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February 1, 2000

Breast Cancer Glossary Technical Terms
A listing of technical terms useful in better understanding breast cancer

Compiled by Peggy Devine, UCSF SPORE Advocate


Accrue:
-to gather data and/ or patients for a research study
Acquired mutations:
-gene changes that arise within individual cells and accumulate throughout a person's lifetime. Also called somatic mutations
Acquired resistance:
-in chemotherapy, the ability of a tumor to resist chemotherapy treatment following an initial response
Acute effects:
-a description of symptoms or signs of radiation injury that appear soon after treatment; e.g. pain, swelling, erythema, loss of surface lining
Acute hypoxia:
-hypoxia (abnormally low levels of oxygen,a condition commonly found in solid tumors) surrounding a blood vessel, caused by the temporary interruption of normal flow in that vessel.
Adenocarcinoma:
-a tumor arising from glandular epithelium cells, that grows essentially in a glandular fashion and that is malignant.
Adherence:
-in cancer prevention, the fact or practice of following a treatment plan as prescribed, eg. taking an agent or maintaining a specified diet. Also known as compliance.
Adhesion:
-cell attachment and subsequent responses with natural matrices or artificial substra (One of the necessary steps to a cancer growing)
Adjacent tissue:
-the tissue next to a cancerous tumor.
Adjuvant:
-a substance used to enhance an immune response against a specific antigen
Adjuvant therapy:
1) the use of an antigen that increases the specific immune response to antigens.
2) therapy given following surgery to help prevent a cancer's recurrence or to destroy cancer cells that have metastasized. Chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapies are examples.
Adriamycin
- a chemotherapy drug sometimes given after surgery. This is called adjuvant therapy and it is used to kill any cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body. If this drug is given before surgery it is called neoadjuvant therapy.
Allele:
-one of the alternative versions of a gene that may occupy a given locus on the chromosome.
Allelic loss, LOH or loss of heterozygosity:
-the absence or loss of one of two distinguished alleles at a heterozygous locus in tumor DNA, as compared to non tumor DNA in the same subject.
Allograft
-a tissue graft between same species but different individuals. EX. - a kidney donated from one person to another person.
Amino acids:
-the building blocks of protein for which DNA carries the genetic code
Amplification:
-in molecular biology, the production of multiple copies of a sequence of Dna
Anabolic Synthesis:
- The process of building new molecules and building new cell structures. Tumor cells use anabolic reactions to generate high amounts of DNA/RNA and proliferate intensively
Androgen:
1) any of a group of naturally occurring steroid hormones that includes testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione
2) the adrenal steroids are converted to testosterone which, either directly or after metabolic conversion in target cells the active androgenic hormone 5dihydrotestosterone (DHT), binds to the androgenic receptor and thereby has trophic effects on the target cells.
Aneuploidy:
-the condition of a cell or organism with a chromosome number which is not an exact multiple of the haploid number
Angiogenesis:
-cancerous tumors which produce angiogenesis factors can grow larger due to an increase in nutrient supply as well as increase the vessels through which the tumor can metastasize.
Antagonism:
-in chemotherapy, the production of smaller than expected additive effects; i.e., a situation in which combination drug therapy produces less of a therapeutic effect than would normally be predicted from the combined effect of the various drugs.
Anti-apoptotic:
-acting to inhibit or disrupt the process of a ptosis (programed cell death)
Antibodies:
-a specialized protein that forms the 'humoral' part of the specific immune system; i.e., the bodies protection of 'self' against 'nonself' or 'foreign'. Antibodies are produced by B lymphocytes. Their function is mainly to bind and clear soluble antigens from body fluids.
Anti estrogen
-a substance used to diminish systemic estrogenic levels or to prevent estrogen attachment to it's receptor in a tumor; e.g., tamoxifen.
Antigens
-a substance that the body recognizes as 'nonself' or 'foreign' and against which a specific immune response is mounted. Antibodies have a complementary chemical structure to a portion of an antigen and bind to the antigen, analogous to the manner in which a key fits into a lock.
Antigen receptor
-any of a group of proteins on the surface of lymphocytes that recognize foreign antigens and that are synthesized from gene fragments separated from each other in the germline but juxtaposed by gene arrangement in lymphocytes.
Antioxidant
-any of a various chemicals that prevent oxidation either by reacting with oxidants or by preventing their formation; e.g., vitamin C helps to prevent DNA oxidation.
Apoptosis
-a process described as 'programmed cell death' or 'cell suicide' ; a genetically mediated series of events by means of which cells actively trigger their own destruction. Pathological interference with the apoptotic process that normally eliminates aging cells, or , in the case of the lymphocytes, cells that were not engaged in an immune response within in a short period after they have been generated, may contribute to tumorigenic processes. A ptosis was initially defined by characteristic morphological criteria, including systemic degradation of DNA, a chromatin condensation, cell shrinkage, and fragmentation. It can be induced physiologically or by chemotherapeutic drugs and radiation. There is no lysis of the cell.
Array analysis
-a test run to determine more specific information about the genetic makeup .
-ase
-a suffix that indicates an enzyme; e.g., 'a Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down lipids.'
Association
-statistical dependence between two or more events, characteristics or other variables. The association between two variables is described as positive when the occurrence of higher values of a variable is associated with higher values of another value. In a negative association, the occurrence of higher values of one variable is associated with lower values of the other values
Atypia
-used to describe cells which have lost their normal appearance but are not as bizarre as cancer cells.
Atypical hyperplasia
-a condition of excessively proliferating cells with abnormal morphology
Autologous transplant
-the reintroduction of cells, tissue, or an organ previously removed from an individual, back into the same individual with continued function after the reintroduction.
Base
-single ring (pyrimidine) or double-ring (purine) component of a nucleic acid.
Basement membrane
-a layer of cells that separate the 'epithelial' cells and other tissue cells. Cancer breaks through 'invades' the basement membrane and grows into adjacent tissue.
Base pair
-(bp) a pair of complementary nucleotide bases, as in double- stranded DNA. Used as the unit of measurement of the length of a DNA sequence.
B cell or B lymphocyte
-a cell that is the backbone of the humoral immune system; B cells are the only cells that can produce antibodies. Along with T cells, they are one of the two basic types of lymphocyte cell. Cell surface markers for B cells include Fc receptors and MHC11.
Bcr
-(breakpoint cluster region) gene, named for the restricted region in the genonome in which a specific chromosomal translocation tends to occur.
Benign
-describing a tumor that is not malignant
Bias
-deviation of results or inferences from the truth, or processes leading to such deviation. Any trend in the collection, analysis, interpretation, publication, or review of data that can lead to conclusions that are systematically different from the truth.
Biomarker
-any of various biological or biochemical indicators that serve to detect exposures to carcinogenic processes or to predict carcinogenic disposition. Biomarkers are prognostic or diagnostic parameters or intermediate endpoints used during clinical intervention trials.
