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·         NAACCR   North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. An organization of the thirty-four population-based cancer registries in North America.

·         NABTC   North American Brain Tumor Coalition, a network of charitable organizations advocating for the public health interests of brain tumor patients.

·         nanometer [NA-noh-MEE-ter] A unit of measurement in the metric system. One nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

 

·         nanoparticle [NA-noh-PAR-tih-kul]  A particle that is smaller than 100 nanometers (one-billionth of a meter). In medicine, nanoparticles can be used to carry antibodies, drugs, imaging agents, or other substances to certain parts of the body. Nanoparticles are being studied in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

 

·         nanotechnology   Research and technological development of devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small size—in the length of about one to one-hundred nanometers.. Medical researchers are using nanotechnology to develop new drug delivery methods and pharmaceuticals.

 

·         natural killer cell   A type of white blood cell that destroys cancer cells by recognizing them as foreign invaders and then produces chemical substances that bind to and kill them. They are known as “natural” killers because they attack without first having to recognize specific antigens. Abbreviated NK cell.

 

·         NCCN   National Comprehensive Cancer Network. An alliance of several US NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers. They develop oncology practice guidelines as one of their programs.

·         NCCTG   North Central Cancer Treatment Group, an NCI funded clinical cooperative group organized to evaluate new treatments for adult cancer patients.

·         NCI   National Cancer Institute, one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services charged with discovering new treatments for patients with cancer.

·         NCNSC   National CNS Tumor Consortium, an NCI funded clinical cooperative group organized to evaluate new treatments for adult brain tumor patients.

·         NCOG   Northern California Oncology Group, an NCI funded clinical cooperative group organized to evaluate new treatments for adult cancer patients.

·         NCQA   National Committee for Quality Assurance.

·         NDA   New Drug Application. The application a pharmaceutical company files with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain approval for marketing a drug.

·         necrosis   [neh kro´ sis]   Dead cells.

·         NED   No evidence of disease.

·         needle biopsy   A biopsy performed by making an incision in the skin and then drilling a small hole into the skull. A narrow, hollow needle is inserted through the hole and into the tumor then a small amount of tumor is drawn up into the needle.

·         neoadjuvant therapy   [nee o ad´ ju vant]   Treatment given before the primary treatment to reduce the size of the tumor or to improve the effectiveness of the primary treatment.

·         neoplasia   [nee´ o play zha]   Abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth.

·         neoplasm   [nee´ o plazm]   A tumor, either benign or malignant.

·         nerve, cranial   See cranial nerves.

·         nervous system   The entire integrated system of nerve tissue in the body: the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, nerves and ganglia.

·         neuroblastoma, cerebral   [nur o blas toe´ ma]   The intracranial neuroblastoma is a malignant, rapid growing tumor. Eighty-five percent of cerebral neuroblastomas occur in children. Some call it a PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor). Neuroblastoma more commonly occurs outside the central nervous system.

·         neurocytoma, central   [nur o sigh toe´ ma]   This is a low grade tumor that typically occurs in a lateral ventricle in the region of the foramen of Monro and occasionally extends into the third ventricle.

·         neuroectoderm   [nur o eck´ toe durm]   The region of the embryo that eventually develops into the nervous system.

·         neuroepithelial   [nur´ o ep ih thee´ lee al]   The layer in the embryo which develops into the nervous system.

·         neurofibromatosis   [nur´ o fi bro ma toe´ sis]   Neurofibromatosis refers to two different genetic diseases. Neurofibromatosis type I, called NF1 or von Recklinghausen’s Disease, is the more common of the two disorders. It causes tumors called neurofibromas to form on nerves throughout the body and skin discolorations called café-au-lait spots. Optic gliomas are associated with NF1. Neurofibromatosis type II, called NF2, causes tumors to form in the central nervous system, particularly bilateral acoustic neuromas (tumors of the 8th cranial nerve). Meningiomas, ependymomas and tumors of other cranial nerves may also develop. NF2 may be inherited or arise independently.

·         neuroglia   [nur´ o glee´ ah]   Supportive tissue of the brain, includes astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells and microglia. Unlike neurons, neuroglial cells do not conduct electrical impulses and can reproduce. The largest percentage of brain tumors arise from neuroglia. Also called glia.

·         neurologist   A physician trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the nervous system.

·         neuron   [nur´ on]   A nerve cell body and its processes (dendrites and axon). It conducts electrical signals.

