Glossary of Terms
listen ( KAL-see-um PROH-teen ) A protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called calgranulin A.
listen ( KAL-see-um PROH-teen ) A protein that is made by many different types of cells and is involved in processes that take place both inside and outside of the cell. It is made in larger amounts in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and in some types of cancer. It is being studied as a biomarker for breast cancer. Also called calgranulin B.
A temporary loss of feeling in the abdomen and/or the lower part of the body. Special drugs called anesthetics are injected into the fluid in the lower part of the spinal column to cause the loss of feeling. The patient stays awake during the procedure. It is a type of regional anesthesia. Also called spinal anesthesia, spinal block, and subarachnoid block.
listen (SAY-krum) The large, triangle-shaped bone in the lower spine that forms part of the pelvis. It is made of 5 fused bones of the spine.
listen (SA-fin-gol) A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called protein kinase inhibitors. Also called L-threo-dihydrosphingosine.
listen A drug that is used to treat cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that does not get better, gets worse, or comes back during or after treatment with other drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. SAHA is a type of histone deacetylase inhibitor. Also called suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, vorinostat, and Zolinza.
listen (SAY-leen) A solution of salt and water.
listen (suh-LY-vuh) The watery fluid in the mouth made by the salivary glands. Saliva moistens food to help digestion and it helps protect the mouth against infections.
listen (SA-lih-VAYR-ee gland) A gland in the mouth that produces saliva.
listen (SA-lih-VAYR-ee gland KAN-ser) A rare cancer that forms in tissues of a salivary gland (gland in the mouth that makes saliva). Most salivary gland cancers occur in older people.
listen (sal-PIN-goh-oh-oh-foh-REK-toh-mee) Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
listen (SAL-vij THAYR-uh-pee) Treatment that is given after the cancer has not responded to other treatments.
listen (suh-MAYR-ee-um ...) A radioactive substance used in the treatment of bone cancer and bone metastases (cancers that have spread from the original tumor to the bone). Samarium 153 is a radioactive form of the element samarium. It collects in bone, where it releases radiation that may kill cancer cells. It is a type of radioisotope.
listen (suh-MAYR-ee-umLEK-sih-DROH-nam PEN-tuh-SOH-dee-um) A drug used to treat bone pain caused by bone cancer and other cancers that have spread to the bone. It contains a radioactive substance called samarium SM 153. Samarium Sm 153 lexidronam pentasodium collects in bone and gives off radiation that may kill cancer cells. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called Quadramet.
listen (SA-poh-nin) A substance found in soybeans and many other plants. Saponins may help lower cholesterol and may have anticancer effects.
listen (sa-KWIH-nuh-veer MEH-zih-layt) A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called protease inhibitors. It interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called sarcosinamide nitrosourea.
listen (SAR-koyd) An inflammatory disease marked by the formation of granulomas (small nodules of immune cells) in the lungs, lymph nodes, and other organs. Sarcoid may be acute and go away by itself, or it may be chronic and progressive. Also called sarcoidosis.
listen (SAR-koy-DOH-sis) An inflammatory disease marked by the formation of granulomas (small nodules of immune cells) in the lungs, lymph nodes, and other organs. Sarcoidosis may be acute and go away by itself, or it may be chronic and progressive. Also called sarcoid.
listen (sar-KOH-muh) A type of cancer that begins in bone or in the soft tissues of the body, including cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, fibrous tissue, or other connective or supportive tissue. Different types of sarcoma are based on where the cancer forms. For example, osteosarcoma forms in bone, liposarcoma forms in fat, and rhabdomyosarcoma forms in muscle. Treatment and prognosis depend on the type and grade of the cancer (how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the cancer is likely to grow and spread). Sarcoma occurs in both adults and children.
listen (sar-KOH-muh-toyd KAR-sih-NOH-muh) A type of cancer that looks like a mixture of carcinoma (cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs in the body) and sarcoma (cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue). The sarcoma-like cells are often spindle cells. Under a microscope, spindle cells look long and slender.