Blind(ed) study (Syn: masked study)
-a study in which the observer(s) and/or subjects are kept ignorant of the group to which the subjects are assigned, as in an experiment, or of the population from which the subjects come, as in a nonexperimental study. When both the observer and subjects are kept ignorant, we refer to a double-blind study. If the statistical analysis is also done in ignorance of the group to which subjects belong, the study is sometimes described as triple-blind. The intent of keeping subjects and/or investigators blinded, i.e., unaware of knowledge that might introduce a bias, is to eliminate the effects of such biases. To avoid confusion about the meaning of the word blind some authors prefer to describe such studies as "masked".
Bone marrow transplant
-(autologous bone marrow transplant) for breast cancer, a limiting factor of increasing chemotherapy dose in the past has been the unwanted side effect of killing bone marrow cells, and therefore decreasing the white blood cells (immune system). This program has the woman bank her own bone marrow cells prior to receiving intensive doses of chemotherapy. After receiving the chemotherapy the bone marrow is returned to replace that which is killed by the chemotherapy. cancer a class of diseases characterized by uncontrolled cellular growth.
BRCA1 gene
-a breast cancer-susceptibility gene located on chromosome 17Q21; known to be mutated in families prone to a high incidence of early onset breast cancers and also ovarian cancers.
BRCA2 gene
-a gene mapped to chromosome 13q12-13; not yet fully characterized but believed to be involved in a significant number of familial breast cancers that are not associated with BRCA1
BRCA3 gene
-a hypothetical gene or group of genes, postulated to exist because of the significant percentage of familial breast cancer cases that cannot yet be accounted for by either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 loci.
Brachytherapy
- a special form of radiation therapy where a radioactive substance emitting high energy radiation is implanted into the site of a previously removed tumor.
CAF
- (Cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, and Fluorouracil). This is a combination of chemotherapy drugs sometimes given after surgery. This is known as Adjuvant Therapy. The purpose of adjuvant therapy is to kill any cancer cells that have spread throughout the body. If these drugs are given before surgery it is known as neoadjuvant therapy.
Cancer
-a multistep genetic disease resulting from specific alterations in the function of one or more genes, disrupting the control of cellular growth and differentiation, with the outcome of uncontrolled cellular proliferation and transformation to a neoplastic state.
Carcinogen
a cancer-causing substance.
Carcinogenesis
-a multistep process which results in a malignant cell. Several specific heritable changes are necessary to achieve this. These include genetic instability, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, cell-to-cell and cell-to-substrate adhesion, angiogenesis and possibly other occurances as well.
Carcinoma-cancer
-malignant cells derived from epithelial tissues identified on the basis of invasiveness and other change which may include variation in the size and shape of cells, loss of orderly maturation, enlargement of the nucleus, and clumping of nuclear DNA. Being malignant, carcinoma cells no longer recognize normal boundaries of cell growth and location.
Carcinoma in situ
-Cancer that is confined to the cells where it began and has not spread into surrounding tissue.
Cascade
-a series of enzyme activation's serving to amplify a weak chemical signal.
Case control study
-(Syn: case comparison study, case compeer study, case history study, case referent study, retrospective study) A study that starts with the identification of persons with the disease (or other outcome variable) of interest, and a suitable control (comparison, reference) group of persons without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing the diseased and nondiseased with regard to how frequently an attribute is present or, if quantitative, the levels of the attribute, in each of the groups. Such a study can be called "retrospective" because it starts after the onset of disease and looks back to postulated causal factors. Cases and controls in a case control study may be accumulated "prospectively;" that is, as each new case is diagnosed it is entered in the study. Nevertheless, such a study may still be called "retrospective" because it looks back from the outcome to its causes. The terms "cases" and "controls" are sometimes used to describe subjects in a randomized controlled trial but, the term "case control study" should not be used to describe such a study.
cDNA complementary DNA or copy DNA
-synthetic DNA transcribed from a distinguished from genomic DNA
Cell cycle
-the growth cycle of an individual cell.
(1) the mitotic M phase, in which nuclear and cytoplasmic division occurs;
(2) a gap or growth G1 phase, which is the period between mitosis and the start of DNA synthesis;
(3) the synthesis S phase , in which DNA synthesis occurs;
(4) a second gap or growth phase G2, which is the period between the completion of DNA synthesis and mitosis. In addition, cells that are no longer dividing, or quiescent, are considered to be in the G0 phase.
Cell division
-the process by which two daughter cells are produced from one parent cell.
Cellular clone
-a population of cells that is derived from a single cell.
Chemotherapy
-the use of chemicals to treat a disease. Different combinations of chemotherapy are used for different cancers. The most common combinations in the treatment of breast cancer today are CMF (cytoxan, methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil) as well as CAF (cytoxan, adriamycin, and 5-fluorouracil).
Chimera
-an individual composed of cells from two different zygotes. In humans, blood group chimeras result from exchange of hematopoietic stem cells by dizygotic twins in utero; dispermic chimeras, which are very rare, result from fusion of two zygotes into one individual. In mice, chimeras can be generated experimentally by gene transfer studies.
Chromosome
-the circular DNA molecule containing the entire set of genetic instructions essential for life of the cell.
Clinical breast exam
-breast exam performed by a health care practitioner.
Clinical core
-a component of the SPORE project. The Oncologist, Surgeon, the Radiologist, the Pathologist and others.
Clinical trial
-(Syn: therapeutic trial) A research activity that involves the administration of a test regimen to humans to evaluate its efficacy and safety. The term is subject to wide variation in usage, from the first use in humans without any control treatment to a rigorously designed and executed experiment involving test and control treatments and randomization. See also community trial.
Clone
-in animal cell culture, a population of cells derived from a single cell. Cells in a clone resemble each other because they share the same genetic properties they inherit from their cell of origin.
Coding region of gene
-(Syn: coding sequence) the part of a gene which directly specifies the amino acid sequence of its protein product. Noncoding sequences of genes include control regions, such as promoters, operators, and terminators; and the intron sequences of certain genes.
Codon
a triplet of three bases in a DNA or RNA molecule, specifying a single amino acid.
Cohort Study
-(Syn: concurrent, follow-up, longitudinal, prospective, incidence study) A study in which people with a specific attribute or characteristic are identified and then observed for some period of time thereafter for the occurrence of the outcome or condition of interest, usually disease or death. The study may or may not involve a comparison group. Clinical trials represent a special subset of prospective follow-up studies.
Collagen
-the main supportive protein of skin , tendon, bone, cartilage, and connective tissue.
Community Trial
-Experiment in which the unit of allocation to receive a preventive or therapeutic regimen is an entire community or political subdivision. Examples include the trials of fluoridation of drinking water, and of heart disease prevention in North Korea, Finland, and California. See also clinical triad
Comparison Group
-The group of patients designated or selected for comparison with all other groups in a study. The control-treated group of patients in a controlled clinical trial.
