· 3D-CRT Three Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy. Radiation beams are shaped to match the tumor. Shaping is accomplished by special equipment and special computer
programs. Also called CRT.
· AA Anaplastic Astrocytoma.
· AACR American Association for Cancer Research, a professional society.
· AAN American Academy of Neurology, a professional society.
· AANN American Association of Neuroscience Nurses,
a professional society.
· AANS American Association of Neurological Surgeons,
a professional society.
· abducens nerve [ab doo´ sens] 6th cranial nerve.
· abscess [ab´ sess] An accumulation of pus, often with swelling, due to an infection.
· absence seizure A type of generalized seizure (also called petit mal) that causes an impairment of consciousness.
· ABTA – American Brain Tumor Association
· ABTC- Adult Brain Tumor Consortium, a clinical cooperative group, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, that introduces new therapies through clinical trials. . It was formed as a consolidation of the NABTT (New Approaches to Brain Tumor Therapy), and NABTC (North American Brain Tumor Consortium).
· accessible [ak ses´ sah bul] Refers to tumors that can be reached by a surgeon without severe consequences; tumors that are not deep in the brain or beneath vital structures.
· accessory nerve 11th cranial nerve.
· acetaminophen [as et ah mih´ no fen] The generic name for a drug that temporarily relieves mild to moderate pain and reduces fever. Unlike aspirin, it does not cause bleeding problems. Examples: Tylenol, Excedrin (a combination drug which contains aspirin and caffeine in addition to acetaminophen).
· ACOSOG American College of Surgeons Oncology Group. A clinical cooperative group funded by the National Cancer Institute to test new cancer treatments in adult patients
· acoustic nerve [a kous´ tik] 8th cranial nerve, linked to hearing and balance.
· acoustic neuroma [a kous´ tik • new row´ ma] A benign tumor of the nerve of hearing (the 8th cranial nerve) located in the angle between the cerebellum and the pons. May be associated with neurofibromatosis 2. Also called vestibular schwannoma [ves tib´ you lar • shwah no´ ma], acoustic neurilemmoma [nur´ ih le mow´ ma].
· AcPhys Acupuncture Physician.
· ACR American College of Radiology, a professional society.
· ACRIN American College of Radiology Imaging Network, a clinical cooperative group funded by the National Cancer Institute, charged with developing and conducting multi-institutional trials of imaging techniques. Its objectives are to evaluate outcomes and cost, quality of life implications, develop new evaluation methods and increase availability of the most valuable technology.
· acromegaly [ak row meg´ ah lee] A disorder due to an excessive amount of growth hormone in adults who have achieved their full height. Growth hormone, also called somatotropin, is secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. Symptoms of acromegaly include an enlarged lower jaw, hands and feet. A hormone secreting pituitary adenoma (a benign brain tumor), can cause this condition. In children, excessive growth hormone causes gigantism.
· acronym [ack´ roe nim] An invented word or an abbreviation, made up of the first letters of other words. Examples: Laser; DNA.
· ACRP Association of Clinical Research Professionals, a professional society.
· ACSW Academy of Certified Social Workers.
· ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone. Produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, it regulates the activity of the adrenal gland.
· acuity [ah ku´ ih tee] Refers to clarity or distinctness of hearing or sight.
· acupressure [ak´ you presh yur] Pressure or massage to specific sites on the body to control pain or nausea.
· acupuncture [ak´ you punk shur] The insertion of thin needles through the skin at specific points on the body to control pain and other symptoms.
· acustimulation [ak´ you stim you lay´ shun] Mild electrical stimulation of acupuncture points to control nausea and vomiting.
· acute [ah kute´] Having severe symptoms and a short course; not chronic.
· adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma [ad ah man tih no´ ma tus • kray´ nee o fah rin jee o´ ma] One of the two types of craniopharyngioma, a benign tumor arising from small nests of cells located near the pituitary stalk. This type of tumor occurs most commonly in children and tends to be cystic.
· adenoma [ad in ome´ ah] A usually benign tumor arising from a gland, such as a pituitary adenoma.
· adjuvant therapy, treatment [ad´ ju vant] “In addition to.” Therapy given at the same time or immediately following another treatment. The treatments work together to make each more effective.
