Printer Friendly

·         B cell   Part of the immune system. A type of lymphocyte (small white blood cell) that circulates in the blood. When it finds an antigen (a stranger presumed to be harmful), it manufactures and releases antibodies against the antigen. Also called B lymphocytes.


·         BA   Bachelor of Arts degree.


·         basal ganglia   [bay´ zil • gang´ lee ah]   Masses of nerve cells deep within the brain at the base of the cerebral hemispheres. They are involved in muscle movement and control.


·         basic research   Laboratory studies that explore the ways in which cells live, grow, and die so that we can understand how a malignant cell is altered and then use that information to control cancer.

·         basophil   [bays´ o fil]   The type of white blood cell that is involved with fighting bacterial infections.

·         BBB   Blood brain barrier.

·         benign   [be nine´]   Not malignant, not cancerous.

·         BFA   Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

·        bevacizumab [bev″uh-siz´u-mab]   A monoclonal antibody that interferes with the blood supply of tumors by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). Bevacizumab targets a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and is indicated for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, , glioblastoma, and metastatic renal cell carcinoma.


·         bias   Anything besides the treatments being tested that affects a study’s results. Clinical trials use many methods to avoid bias because biased research often produces misleading results.

·         bilateral   [buy lat´ ur al]   Occurring on both sides of the body.

·         biologic response modifier   (BRM) A substance — either
natural or manufactured in the laboratory — that increases, directs or restores normal immune defenses. Used as an adjuvant therapy for brain tumors, it seeks to stop the growth
of the tumor.

·         biologic therapy   Deliberate manipulation of the immune system to change the biological environment in the body. The intent is to make it difficult for tumors to grow or to cause a change in their behavior. This therapy uses substances called biologic response modifiers (BRMs). Many BRMs occur naturally in the body.

·         biomarker [BY-oh-MAR-ker]  A biological molecule found in body fluids or tissues that can serve as a sign of a normal, or abnormal process, or a sign of a condition or disease. Most brain tumor biomarkers are used to monitor how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition. Researchers are also working to develop biomarkers for diagnostic purposes.  Also called molecular marker and signature molecule.


·         biopsy   [bi´ op see]   A surgical procedure to remove a small piece of tumor for examination under a microscope in order to make a diagnosis. The sample is examined by a
pathologist who determines the type of the tumor. A biopsy can be performed as part of the surgery to remove the tumor, or as a separate procedure.

·         blastoma   [blas toe´ ma]   A tumor whose cells have embryonic characteristics, such as a medulloblastoma or a glioblastoma multiforme.

·         blood brain barrier   A protective barrier or filtering mechanism, formed by the blood vessels and glia of the brain, which prevents some substances in the blood from entering brain tissue. Abbreviated BBB.

·         blood brain barrier disruption   A technique used to temporarily disrupt the barrier in order to allow drugs to flow from blood vessels into the brain.

·         BMT  Bone marrow transplant.

·         BNCT   Boron neutron capture therapy.

·         board certification   A physician’s advanced credential indicating a high degree of competence and training in their area of specialty.

·         bolus   [bow´ lus]   A single dose of drug, usually injected into a blood vessel over a short period of time.

·         bone marrow   [mare´ o]   The soft, sponge-like tissue in the hollow center of large bones where all blood cells are manufactured.

·         bone marrow aspiration   [as pih ray´ shun]   Removal of a small sample of bone marrow (usually from the hip) through a needle for examination under a microscope.

·         bone marrow or stem cell transplantation   A procedure to replace bone marrow destroyed by treatments such as high doses of anticancer drugs or radiation. Transplantation can be autologous (the person’s own marrow or stem cells saved before treatment), allogenic (marrow or stem cells donated by someone else) or syngenic (marrow or stem cells donated by an identical twin).

·         boron neutron capture therapy   Radiation therapy that combines a special form of non-ionizing radiation with a drug that concentrates in tumor cells. The person is given an intravenous infusion containing the element boron before the procedure, which concentrates in tumor cells. The person then receives radiation therapy with atomic particles called neutrons (epithermal or slow neutrons) produced by a research nuclear reactor. The radiation is absorbed by the boron, killing the tumor cells and avoiding normal cells. Abbreviated BNCT.

·         brachytherapy   [bray key ther´ ah pee]   Sources of radiation energy are implanted directly into or next to a tumor. Brachytherapy is a local therapy. Also called interstitial radiation therapy, intracavitary radiation, radiation implants, radiation seeding or radioactive pellets.

·         brain mapping   Intraoperative monitoring using direct cortical stimulation, evoked potentials, functional MRI or intra-operative ultrasound imaging.

·         brain metastases   Cancer that has spread to the brain from another site in the body.

·         brain stem   The lower, most basic portion of the brain, connecting the cerebrum to the spinal cord. Consists of the midbrain, pons, medulla oblongata, tectum, cervicomedullary junction and the reticular formation.

·         brain stem glioma   [glee o´ ma]   A general name for tumors arising in or on any part of the brain stem: midbrain, pons, medulla oblongata, tectum, reticular formation, cervicomedullary junction or the dorsum (back). Between 10 and 20% of brain tumors in children are brain stem gliomas. The tumor most commonly is a type of astrocytoma, less commonly, an ependymoma. There are four groups of brain stem gliomas: diffuse, focal, exophytic and cervicomedullary. Brain stem gliomas can be intrinsic (within the brain stem) or extrinsic (outside the brain stem).

·        brain tumor stem cells (BTSC)  Brain tumors possess a population of stemlike cancer cells that have the ability to reproduce, self-renew, and develop into any of several mature cell types. Some researchers believe these cells may be the cells that give rise to brain tumors, and may contribute to resistance to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.


·         BRM   Biological Response Modifier.


·         Broca’s area   [Bro´ kas]   An area of the frontal lobe involved with speech.


·         BS   Bachelor of Science degree.


·         BSC   Best Supportive Care.


·         BSN   Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.


·         BSW   Bachelor of Social Work degree.


·         BTEC   Brain Tumor Epidemiology Consortium.


·         BTFC   Brain Tumor Funders Collaborative.


·         BTGAP   Brain Tumor Genome Anatomy Project. ACI-NINDS intramural collaborative working group mapping the genes for brain tumors.


·         butterfly glioma   A higher grade astrocytoma that has spread through both sides of the brain causing a “butterfly” appearance on scans.


·         BX   Biopsy