listen (SAR-koh-SIH-nuh-MIDE ny-TROH-soh-YOO-ree-uh) A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called sarCNU.
listen (sar-GRA-moh-stim) A substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages, and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called GM-CSF and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.
listen (SA-teh-lite TOO-mer) A type of skin cancer on or under the skin that has spread from the primary tumor through the lymph system and is not more than 2 centimeters away from the original tumor.
listen (SA-truh-PLA-tin) A substance being studied in the treatment of prostate and other types of cancer. It contains the metal platinum and may kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called BMS-182751 and JM 216.
listen (SA-chuh-RAY-ted) A type of fat with certain chemical properties that is usually solid at room temperature. Most saturated fats come from animal food products, but some plant oils, such as palm and coconut oil, also contain high levels. Eating saturated fat increases the level of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of heart disease.
listen (...pawl-MEH-toh) A shrub that is a member of the palm tree family. An extract made from the berries of this shrub has been studied in the treatment of certain urinary and prostate disorders. The scientific name is Serenoa repens.
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. SB-715992 blocks a protein that tumor cells need to divide. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor. Also called ispinesib.
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. SB939 blocks the action of an enzyme called histone deacetylase (HDAC) and may stop tumor cells from dividing. It is a type of HDAC inhibitor.
A substance being studied for its ability to stimulate the production of blood cells during chemotherapy. It is a type of colony-stimulating factor. Also called leridistim.
listen (SKAL-pul) A small, thin knife used for surgery.
listen (skan) A type of test that makes detailed pictures of areas inside the body. A scan may also refer to the picture that gets made during the test. Scans may be used to help diagnose disease, plan treatment, or find out how well treatment is working. There are many different types of scans, including computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and nuclear medicine scans (such as bone scans and liver scans). CT scans are done with an x-ray machine linked to a computer. MRI scans are done with radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer. Nuclear medicine scans are done with small amounts of radioactive substances that are injected into the body and a special machine that detects the radioactive substance.
listen (SKA-ner) In medicine, an instrument that takes pictures of the inside of the body.
listen (SKA-pyoo-luh) One of a pair of triangular bones at the back of the shoulder. The scapula connects the collarbone with the upper arm bone. Also called shoulder blade.
listen (skar TIH-shoo) Fibrous tissue that forms when normal tissue is destroyed by disease, injury, or surgery. For example, scar tissue forms when a wound heals after a cut, sore, burn, or other skin condition, or when an incision (cut) is made into the skin during surgery. It may also form inside the body when certain conditions, such as cirrhosis, cause normal tissue to become fibrous tissue.
(SKA-ter RAY-dee-AY-shun) Radiation that spreads out in different directions from a radiation beam when the beam interacts with a substance, such as body tissue. For example, during x-ray mammography, very small amounts of radiation may be scattered to areas away from the breast, such as the head and neck, sternum, and thyroid gland. The energy of scatter radiation is usually much lower than that of the original radiation beam.
A substance that causes blood stem cells (cells from which other types of cells develop) to change into different types of blood cells and increases the number and actions of these cells in the blood. SCF is a type of cytokine and a type of growth factor. Also called kit ligand and stem cell factor.
A drug used to treat melanoma and hepatitis C. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is used under the brand name Sylatron to treat melanoma in patients who have had surgery to remove cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is used under the brand name PEG-Intron to treat hepatitis C infections. SCH 54031 is a form of interferon alfa (a substance normally made by cells in the immune system) linked to a substance called PEG, which makes the drug stay in the body longer. SCH 54031 is made in the laboratory. It is a type of cytokine and a type of biological response modifier. Also called peginterferon alfa-2b.
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. Also called lonafarnib.
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. SCH-58500 is a weakened adenovirus that carries the p53 gene into tumor cells, causing them to die. It is a type of gene therapy. Also called ACN53, rAd/p53, and recombinant adenovirus-p53.