage to specific sites on the body to control symptoms such as pain or nausea. It is a type of complementary and alternative medicine.