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·         ibuprofen   [eye boo pro´ fin]   The generic name for a drug used to control inflammation, relieve mild to moderate pain and reduce fever. Examples: Advil, Motrin, Pamprin, Amersol.

·         ICD   International Classification of Diseases.

·         ICDO   International Classification of Diseases for Oncology.

·         ICP   Intracranial pressure.

·         ictal   [ick´ tal]   Refers to a seizure or a stroke.

·         ICU   Intensive Care Unit.

·         IDE   Investigational device exemption. An FDA designation required before a new medical device can undergo testing in a clinical trial.


·         IDH-1   Abbreviation for isocitrate dehydrogenase – 1, a gene which, when mutated, has novel enzyme activity consistent with a cancer-causing gene, or oncogene. It may contribute to the formation and malignant progression of gliomas, the most common type of brain cancers.


·         IF   Interferon.


·         IICP   Increased intracranial pressure.

·         IL-2   Interleukin-2. One of the several interleukins, IL-2 is a cytokine produced by T cells. It stimulates the growth and activity of many immune cells that can destroy tumor cells. IL-2 occurs naturally in the body.

·         imagery   A technique in which people focus in their minds on positive images.

·         imaging – [IH-muh-jing]   Methods, such as scans or x-rays, that produce pictures of areas inside the body. “Imaging” was previously referred to as “scanning.”


·         imaging procedures   Methods, such a scans or x-rays, that produce pictures of areas inside the body.

·         imatinib mesylate   An anti-cancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called protein kinase inhibitors. Its brand name is Gleevec.

·         immume enhancer gene   Injected into the tumor, it produces an immune response against the tumor.

·         immune response   The activity of the immune system against foreign substances (antigens). A cancer cell can also be recognized as a foreign substance.

·         immune system   The immune system is the body’s natural defense mechanism. It is composed of several different types of white blood cells and the products of those cells. The immune system’s purpose is to attack and destroy harmful substances or objects it identifies in the body.

·         immunoassay   A test using antibodies to identify and quantify substances. To accomplish this, the antibody is often linked to a marker such as a fluorescent molecule, a radioactive molecule or an enzyme.

·         immunocompetent   Capable of developing an immune response, having an effective immune system.

·         immunocompromised   Having a weakened or ineffective immune system. May be due to disease or treatments. Also called immunodeficient.

·         immunoglobulins   Protein substances that function as antibodies.

·         immunosuppression   Reduction of the body’s immune response.

·         immunotherapy   Treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight tumors. Also called biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.

·         immunotoxin therapy   An immunotoxin is created by linking a poison (toxin) or a radioactive substance to a monoclonal antibody.

·         implant   In radiation therapy, refers to placing radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires or catheters directly into or near a tumor. Also called interstitial radiation or brachytherapy.

·         implantable pump   A small device installed under the skin to administer a steady, continuous dose of drugs.

·         IMRT   Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy. Specialized equipment that shapes radiation beams to the size and shape of a tumor. The tumor is treated with many very small beams, each of which can have a different intensity. By cross firing, a relatively uniform dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor while sparing surrounding tissue from high doses. IMRT can be used to treat large malignant tumors and multiple tumors.

·         in situ cancer   Cancer that is confined to a small area and has not spread.


·         intra-operative [OP-er-ah-tiv]  Occurring during a surgical operation


·         in vitro  Literally means “in glass,” referring to the tubes and glass dishes used in the laboratory. The opposite of in vivo. In research, reactions occurring in vitro might not occur in vivo and vice-versa.


·         in vivo   Literally means “in the living being,” referring to something being tested in humans as opposed to the laboratory. The opposite of in vitro, inaccessible   [in ak ses´ sah bul]   Refers to a tumor that cannot be reached during surgery without causing unacceptable neurological damage.


·         incidence   The number of people newly diagnosed with a specific disease or disorder during a single year.

·         incision   [in sih´ zhun]   A cut made in the body during surgery.

·         incontinent   [in kon´ ti nent]   Inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder and/or stool from the bowel.

·         IND   Investigational new drug. A drug approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for investigational use only (clinical trials).

·         indolent   [in´ doe lint]   Slow growing.

·         infiltrating   Refers to a tumor that penetrates normal, surrounding tissue.

·         inflammation   Redness, warmth, swelling, pain and sometimes loss of function resulting from the body’s protective response to infection or a foreign object. Due to increased blood flow and an accumulation of immune cells and secretions in the area. Also called inflammatory reaction.

·         informed consent   The process in which a patient learns about and understands the purpose of a treatment, and then agrees to accept it (or not). In a clinical trial, this process includes a document defining how much a patient must know about the potential benefits and risks of therapy before being able to undergo it knowledgeably. Informed consent is required by federally regulated studies.