Complementary base pairing
-In DNA, the matching of the base adenine with the base thymine, and the matching of the base cytosine with the base quanine. In RNA, the base uracil replaces thymine and pairs with adenine.
Confounding
-A situation in which a measure of the effect of an exposure on risk is distorted because of the association of exposure with other factor(s) that influence the outcome under study.
Control (n.)
-As used in the expressions case-control study and randomized control(led) trial, "control" means person(s) in a comparison group that differs, respectively, in disease experience or allocation to a regimen, from the subjects in the study.
Control treatment
-The drug, device, test, or procedure administered in a clinical trial that serves as the standard against which test treatments are evaluated. The control treatment may consist of a placebo medication, sham procedure, a standard treatment regimen, or no treatment of any kind, depending on the study design. controlled clinical trial A clinical trial involving one or more test treatments, at least one control treatment, and concurrent enrollment, treatment, and follow-up of all patients in the trial.
Controls, concurrent
-Controls based on data that is collected over the same period of time as that used to generate at other data in the study. See controls, historical for opposing term.
Controls, historical
-Persons or patients used for comparison who had the condition or treatment under study at a different time, generally at an earlier period than the study group or cases. Historical controls are open unsatisfactory because other factors affecting the condition under study may have changed to an unknown extent in the time elapsed.6 See controls, concurrent for opposing term.
Controls, matched
-Controls who are selected so that they are similar to the study group, or cases, in specific characteristics. Some commonly used matching variables are age, sex, race, and socioeconomic status.
Core needle biopsy
-A biopsy which can be performed in the office under local anesthetic which uses a large needle to obtain a core of tissue to send for pathology.
Cytokine
-any of a large , diverse group of autocrine and paracrine protein hormones secreted by many different types of cells; originally defined to encompass leukocyte factors regulating the activation, differentiation, growth, proliferation, and function of immunologic cells: now recognized as being synthesized by, and with actions extending to multiple cell types. They include CSFs (colony stimulating factors), inter leukins, interferons, chemokines and neuokines.
Cytoplasm
-the protoplasm exclusive of that within the nucleus (which is called nucleoplasm).
Dalton
-a unit equal to the mass of the hydrogen atom (1.67 X 10-24 9 )
D.C.I.S.
-localized ductal cancer cells that have not invaded the stroma.
Delayed
-reconstruction see reconstruction.
Deletion
-the loss of a sequence of DNA from a chromosome. The deleted DNA may be of any length from a single base to a large part of a chromosome.
D.F.S
-(disease free survival) The period during which there is no evidence of disease.
Differentiation
-the complex changes that occur in progressive diversification in cellular structure and function in the development of an organism; for a particular line of cells, this results in a continual restriction in the types of transcription and synthesis of which each cell is capable.
Diploid
-the number of chromosomes in most somatic cells, which is double the number found in the gametes. In humans, the diploid number is 46
DNA
-(deoxyribonucleic acid) the molecule that encodes the genes responsible for the structure and function of living organisms and allows the transmission of genetic information from generation to generation.'
DNA damage
-a mutation of the DNA which can be from various causes.
DNA replication
-the copying of a DNA molecule.
Dominant negative mutation
-a mutation in a polypeptide that disrupts the function of the wild-type allele in the same cell. (see mutation)
Dose escalation
-when the amount of drug administered is slowly raised.
Double-blind
-(Syn: double-blinded, double-masked, double-mask)
1. A procedure in a clinical trial for issuing and administering treatment assignments by code number in order to keep study patients and all members of the clinical staff, especially those responsible for patient treatment and data collection, from knowing the assigned treatments. The procedure is designed to ensure that ascertainment of outcome is not biased by knowledge of the group to which an individual was assigned. "Double" refers to both parties, i.e. the observer(s) in contact with the subjects, and the subjects in the study and control groups.
2. Any condition in which two different groups of people are purposely denied access to a piece of information in order to keep that information from influencing some measurement, observation, or process.
Ecological fallacy
-the bias that may occur because an association observed between variables on an aggregate level does not necessarily represent the association that exists at an individual level.
Ecological study
-study in which the units of analysis are populations or groups of people rather than individuals.
Ectoderm
-outermost of the three primary germ layers of the embryo. From it are developed the epidermal tissues, such as the nails, hair, and glands of the skin. The nervous system, the external sense organs and all mucous membranes are also Ectodermal in origin.
E.G.F.
-a molecular target or receptor. In molecular treatment of cancer this receptor is sometimes targeted
Endoderm
-the inner most of the three primary germ layers of the embryo. From it are developed the epithelium of the pharynnx, respiratory tract (except the nose-mucosal), the digestive tract, bladder and urethra.
Endonucleus
-an enzyme which breaks the internal bonds in a DNA molecule. Single-strand breaks are essential first steps in replication or recombination.
Enzyme
-a protein or ordered aggregate of proteins that catalyzes a specific biochemical reaction and is not itself altered in the process.
Epithelial cells
-the continuum of cells covering the external surface of the body and also internal surfaces such as the lining of organs, tracts and vessels
ER
-estrogen receptor: significant levels of Er's have been observed in a large percentage of human breast cancers. The receptor can be (+) or (-). Most (+) receptor tumor's respond better to treatment, so receptor status is used as a prognostic marker for reoccurrence.
Estrogen
-any of a family of steroid hormones that promote and regulate female sexual development and reproductive function: the primary hormone responsible for breast maintenance and development. Excessive exposure to estrogen has been identified as a contributory factor for the development of endometrial cancer and breast cancer
Etiology
-literally, the science of causes, causality; in common usage, cause.
Experimental study
-A study in which conditions are under the direct control of the investigator. In epidemiology, a study in which the population is selected for a planned trial of a regimen whose effects are measured by comparing the outcome of the regimen in the experimental group with the outcome of another regimen in a control group. To avoid bias members of the experimental and control groups should be comparable except in the regimen that is offered them. Allocation of individuals to experimental or control groups is ideally by randomization. In a randomized controlled trial, individuals are randomly allocated; in some experiments, e.g. fluoridation of drinking water, whole communities have been (nonrandomly) allocated to experimental and control groups.
Exon
-a transcribed region of a gene that is present in mature messenger RNA.
Extensive D.C.I.S
-a Pathology term used to describe a condition where there is a lot of DCIS in the breast tissue.
Extracapsular invasion
-growth of cancerous tissue outside of a capsule.
Extracellular matrix
-an insoluble supramolecular complex that occupies the space between cells, composed of several classes of macromolecules with specific binding interactions and spanning large distances in tissues.
Excisional biopsy
-the process of removing tissue from living patients for diagnostic examination in which the entire lesion is removed.
Familial cancer
-a form of cancer that occurs in various members of the same family at a significant higher rate than can be expected to occur by chance.e.g., Li-Fraumeni syndrome
Feedback inhibition
-inhibition of an enzyme by the product of the enzyme or, in a metabolic pathway, by a product of the pathway.