· ADL Activities of Daily Life. For example, preparing a meal, doing laundry, brushing your teeth. A term used in a rehabilitation setting or in assessing quality of life.
· adoptive immunotherapy [uh-DOP-tiv IH-myoo-noh-THAYR-uh-pee) A treatment used to help the immune system fight cancer. A cancer patient’s T cells (a type of white blood cell) are collected and grown in the laboratory to increase their number, and are then returned to the patient. This therapy circumvents some of the limitations of active immunotherapy.
· AFP Alpha-FetoProtein. A germ cell tumor marker found in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood.
· age range In clinical trials, refers to the ages of patients who are eligible for a particular treatment.
· agnosia [ag no´ zee ah] Loss of ability to recognize objects, people, sounds, shapes, or smells. Usually classified according to the sense or senses affected (hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch). Symptom common to tumors of the parietal lobe of the cerebral hemispheres.
· agraphia [ah graf´ e ah] Loss of ability to write. Symptom common to tumors of the parietal lobe of the dominant cerebral hemisphere.
· AHRQ Agency for Heathcare Research and Quality. The mission of this US government agency, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, is “to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.”
· alkylating agents [al´ kih lay ting] A family of anticancer drugs that interfere with a cell’s DNA , thus inhibiting its ability to grow.
· alleles [ah leelz´] The genes that occupy the same relative location on both chromosomes of a pair.
· allogenic transplant [al o jen´ ik] Material such as blood, bone marrow or stem cells that comes from a donor with genetically different but compatible genes.
· alopecia [al o pee´ she ah] Loss of hair; baldness in areas where hair is usually present. Hair loss often occurs over the area of the head receiving radiation therapy or as a side effect of some forms of chemotherapy.
· alpha-fetoprotein [al´ fah fee toe pro´ teen] A germ cell tumor marker found in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood. Commonly abbreviated AFP.
· alternative medicine Used instead of conventional medicine to treat illness by helping the body heal itself or to treat the “source” of the disease.
· amplification [AM pli fi KAY ´ shun] Making multiple copies of a gene or any sequence of DNA, either in the human body or in the laboratory. The term is most often used to describe malignancy (cancer). A tumor cell repeatedly copies (amplifies) DNA segments as a result of unusual cell signals or environmental stress.
· amygdala [a mig´ da lah] Part of the limbic system, it is located in the temporal lobe of the cerebral hemisphere, Literally meaning “almond”, it is an almond-shaped structure that is associated with emotions, learning, and memory.
· analgesic [an al gee´ zik] A medicine used to reduce pain.
· analog or analogue [an´ ah log] In biochemistry, a substance related in chemical structure to another substance, but not identical to it.
· anaplasia [an ah play´ zee ah] Cells that have returned to a more primitive or undifferentiated form. Malignant cells.
· anaplastic [an ah plas´ tik] Malignant.
· anaplastic astrocytoma [an ah plas´ tik • as tro sigh toe´ ma] In the WHO classification system, this is a grade III, malignant astrocytoma. Astrocytomas are tumors that arise from the supportive tissue of the brain. Abbreviated AA.
· anaplastic choroid plexus papilloma [an ah plas´ tik • ko´ royd • pleks´ sus • pap ih low´ ma] Occurring primarily in children, this is the malignant form of the choroid plexus papilloma. It comprises about ten percent of all choroid plexus tumors and typically occurs in one of the lateral ventricles. Also called choroid plexus carcinoma.
· anaplastic ependymoma [an ah plas´ tik • ep en dih moe´ ma] In the WHO classification system, this is a grade III, malignant ependymoma, most commonly found in the cerebral hemispheres. Ependymomas arise from the ependymal cells that line the ventricles and central canal of the spinal cord. These tumors occur in both children and adults.
· anaplastic oligoastrocytoma [an ah plas´ tik • o´ lig o as tro sigh toe´ ma] This tumor contains both astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Its behavior is similar to tumors composed
of astrocytes or oligodendrocytes, whichever is most prevalent in the particular tumor. They are commonly grade III, malignant tumors. Also called mixed glioma.
· anesthesiologist A physician trained in administering anesthetics and caring for people who are anesthetized. Anesthetics are drugs or agents used during surgery to prevent the sense of pain. Local anesthesia numbs a small area; general anesthesia produces unconsciousness.