·         infratentorial   [in fra ten tor´ ee al]   Below the tentorium. Also called the infratentorium or the posterior fossa.

·         infusion   [in few´ zhun]   The introduction of fluids, including drugs, into a vein, over a period of time.

·         integrative medicine   Combines conventional medical care with complementary and/or alternative therapies. Includes chiropractic care, acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage
therapy, behavioral therapies and mind-body self care.

·         intensity modulated radiotherapy   See IMRT.

·         interferons   [in ter fear´ onz]   These biological response modifiers are thought to slow tumor growth by interfering with cell division and by stimulating the production of B cells. The interferons might also be angiogenesis inhibitors. The three families of interferon, the alpha, beta and gamma, are produced naturally in the body. Commonly abbreviated IF.

·         interleukins   [in ter lou´ kinz]   Interleukins are biological response modifiers. There are many naturally occurring interleukins, including IL-1 through IL-18, but IL-2 has been the most widely studied in cancer treatment. IL-2 stimulates  the growth and activities of many immune cells that can destroy cancer cells. Commonly abbreviated IL.

·         intern   A medical doctor who has completed medical school and is in the first year of additional training.

·         internal radiation   Also called interstitial radiation therapy or brachytherapy.

·         interstitial radiation therapy   [in ter stish´ al]   Sources of radiation energy are implanted directly into or next to a tumor. Interstitial radiation is a local therapy. Also called brachytherapy, intracavitary radiation, radiation implants, radiation seeding or radioactive pellets.

·         interventricular foramen   [in ter ven trik´ you lur • foe ray´ men]   The opening through which cerebrospinal fluid flows from the lateral ventricles to the third ventricle. Also called the foramen of Monro.

·         intra-arterial   [in trah ar teer’ ee al]   Injection into an artery (that supplies a tumor). Commonly abbreviated IA.

·         intracavitary   [in trah cav´ ih tair ee]   The administration during surgery of radiation or chemotherapy directly into a tumor or the space created when the tumor was removed.

·         intracerebral   [in trah seh ree´ bral]   Located within the cerebral hemispheres (cerebrum).

·         intracranial   [in trah kra´ nee al]   Within the skull.

·         intradural   [in trah du´ ral]   Within the dura mater.

·         intramural research, NCI   Research performed by employees of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. As opposed to extramural research, which is performed by scientists employed by facilities other than NCI, such as universities, private clinics and laboratories.

·         intramuscular injection   [in trah mus´ ku lar]   Injection into a muscle. Abbreviated IM.

·         intra-operative [OP-er-ah-tiv]  Occurring during a surgical operation

·         intraoperative radiation therapy   Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery. Abbreviated IORT.

·         intraoperative ultrasound imaging   Ultrasonic waves used during surgery to determine the depth of the tumor and its diameter. Pulsed waves are sent into the brain which then reflect back to the device. The time it takes for the “echoes” to return is measured by a computer and displayed as a TV image.

·         intrathecal injection   [in trah thee´ kal]   Injection into the subarachnoid space of the meninges. Usually done by lumbar puncture.

·         intratumoral injection   [in trah too more´ al]   Injection into a tumor, usually performed during surgery.

·         intravenous injection, IV   [in trah vee´ nus]   Injection into a vein.

·         intraventricular injection   [in trah ven trik´ u lar]   Injection into a ventricle.

·         intrinsic brain stem glioma   [glee o´ ma]   A brain stem glioma growing totally within the brain stem. These are diffuse tumors, often a fibrillary or anaplastic astrocytoma or a glioblastoma multiforme.

·         invasive   [in vay´ siv]   Refers to a tumor that infiltrates or diffuses into healthy tissues.

·         investigator   A researcher in a clinical treatment study.

·         investigational new drug   A drug approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for investigational use only. Commonly abbreviated IND.

·         ionizing radiation   [eye´ on ize ing • ray dee a´ shun]   The radiation used in medicine that creates ions by knocking electrons out of atoms. Ions penetrate and interfere with living tissue, causing tumor cells to die as they attempt to reproduce.

·         ipsilateral   [ip sah lat´ur al]   Affecting the same side.

·         IRB   Institutional Review Board. A healthcare facility committee of scientists, doctors, clergy and consumers  charged with protecting patients who take part in clinical trials. They must approve all protocols at their facility. IRBs check to see that studies are well-designed, do not involve undue risks, and include safeguards for patients.

·         irradiation   [ih ray dee a´ shun]   Treatment by ionizing radiation, such as x-rays, or radioactive sources such as radioactive iodine seeds. Also called radiation therapy.

·         isotope   An unstable element that releases radiation as it breaks down. It can be used in imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer. Also called a radioisotope.