Fibroblasts
-a cell that produces connective tissue cells.
Fibrocytes
-same as fibroblast.
Fibrocystic disease
-a term used to describe lumpy breasts. Not a disease as such.
Fine needle aspiration
-(FNA) procedure which can be performed in the office under local anesthetic in which a skinny needle is placed into the area of abnormality and single cells removed for cytology.
F.I.S.H.
-fluorescence in situ hybridization, a technique involving the binding of a tagged DNA sequence to chromosomal DNA on a microscope slide and detection with fluorochrome, a dye.
Flow cytometer
-common term for the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter (FACS). Cells are labeled with fluorescent dye and then passed, in suspending medium, through a narrow dropping hole so that each cell is in a small droplet. A laser-based detector system is used to excite fluorescence, and droplets with positively fluorescent cells are given an electric charge. Charged and uncharged droplets are separated as they fall between charged plates, and so collect in different tubes.
Flow cytometry
-a potent cell sorting method that allows several hundred to thousands of cells to be measured per second. Its uses include that measurement of a cell's DNA and RNA content, from which ploidy can be determined to assess a cell population's status regarding mutations. It can also be used to separate normal and tumor cells from tissue samples and to separate fractions of cells in different stages of the cell cycle.
Follicle
-a very small excretory or secretory sac or gland.
Frameshift mutation
-a mutation involving a deletion or insertion that is at an exact multiple of three base pairs and thus changes the reading frame of the gene. The stop codon thus formed will not be the normal one, and in almost all cases a truncated or elongated protein will be made
Gamete
-a reproductive cell (ovum or sperm) with the haploid chromosome number
Gene
-a hereditary unit; in molecular terms, a sequence of chromosomal DNA that is required for production of a functional product.
Gene, dominant
-in diploid organisms a gene which is phenotypically manifest in the homozygous or heterozygous state.
Gene, recessive
-in diploid organisms a gene which is phenotypically manifest in the homozygous state but is masked in the presence of its dominant allele. Usually the dominant gene produces a functional product, while its recessive allele does not.
Gene amplification
-an increase in the number of copies of a specific gene in the cellular genome; a common genetic alteration in cancer. The proteins encoded by these amplified genes are usually expressed at high levels . Gene amplification involves an extended region of DNA, often spanning several neighboring genes. Amplified genes may be located within a chromosomes (usually in the form of tandem repeats ) or associated with extra chromosomal circular DNA or minute chromosomal bodies.
Gene knockout
-the term for the process of introducing a specific mutation into an endogenous gene to inactivate ( or knock out ) the gene.
Genetic instability
-the inability to prevent the gain , loss and rearrangement of genomic DNA during cell division; a common genetic alteration in cancer.
Gene clones
-an artificially created substance that is genetically identical to a chosen gene.
Genome
-the complete DNA sequence containing the entire genetic information of a gamete, an individual, a population, or a species.
Genomic instability
-the recessive heritable trait associated with, but not limited to, certain DNA repair deficiencies which results in higher than normal spontaneous rates of somatic mutations; this trait is typically acquired by cancer cells during progression.
Genotype
-the genetic constitution of an organism or virus, as distinguished from its appearance or phenotype; often used to refer to the acetic composition of one or a few genes of interest.
Germ cell
-a cell that gives rise to reproductive cells.
Germ line
-the cell line from which gametes are derived. Inherited (germ) cells.
Glucose
-the main sugar found in human cells as energy source and carbon source to form macromolecules such as DNA, lipids and proteins. Tumor cells have exceptional dependence on glucose used in cancer diagnosis by PET
Grade
-a designation used for the pathologic assessment of a tumor, based on the degree of cytological and architectural differentiation and number of mitoses.
Growth factor
-a specific substance that must be present in the growth medium to permit cell multiplication.
Growth factor receptor
-a receptor (see receptor) which binds to, or responds to, a growth factor with high specificity.
Growth suppressor
-a growth factor that generally inhibits cell growth.
Half life-biological
-the time required for the body to eliminate one-half of the dose of a given substance. This time is approximately the same for both stable and radioactive isotopes of any element.
Half life-radioactive
-the time required for half the mass of a radioactive substance to decay into another substance. Each radio nucleotide has a unique half-life.
Haploid
-the chromosome number of a normal gamete, with only one member of each chromosome pair. In humans, the haploid number is 23.
Haplotype
(1) a group of alleles from closely linked loci, usually inherited as a unit.
(2) a set of restriction fragment lengths closely linked to one another and to a gene of interest.
Her2/Neu
-also called erb-B2 The name for a growth factor receptor. Involved somehow in Breast, salivary gland and ovarian cancer. There is now a new treatment called Herceptin. This treatment targets only cancer cells. At this time you can receive either Herceptin alone or in combination with Chemotherapy. The combination therapy seems to interact synergistically resulting in more cancer cell death, Only women with (+) Her2/neu can be treated
Heterozygous
-having one or more pairs of dissimilar alleles.
Histology
-the department of anatomy that deals with the minute structure, composition and function of the tissues.
Homologous chromosomes
-chromosomes that pair during meiosis. Each homologue is a duplicate of one of the chromosomes contributed at syngamy by the mother or father. Homologous chromosomes contain the same linear sequence of genes and as a consequence each gene is present in duplicate.
Homozygous
-having identical rather than different alleles at one or more loci in homologous chromosome segments.
Hormonal replacement therapy
-use of hormones in medication form to continue the action of hormones at and following menopause. hormonal therapy given as systemic therapy to help prevent recurrence of breast cancer. Most commonly for breast cancer this is tamoxifen, which is a synthetic estrogen.
Hyperplasia
-an overgrowth of cells.
Incidence
-The number of instances of illness commencing during a given period in a specified population.6
Incisional biopsy
-surgical biopsy in which only a portion of the area of abnormality is removed.
Independent assortment
-random distribution of unlinked genes into gametes, as with genes in different (nonhomologous) chromosomes.
Immediate reconstruction
-see reconstruction
Immunohistochemistry
-that department of chemistry that deals with the substances and reactions concerned in immunity as it relates to the microscopy of the tissue.
Immunosuppression
-the inhibitions or restriction of the normal functioning of the immune system.
Inert
-having no action
Initiator
-a molecule which initiates replication once it binds to a replicator
Insertion
-the addition of one or more base pairs into a DNA molecule.
In situ breast cancer
-early stage breast cancer characterized by cells showing changes indicative of cancer but without evidence of invasion and metastasis.
Interaction
-differences in the effects of one or more factors according to the level of the remaining factor(s).
Interferon
-a class of small soluble proteins, produced by lymphoid as well as non lymphoid cells, that are capable of affecting protein synthesis and cell-mediated immunity.