· anesthetics [an es thet´ iks] Substances that cause loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthetics cause loss of sensation in one part of the body; general anesthetics cause unconsciousness.
· angiogenic [an gee oh jeh nik] Relating to the formation of blood vessels
· angiogenesis [an gee o jen´ ih sis] The growth of new blood vessels. Tumors need angiogenesis for continued growth.
· angiogenesis inhibition [AN-jee-oh-JEN-eh-sis] Purposeful blocking or interference with the formation of new blood vessels, for example to a tumor.
· angiogenesis inhibitor [an gee o jen´ ih sis] A biologic response modifier under that represents a a new treatment for brain tumors. Also called anti-angiogenesis therapy. [angio = blood vessel; genesis = birth]. Angiogenesis inhibitors block the formation of new blood vessels. An example is bevacizumab (Avastin), a monoclonal antibody to VEGF, approved by the FDA for treatment of recurrent glioblastoma in 2009.
· angiogram [an´ gee o gram] A diagnostic procedure done
in the x-ray department to help visualize blood vessels. The person receives an injection of dye to outline the vessels on the x-ray or scan. Also called arteriogram.
· anomaly [ah nom´ ah lee] Out of the ordinary, abnormal.
· anorexia [an o rek´ see ah] Loss of appetite.
· anosmia [an oz´ me ah] Absence of the sense of smell. Symptom common to tumors of the frontal lobe of the cerebral hemispheres.
· anterior [an tier´ ee or] Front, or forward position.
· anti-angiogenesis To block the growth of new blood vessels around a growing tumor. Also called angiogenesis inhibition.
· antibiotic [an tie by ah´ tik] A drug used to treat infection.
· antibody [an´ tie bod ee] Part of the immune system. An antibody is a protein produced and secreted by a special white blood cell in response to a foreign substance (antigen). Each antibody can recognize and bind only to one specific antigen. The antibody helps destroy the antigen by either disabling it directly or making it more vulnerable to destruction by other parts of the immune system.
· anticancer antibiotics A group of anticancer drugs that block cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called antitumor antibiotics or antineoplastic antibiotics.
· anticonvulsant [an tie kon vul’ sant] A drug that prevents, reduces or stops convulsions or seizures. Example: Tegretol (a proprietary name for carbamazepine), Phenobarbitol. Also called antiepileptic.
· antiemetic [an´ tie eh met ik] A drug that helps control nausea and vomiting.
· antiepileptic [an´ tie ep i lep´ tik] A drug that prevents, reduces or stops convulsions or seizures. Example: Tegretol (a proprietary name for carbamazepine), Phenobarbitol. Also called anticonvulsant.
· antifungal [an´ tie fun´ gull] A drug used to treat infections caused by a fungus.
· antigen [an´ tih jen] A substance, recognized as foreign to the body, that stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.
· antimetabolites [an´ tie meh tab´ o litez] A group of anti-cancer drugs that resemble nutrients needed by the cell for growth. Once inside the cell, they interfere with its ability to reproduce.
· antineoplastic antibiotics A group of anticancer drugs that block cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called antitumor or anticancer antibiotics.
· antipyretic [an´ tie pie ret´ ik] A drug used to reduce fever.
· antisense therapies [an´ tie sens] A form of gene therapy that seeks to block specific protein messages formed by malignant cells. It is thought that if abnormal messages can be blocked, so can the growth of the tumor.
· antitumor antibiotics A group of anticancer drugs that block cell growth by interfering with DNA, the genetic material in cells. Also called anticancer or antineoplastic antibiotics.
· AOCN Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse.
· aphasia [ah faz´ e ah] Loss of ability to speak or write; loss of ability to understand speech or written words.
· APN-CS Advanced Practice Nurse-Clinical Specialist.
· APN-NP Advanced Practice Nurse-Nurse Practitioner.
· APON Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses, a professional society.
· arachnoid [ah rack´ noyd] The middle of three layers of meninges, the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It forms the outer border of the subarachnoid space.
· aphagia [uh FAY jia] Loss of the ability to swallow or the refusal to swallow.
· apoptosis [app´ opp toe´ sis] Normal cell death. Healthy cells live and die in a predictable pattern, and that keeps the number of cells in our bodies balanced. One new area of cancer therapy is directed at increasing the apoptosis of malignant cells to speed their destruction.