Interleukin
-one of a group of immunologic cytokines that as originally defined indicated a cytokine synthesized by one type of immunologic cell and affecting another type or group of immunologic cells; now frequently recognized to function as cytokines as well by affecting the function of cells other than those in the immune system.
Intervening sequence
-see intron.
Intrinsic resistance
-the resistance of previously untreated tumors to chemotherapy.
Intron
-a segment of a gene that is initially transcribed but is then removed from within the primary RNA transcript by splicing together the sequences (exons) on either side of it.
Invasive
-referring to cancer cells that have spread beyond normal boundaries.
Invasive carcinoma (IC)
-a cancer that sends projections into the stroma. They can be of the ductal (IDC) or lobular (ILC) types, depending on the morphology of the cancer.
Inversion
-a chromosomal rearrangement in which a segment of a chromosome is reversed end to end. If the centromere is included in the inversion, the inversion is pericentric; if not, it is paracentric. karyotype the somatic chromosomal complement of an individual or species.
Investigational new drug (IND)
-a clearance status granted by the FDA to exempt an investigational drug from the usual premarketing approval requirements and allow it to be shipped lawfully interstate for the purpose of conducting clinical investigations.
In vitro
-testing done in the test tube.
In vivo
-testing done in animals.
Ki 67
- degree of proliferation
Kinase
-any enzyme that transfers a phosphates group from a nucleoside triphosphate to another molecule.
Knockout mouse
-a laboratory mouse from which a specific gene has been genetically deleted ('knocked out'), usually by homologous recombination.
Lateral
-denoting a position more toward the side.
Latissimus flap
-latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap a flap consisting of tissue from the back rotated around to the area of the breast for reconstruction.
Lead time bias
-overestimation of survival time, due to backward shift in the starting point for measuring survival that arises when diseases such as cancer are detected early, as by screening procedures.
L.C.I.S.
- lobular carcinoma in situ
Ligand
-a molecule that will bind to a complementary site on a given structure. For example, oxygen is a ligand for hemoglobin and a substrate of an enzyme molecule is a specific ligand of that molecule.
Linkage
-genes on the same chromosome show linkage if they have a tendency to be transmitted together through meiosis. Contrast with synteny.
Lipids
-any of a group of fats and fat like substances including fatty acids, neutral fats, and steroids; they contain aliphatic hydrocarbons, are water insoluble, and serve as a source of energy for the body.
Liposomes
-a synthetic membrane vesicle made from phospholipids and used for in vitro study of membrane-defined events such as transport, or for the delivery of substances to a cell.
Lobule
-a subdivision of the lobes of the breast. Cancer that begins in a lobule is called lobular carcinoma.
Locus
-the position of a gene on a chromosome. Different forms of the gene (alleles) may occupy the locus.
Lumpectomy
-removal of the lump as well as a margin of normal tissue around it. Usually referring to removal of a cancerous tumor although some use it loosely to describe removal of benign tumors also.
Lvi
-lymphatic vascular invasion tumor seen within lymphatic vessels in the breast tissue surrounding a cancer on microscopic examination.
Lymph node dissection
-when the surgeon removes several lymph nodes during either a Mastectomy or Lumpectomy so that the Pathologist can then Dissect the node into thin slices that are then stained and examined under the microscope to look for cancerous cells.
Lymphatic system
-the tissues and organs that produce, store and transport cells that fight infection and disease.
Macrophage cells
-cells that have left the bone marrow and blood stream to settle in an area of tissue, where it fulfills several important immune functions in both the cellular and humoral arms.
Mammary
-all mammals have mammary glands that produce milk to nurse their young.
Mammary chain lymph nodes
-all mammals have a chain of mammary glands running down their chest ( in humans only one gland on each side breast develops. Following the chain of mammary glands are a chain of lymph nodes.)
Mammography
-an x-ray technique used to image the soft tissues of the breast. Breast images are generated using low-voltage x-rays to demonstrate tissue density differences. Tumors, having higher density than normal tissues, are offset from surrounding tissues in a mammogram. The detection limit for current state-of-the-art mammography devices is approximately 1-2 mm for lesions with significant calcification. Because mammography is associated with a relatively high false-positive rate and is often unable to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions, the identification of a suspicious mammographic feature is usually followed by needle localization or various biopsy techniques.
Margins
-an area next to a tumor. It is important to have clean Margins after a lumpectomy. This means an amount of cancer free tissue must be removed with the tumor.
Marker
-a gene that has a known location on the chromosome and an established phenotype and that thus can be used as a reference to study or locate another gene of interest.
Masked
-(Syn: blind(ed)) A condition imposed on an individual (or group of individuals) for the purpose of keeping that individual or group of individuals from knowing or learning of some fact or observation, such as treatment assignment. Preferred by some authors to blind(ed) due to the potential for confusion with other meanings of the word "blind".
Mastectomy
-removal of the breast
Mastectomy, radical
-removal of the nipple, breast tissue, axillary lymph nodes, as well as underlying pectoralis muscle.
Mastectomy, modified radical
-removal of the nipple, breast tissue and level I and II lymph nodes. Total (simple) mastectomy involves removal of the nipple and breast tissue.
mastectomy, subcutaneous
-removal of breast tissue except for the nipple, shown to leave additional breast tissue around the periphery.
Meiosis
-the special type of cell division occurring in the germ cells by which gametes containing the haploid chromosome number are produced from diploid cells. Two meiotic divisions occur: meiosis I and meiosis 11. Reduction in number takes place during meiosis 1. Not to be confused with mitosis.'
Menarche
-start of first menstrual period.
Menopause
-end of the menstrual cycle, usually occurring between the ages of 40-55. Ovarian function is reduced and estrogen secretion decreases or stops.
Meta-analysis
-a combination of the prefix meta, used in the sense of later or more highly organized or specialized form of with the word analysis. Refers to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of one or more previous clinical studies, usually involving pooling of data across studies. Used synonymously with systematic review, overview, literature synthesis, data pooling.
Metabolism:
- Field of studies where the synthesis and degradation of biomolecules are characterized. Tumor cells have dramatically altered metabolism synthesizing nucleic acid in high quantities and produce undifferentiated cell structure
Metastatic
-spread of cancer out of organ of origin (i.e., out of the breast) to distant areas.
Mezenchym
-(mesoderm ) cells
Microcalcifications
-tiny deposits of calcium in the breast, which can show up on a mammogram. Certain patterns of microcalcifications are sometimes a sign of breast cancer.
Microinvasions
-invasions of cancer cells that are to few in number to be detected.
Micrometastasis
-metastasis too small to measure with current technology (i.e., few cells).
Missence
-a mutation of a codon in a direction resulting in the incorporation of a different amino acid, one producing an inactive or perhaps unstable enzyme.
Mitogenic signal
-a signal to produce or stimulate cellular proliferation.
Mitosis
-the process of ordinary cell division, resulting in the formation of two cells genetically identical to the parent cell. Not to be confused with meiosis.