· apoptosis [AY pop to´sis] or [AH-po-to´sis] Normal, timely cell death. Healthy cells live and die in a predictable pattern. This pattern keeps the number of cells in our body balanced. Abnormal cells lose the ability to sense these natural cues, and go on needlessly reproducing. The unneeded cells eventually form a tumor.
· arachnoid cyst [ah rack´ noyd] An enlarged, fluid-filled area of the subarachnoid space — the space between the arachnoid and pia mater layers of the meninges. Can occur in both adults and children. Also called leptomeningeal cyst [lep´ toe meh nin jee´ al]. arm In a clinical trial, refers to a particular treatment pathway. Also called study arm or treatment arm.
· arteriogram [are tier´ e oh gram] A diagnostic procedure done in the x-ray department to help visualize blood vessels. The person receives an injection of dye to outline the vessels
on the x-ray or scan. Also called angiogram, MRI angiography.
· articulation [ar tik u lay´ shun] Speech.
· artifact [ar´ tih fakt] In radiology, the appearance on an x-ray of something not naturally present, such as a surgical metal clip. In the laboratory, the appearance on a slide or in a tissue sample of an object or feature that was inadvertently introduced or caused in the laboratory.
· ascending tract The pathway of sensory nerves from the spinal cord to the brain stem or thalamus.
· ASCO American Society of Clinical Oncology, a professional society.
· ASPHO American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, a professional society.
· aspirin One of the family of drugs called nonsteroidal, nti-inflammatory agents. It is used to reduce pain, fever
· ASTRO American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, a professional society.
· astrocytoma [as tro sigh toe´ ma] Any tumor that arises from astrocyte cells — part of the supportive (neuroglial) tissue of the brain. There are four types of astrocytoma: pilocytic astrocytoma (grade I), astrocytoma (grade II), anaplastic astrocytoma
(grade III), and glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV).
· astrocytoma I A tumor that occurs mainly in children; the most benign of the astrocytomas. Also called pilocytic astrocytoma [pie low sit´ ik • as tro sigh toe´ ma].
· astrocytoma II A low grade tumor.
· astrocytoma III A malignant astrocytoma. Also called anaplastic astrocytoma (abbreviated AA).
· astrocytoma IV An aggressive, malignant tumor that commonly invades adjacent tissue and spreads throughout the central nervous system. Its hallmark is areas of dead tumor cells (necrosis) observed under the microscope during the pathological examination. Also called glioblastoma multiforme (abbreviated GBM).
· asymptomatic Having no symptoms.
· ataxic gait [ah tak´ sik • gate] A clumsy, uncoordinated walk. Also called ataxia.
· atonic [a tonn´ ik] No muscle tone, limp.
· atonic seizure [a tonn´ ik] A type of generalized seizure (also called epileptic drop attack) that causes sudden limpness.
· ATR Registered Art Therapist.
· ATT/RhT Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor [tear´ ah toyd • rab´ doyd] A rare, high grade tumor occurring most commonly in the cerebellum of children younger than two years of age.
· attenuated [ah ten´ you a ted] Weakened; referring to virus, it means the virus is no longer infectious.
· atypia [a tip´ ee ah] During examination of a tumor under the microscope, atypia refers to how different the tumor cells are from normal cells.
· atypical absence seizure [a tip´ i cal] A type of generalized seizure that causes a change in muscle tone.
· atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor [tear´ ah toyd • rab´ doyd] A rare, high grade tumor occurring most commonly in the cerebellum of children younger than two years of age. Also called ATT/RhT.
· audiometry [aw dee om´ eh tree] A hearing test.
· aura [or´ ah] Advance notice of an imminent seizure; most commonly a peculiar sensation, strange noise, light or smell.
· autologous transplant [aw tol´ o gus] Material such as blood, bone marrow or stem cells that comes from oneself as opposed to being donated by another.
· autophagy [awe toff´ ah gee] Literally, eating one’s own flesh. A future cancer treatment might incorporate the tendency of some cells to digest some of their own cytoplasm.
· avastin [uh VAS tin] See bevacizumab.
· axial [ak´ see al] Position as it relates to the central nervous system (CNS). Intra-axial is within the CNS; extra-axial is outside the CNS.