Mobility
-susceptibility of being moved
Monoclonal antibodies
-antibodies produced from cultured cells, called hybridomas, they consist of a single molecular entity from a single clone of antibody-producing cells. Hybridomas usually result from the fusion of mouse spleen cells responding to a particular antigen with an immortalized mouse myeloma cell line. This in contrast to polyclonal antibody preparations obtained from animal whole serum which recognize many different parts of the antigen and contain antibody molecules which do not recognize the antigen at all.
Mosaic
-an individual or tissue with at least two cell lines differing in genotype or karyotype, derived from a single zygote. Not to be confused with chimera.
mRNA
-(messenger RNA) see RNA
Murine
- referring to a mouse model used in research
Mutagen
-a physical or chemical agent which raises the frequency of mutation above the spontaneous rate.
Mutation
-any permanent heritable change in the sequence of genomic DNA. Deletion is a kind of mutation in which there is a loss of a segment of the genetic material from a chromosome. The size of the deletion can vary from a single nucleotide to sections containing a number of genes.
Necrosis
-acute cell death by nonphysiological conditions that cause the collapse of cellular integrity.
Needle localization
-process of introducing a thin wire into the breast under mammography or ultrasonic guidance to pinpoint suspected minimal breast cancers. node negative axillary lymph nodes without evidence of cancer cells. node positive axillary lymph nodes containing cancer cells.
Neoplasam
-the process of tumor formation; a tumor
Neoplasia
-the process of tumor formation; the proliferation of cells under conditions that would not elicit similar growth in normal cells.
Neurogenic
-originating in the nervous system.
Nondisjunction
-the failure of homologous chromosomes (in meiosis 1,) or sister chromatids (in meiosis 11; or mitosis) to separate properly and to move to opposite polesnndisjunction results in one daughter cell receiving both and the other daughter cell none of the chromosomes in question.3 nucleic acid a polymer of many nucleotides.
Nonsense / Anti sense
-a mutation that converts a codon into one which codes for a different amino acid that produces a chain-terminating codon or one that does not terminate the chain. The results following translation are abnormally short or long polypeptides, chains associated generally with altered functional properties.
Nucleotide
-a molecule composed of a nitrogenous base, a 5-carbon sugar, and a phosphate group.
Nucleus
-the region of the cell that contains the chromosomes. The nuclear membrane separates the nucleus from the other regions of the cell, the CYTOPLASAM.
Observational study
-(Syn: non experimental study, survey) Epidemiologic study in situations where nature is allowed to take its course; changes or differences in one characteristic are studied in relation to changes or differences in other(s), without the intervention of the investigator. This type of study can take place in a clinical trial.
Off-label drug use
-use of an FDA- approved drug by a physician to treat a disease other than that for which the drug was approved.
Oncogene
-a dominantly acting gene involved in unregulated cell growth and proliferation, responsible for tumor development. Mutation, overexpression, or amplification of oncogenes in somatic cells may lead to a neoplastic transformation. Contrast with proto-oncogene and tumor suppressor gene.
Open label trial
1. A nonmasked drug trial.

2. Any nonmasked trial.

Oral contraceptives
-birth control pills.
P
-a term used to designate the short arm of the chromosome
P53
-a tumor suppressor gene that is the most frequently mutated gene known to date in human cancers. Its loss of function leads to daughter cells with genomic instability and predisposition to tumor development. Functional loss of p53 also blocks a major apoptotic pathway. Certain p53 mutants can act, moreover, as directly transforming oncogenes.
P53 mouse
-a mouse that has been genetically engineered to be devoid of functional p53 or to express mutant alleles that inhibit wild-type p53 function.
Palpable
-able to be felt.
Parous
-having been pregnant.
Paraffin block
-a purified mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum which is more or less translucent. Used to imbed tissue so as to keep it in a permanent block. Slices of this block can be cut years later with no change in microscopy.
PCR
-(polymerase chain reaction) a technique in which a short DNA or RNA sequence can be amplified 106 times, by means of two flanking oligonucleotide primers and repeated cycles of amplification with a polymerase. Permits analysis of a short sequence from very small quantities of DNA or RNA without the necessity of cloning it first.
Pedigree
-a diagram setting forth the ancestral history or genealogical register.
Pentose Cycle:
- The metabolic site where building blocs of RNA and DNA are assembled from glucose molecules. Tumor cells depend on the pentose cycle to divide repeatedly and proliferate rapidly
Phase I trial
-the first stage in testing a new drug in man. Performed as part of an approved investigational New Drug Application under Food and Drug Administration guidelines. The studies are usually done to generate preliminary information on the chemical action and safety of the drug using normal healthy volunteers. Usually done without a comparison group.
Phase II trial
-the second stage in testing a new drug in man. Performed as part of an approved Investigational New Drug Application under Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Generally carried out on patients with the disease or condition of interest. The main purpose is to provide preliminary information on treatment efficacy and to supplement information on safety obtained from phase I trials. Usually, but not always, designed to include a control treatment and random allocation of patients to treatment.
Phase III trial
-the third and usually final stage in testing a new drug in man. Performed as part of an approved Investigational New Drug Application under Food and Drug Administration guidelines,this stage is concerned primarily with assessment of dosage effects and efficacy and safety. It is usually designed to include a control treatment and random allocation to treatment. Once this phase is completed, the drug manufacturers may request permission to market the drug by submission of a New Drug Application to the Food and Drug Administration, assuming that the results of the phase 1, II and III trials are consistent with such a requests
Phase IV trial
-generally, a randomized controlled trial that is designed to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of a drug for a given indication and that is done with Food and Drug Administration approval. Usually carried out after Censure of the drug for that indication.
Phenotype
-the observed biochemical, physiological, and morphological characteristics of an individual, as determined by his or her genotype and the environment in which it is expressed. Also, in a more limited sense, the expression of some particular gene or genes.:
Phosphate
-the molecule forming the backbone of a DNA molecule. It contains atoms of phosphorus and oxygen.
Placebo
-(Syn: sham procedure) An inert medication or procedure given as a substitute for an active medication or procedure, where the patient is not informed whether he is receiving the active or inert medication or procedure.
Ploidy
-the state of a cell with respect to the number of genomes it contains. Gametes (i.e., sperm, egg, germ cells) normally contain a single set of chromosomes (one genome) and are haploid. Somatic cells normally contain two sets of chromosomes (two genomes) and are diploid. Abnormal cells not containing an exact multiple of the haploid number of chromosomes, indicative of genetic mutations, are anueploit.
Point mutation
-a mutation caused by the substitution of one nucleotide for another.
Polyclonal antibodies
-see monoclonal antibodies
Polymorphism
-the occurrence together in a population of two of more alternative genotypes, each at a frequency greater than that which could be maintained by recurrent mutation alone. A locus is arbitrarily considered to be polymorphic if the rarer allele has a frequency of .01, so that the heterozygote frequency is (at -delete) least .
Polypeptide chain
-a polymer of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.
Polyploidy
-the condition of a cell or organism with more than two complete sets of chromosomes.
Polysomy
-the condition of a diploid cell or organism having three or more copies of a particular chromosome.
Precursor cell
-a cell that is less differentiated than its progeny.
Predictive marker
-a test that may be able to predict cancer / Prognostic marker ñ a test which may afford an indication as to prognosis or outcome.
Premenopausal
-before the menopause.
Pre-neoplastic
-before the development or existence of a tumor.
Prevalence
-the number of instances of a given disease or other condition in a given population at a designated time.
Progestins
-the name used for certain brands of synthetic progesterone.
Progression
-the ability of transformed cells to expand into a large primary tumor population, and to evolve variants capable of metastatic spread to one or more target organs at great distance from the primary cancer. Cells must be able to proliferate to be cancerous
Proliferate
-an increase in cell number by the process of cell division. Carefully regulated in normal cells but improperly controlled in cancer cells.
Promoter
-DNA sequences located in the 5' end of a gene that determine the site of initiation of transcription and the quantity and sometimes the tissue distribution of mRNA.
Protease
-an enzyme that digests proteins.
Protein
a molecule composed of one or more polypeptide chains.
Proto-oncogene
-a normal gene, involved in some aspect of cell division or proliferation, that if activated by a mutational event is capable of becoming an oncogene.
Protoplasm
-the substance within the plasma membrane of the cell.
Quadrantectomy
-removal of 1/4 of the breast tissue.
Rad
-a measurement of radiation absorbed by tissues. Acronym for 'radiation absorbed dose'.
Radiation
-a local therapy for breast cancer. Typically, radiation is one component of primary therapy for breast cancer that usually follows surgical procedures such as lumpectomy or mastectomy and may be accompanied by chemotherapy. In some instances where surgery is not possible or a patient refuses surgery, radiation is used to treat the primary tumor itself. Usually consisting of high voltage x-rays, radiation kills dividing cells by inducing DNA damage. Because cancer cells divide more frequently than normal cells, radiation kills a larger proportion of cancer cells. In primary therapy, radiation is applied to the whole breast or chest wall in successive treatments over the course of several weeks to several months to kill any residual cancer cells that may be present after surgical procedure. Radiation is also used in the palliative treatment of breast cancer. In this case, secondary effects of metastatic breast cancer such as tumors in distant organs, bone metastases, etc. are treated to minimize patient discomfort resulting from these effects.
Raloxifene
a new drug which resembles Tamoxifin in action without the negative side effects on the uterus.
Randomization
-allocation of individuals to groups, e.g. for experimental and control regimens, by chance. Within the limits of chance variation, randomization should make the control and experimental groups similar at the start of an investigation and ensure that personal judgement and prejudices of the investigator do not influence allocation. Randomization or random assignment should not be confused with haphazard assignment. Random assignment follows a predetermined plan that is usually devised with the aid of a table of random numbers. The pattern of assignment may appear to be haphazard, but this arises from the haphazard nature with which digits occur in a table of random numbers, and not from the haphazard whim of the investigator in allocating patients.
Randomized controlled trial
-(RCT) (Syn: randomized clinical trial, randomized control trial, randomized controlled clinical trial) An experiment in which subjects in a population are randomly allocated into groups, usually called "test" and "control" groups, to receive or not to receive an experimental preventive or therapeutic procedure, maneuver, or intervention. The results are assessed by rigorous comparison of rates of disease, death, recovery, or other appropriate outcome in the study and control groups, respectively. RCTs are generally regarded as the most scientifically rigorous method of hypothesis testing available in epidemiology.
Receptor
-a molecule that binds to, or responds to something else more mobile, with high specificity. Many receptors are membrane-bound, though others are free in the cytosol. Receptors are highly specific for certain ligands. Ligands include drugs, hormones, neurotransmitters, and growth factors.
Recombinant
-(non-recombinant) an individual who has (does not have) a new combination of genes not found together in either parent.
Recombinant DNA
-a DNA molecule constructed from segments from more than one parental DNA molecule'
Recombination
-the formation of new combinations of linked genes by crossing over between their loci.
Reconstruction
-repair of a defect. Following mastectomy this can be performed immediately (under same anesthetic) or can be delayed (return months or years later for reconstruction).
Recurrence
-actually a persistence of cancer following completion of initial therapy which could not be seen with our current technology, which has now grown to a size where it can be seen. Recurrences can be local (within the breast or chest wall skin) or distant.
Reduction division
-the first meiotic division, so called because at this stage the chromosome number per cell is reduced from diploid to haploid.
Regulatory gene
-a gene with the primary function of controlling the rate of synthesis of the products of one or more other genes. somatic cell any cell of a multicellular organism other than the gametes and the germ cells from which they develop.
Replication
-the duplication of a DNA molecule during which both strands are used as templates.
Replicator
-a genetic element which behaves as an autonomous unit during DNA replication.
Ribosomes
-extremely small structures in the cell made from a type of RNA. They attach to messenger RNA and read the genetic code during protein synthesis.
Ribose:
- The backbone molecule of DNA and RNA formed from glucose through the non-oxidative steps of the pentose cycle. Tumor cells extensively synthesize ribose for nucleic acid
Ring chromosome
-a structurally abnormal chromosome in which the end of each chromosome arm has been deleted and the broken arms have reunited in ring formation .
Risk
-the risk of developing a disease is usually described in terms of relative risk. Relative risk is calculated by dividing the frequency of mortality in a group exposed to a carcinogen by the frequency of mortality in an unexposed group. In the case of smokers that number is 9.9. This means that smokers are 10 times more likely to develop cancer than nonsmokers.. Absolute risk
Risk factor
-an aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, an environmental exposure, or an inborn or inherited characteristic. which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence is known to be associated with health related condition(s) considered important to prevents.
RNA
-ribonucleic acid. A nucleic acid , a universal component of all living cells, that transmits genetic messages from DNA to the cell

-a nucleic acid formed upon a DNA template, containing ribose instead of deoxyribose. Messenger RNA (mRNA) directs the sequence of amino acids of the encoded polypeptide, by acting as a template on which the polypeptides are synthesized. Transfer RNA (tRNA) brings activated amino acids into position along the mRNA template, in cooperation with the ribosomes.

Sarcoma
-cancer that arises from connective tissue such as bone, cartilage, or muscle. Also effects liver, lungs, spleen, kidneys, and bladder.
Segmentectomy
-removal of a segment of breast tissue; usually the same as lumpectomy.
Segregation
-in genetics, the separation of alleles at meiosis. Because alleles occupy the same locus on homologous chromosomes, they pass to different gametes; that is, they segregate.
Signal transduction
-the conversion of a signal from one form to another. For example, various types of sensory cells convert or transduce light, pressure, chemicals, etc. into nerve impulses and the binding of many hormones to receptors at the cell is transduced into an increase in cyclic AMP within the cell.
Signaling
-(cell signaling) release by one cell of substances which transmit information to other cells.4
Single-blind(ed)
-(Syn: single-mask(ed)) A condition where certain persons (e.g. the study physicians) are informed of some fact or condition, whereas other persons (e.g. patients) are purposefully denied information regarding that fact or conditions tissues. Available evidence suggests that women with estrogen receptor positive tumors are more likely to benefit from tamoxifen treatment.
S-phase fraction
-the percentage of cells in a sample that are in the cell- cycle phase of active DNA synthesis. Mammalian cells undergo a cell cycle that includes several phases during which important cellular constituents are synthesized prior to cell division (mitosis). DNA synthesis occurs in the specific period of the cell cycle known as the "Sphase" which is preceded and followed by "gap phases" known as G1 and G2, respectively. The S-phase fraction provides laboratory evidence on the relative growth rate of a cell population.
Spicules
-a sharp needle like structure in the nucleus of cells.
Spindle
-a structure in the nucleus of a cell composed of fibrous proteins on which chromosomes align during metaphase and move during anaphase.
Splicing
-the splicing out of introns and splicing together of exons in the generation of mature mRNA from the primary transcript.
Sporadicreast Cancer
-a classification of breast cancer that does not display a discernable hereditary component.
Stem cell
-the most undifferentiated cell of a lineage. 1. one of the mitotically active somatic cells that serve to replenish those that die during the life of the metazoan organism. 2.One of the mitotically active germinal cells that produce a continuing supply of gametes.
Stereotactic/stereotaxic
-mammographic technique for localizing an abnormality within the 3-dimensional space of breast tissue.
Stop codon
-one of the three codons (UAG, UM, and UGA) that terminate synthesis of a polypeptide. Also called a termination codon.
Stromal cell
-connective tissue cells that support and nourish the functional tissues of an organ or structure. Stromal cells can interact with stem cells to reduce the probability of apoptosis in the stem cells.
Substitution
-the replacement of one or more base pairs in a DNA molecule.
Substrate
-a specific substance acted on by an enzyme.
Synteny
-the physical presence together on the some chromosome of two or more gene loci, whether or not they are close enough together for linkage to be demonstrated .
Systematic
-the whole body.
Systematic review
-See meta-analysis.
Tamoxifen
-(SYN Nolvadex) an anti-estrogen agent used as an adjuvant therapy for node-negative breast cancer following total mastectomy, axillary dissection, and radiation therapy. Also used as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of node positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. The antiestrogenic effects of tamoxifen are thought to be related to its ability to compete with estrogen for binding sites in breast regulatory sequence a DNA sequence involved in regulating the expression of the structural gene(s) in the common operon. Examples include attenuators, operators, and promoters.
Tata box
-a consensus sequence in the promoter region of many genes that is located about 25 base pairs upstream from the start site of transcription and that determines the start site.
Tetrad
-four homologous chromatids synapsed during first meiotic prophase and metaphase.
Thiamine:
- Vitamin B1 a common food supplement in the Western diet and also the co-factor of transketolase, the major ribose synthesizing enzyme in the pentose cycle and required for DNA/RNA synthesis. May promote tumor growth in excess quantities
Tram
-flap-transverse rectus abdominous myocubneous flap, a flap of tissue from the lower abdomen brought up to the breast area for reconstruction.
Transketolase:
- The main ribose synthesizing enzyme in the pentose cycle from glucose, its activity depends on thiamine
Transcription
-the synthesis of a single stranded RNA molecule from a DNA template in the cell nucleus, catalyzed by RNA polymerase.
Transcription factor
-a protein required for recognition by RNA polymerases of specific stimulatory sequences in eukaryotic genes.
Transduction
-see signal transduction
Transfection
-using mechanical means to induce a gene into a cell or organism. Such cells or organisms are said to be transfected.
Transformation
-any alteration in the properties of a cell which is (stably- delete this word) inherited by its progeny. Transformation usually refers to malignant transformation, which is a change in animal cells in culture which usually greatly increases their ability to cause tumors when injected into animals.
Translation
-the synthesis of a polypeptide from its mRNA template.
Translational Research
-laboratory research that is done to solve a problem or answer a question relating to the cause, prevention, or treatment of disease. SPORE is a translational research project. Bringing research into the clinic.
Translocation
-the transfer of a segment of one chromosome to another chromosome. If two nonhomologous chromosomes exchange pieces, the translocation is reciprocal.' tRNA (transfer RNA) see RNA.
Triple-blind(ed)
-(Syn: triple mask(ed) Double-masked plus masking for the individual or group of individuals responsible for treatment monitoring.
Tumor
-any abnormal swelling, most often applied to a mass of neoplastic cells.
Tumor dormancy
-when cancer becomes dormant or stops growing for a period of time.
Tumor necrosis factor
-(TNF) a major cytokine produced by certain white blood cells (macrophages). It kills certain neoplastic cells.
Tumor suppressor
-gene a normal gene involved in the regulation of cell growth. Recessive mutations can lead to tumor development, as in the retinoblastoma gene or the p53 gene. Contrast with oncogene. <
Tylectomy
-another name for lumpectomy; the surgical removal of a localized tumor.A wild type term used to indicate the normal allele (often symbolized as +) or the normal phenotype.
Western Blot
-a technique for identifying a specific protein and its molecular weight by gel electrophoresis and specific antibody.
Wild type
-the usual or typical form of an organism in nature as compared to a mutated form.
Wire localization
-another name for needle localization.
Xenograph
- tissue from one species to another species. Ex.- Human Breast Cancer cell line ( cells from Human cancer tissue are grown in lab ) planted into a mouse. This is done to test treatment options.
Zygote diploid
-cell resulting from the fusion of male and female gametes at fertilization
Adapted from:
Brett, CJ;   Curtis, AS;   Dow, JAT;   Edwards, JG;   Lackie, JM;   Lawrence, AJ;   Moores, GR. The Dictionary of Cell Biology. Academic Press.,   1989.
Hartl, DL. Basic Genetics 2nd ed. Jones and Bartlett. 1991.
King, RC, Stansfield WD. A Dictionary of Genetics 3rd ed. Oxford.1985.
Last, John M., A Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2nd Edition, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Meinert, Curtis L., Clinical Trials Design, Conduct, and Analysis New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Project Lead training materials
Rieger, R. Michaelis, A, Green, MM. Glossary of Genetics, Classical and Molecular. 5th ed. Springer-Verlag, 1991.
Thompson, MW, Mcinnis, RR, and Willard, HF. Genetics in Medicine, 5th ed., 1991.
Saunders, Ward and Darrell, E., Reporting on Cancer, A Guide for Journalists, 1994.

Compiled by Peggy Devine - SPORE Advocate Additional Terms suggested by:
Laszlo Boros,MD; Dan Moore,PhD


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