·         neuro-navigational system   Pre-operative MRI information, fed into a specialized computer system, that allows the surgeon to view 3-D images in the operating room during surgeryThe guidance system operates in “real-time” by providing location information during surgery continuously and quickly

·         neuro-oncologist   A physician who specializes in treating patients with brain tumors, and/or the consequences of cancer upon the nervous system. The physician is often a trained
neurologist, oncologist or neurosurgeon.

·         neuropathologist   A pathologist who establishes the diagnosis in diseases of the nervous system by careful microscopic examination of the tissue.

·         neuropathy   [nur op´ ah thee]   A general term that refers to changes in sensation or function in the peripheral nervous system. Common symptoms include weakness; numbness; burning, tickling, prickling or tingling sensations; or pain in the arms, legs, hands and feet. There are numerous causes. Also called peripheral neuropathy.

·         neuropsychologist   A psychologist who specializes in ailments of the mind and mental processes caused by disease of the nervous system.

·         neuroradiologist   A radiologist who specializes in the use of radioactive substances, x-rays and scanning devices for the diagnosis of diseases of the nervous system.

·         neuroscience [NURO-science]  The scientific study of the nervous system, an interdisciplinary field that includes molecular and cellular structure and function, cognitive neuroscience, psychophysics, computational modeling and diseases of the nervous system.

 

·         neurosurgeon   A physician trained in surgery of the nervous system.

·         neurotoxicity   [nur row tok sis´ ih tee]   Damage to the nervous system; may be a side-effect of some chemotherapy agents. Numbness, tingling and muscle weakness are common symptoms.

·         neutropenia   [new trow pee´ nee ah]   An abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell.

·         neutrophil   [ new´ trow fil]   A granulocyte, a type of white blood cell involved in protecting the body from infection. It is an abundant and important phagocyte.

·         NHGRI   National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

·         NIA   National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

·         NIH   National Institutes of Health. An agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), it is comprised of 25 separate institutes and centers, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

·         NINDS   National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (the Neurology Institute), one of the institutes of the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services.

·         nitrosoureas   [nye tro sou ree´  ahz]   A group of anticancer drugs able to cross the blood brain barrier. Examples: Carmustine (BCNU) and lomustine (CCNU).

·         NK cell   Natural Killer cell. A type of white blood cell that destroys cancer cells by recognizing them as foreign invaders and then produces chemical substances that bind to and kill them. They are known as “natural” killers because they attack without first having to recognize specific antigens.

·         NLM   National Library of Medicine, of the National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services. Among its services, NLM provides searches for published medical literature from the extensive database Medline and also maintains ClinicalTrials.gov, the database of publicly and privately
sponsored clinical trials.

·         non-eloquent [non ELO-kwent] Describes parts of the brain that do not control speech, motor functions, or senses. Also known as “silent” areas of the brain. Surgical removal of tumors is generally safer in these areas.

 

·         NMR   Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. More commonly called Magnetic Resonance Imaging  (MRI).

 

·         non-enhancing   An area that does not take up contrast materials; does not appear highlighted on a scan.

·         non-randomized study   A clinical trial in which all patients receive the same investigational treatment.

·         NOS   Not Otherwise Specified.

·         nosology   The science of the systematic arrangement or classification of diseases.

·         Novalis   Brand name of a system used to deliver linear accelerator stereotactic radiosurgery.

·         NP   See Nurse Practitioner.

·         NPH   Normal pressure hydrocephalus.

·         NSAID   Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. Over-the-counter medications used to treat swelling due to inflammation such as that caused by arthritis. These drugs include Advil, Motrin, and Aleve among others.

·         NTCP   Normal Tissue Complication Probability.

·         nuclear atypia   [new´ klee ur • a tip´ ee ah]   An abnormal appearing cell nucleus.

·         nuclear medicine   [new´ klee ur]   The branch of medicine that deals with the use of radioisotopes in therapy and diagnosis.

·         nucleic acids   [new´ klay ik]   Large, naturally occurring molecules composed of chemical building blocks known as nucleotides. There are two kinds of nucleic acids: DNA and RNA.

·         nucleus   [new´ klee us]   The center of the cell containing the genetic information (genes and chromosomes, DNA, etc). The appearance of the nucleus is used as a criterion to determine the malignant potential of a cell or tissue.

·         nurse clinician   A registered nurse with an advanced degree in a particular area of patient care; e.g., neurosurgery clinical nurse specialist. These individuals have earned a Master’s degree in nursing (MSN).

·         nurse practitioner   An advanced practice nurse. A registered nurse who has met advanced educational and clinical practice requirements beyond those of the basic nursing education required of all RNs. The majority of the nurse practitioner programs in the US provide preparation at the master’s degree level.

·         NV, N & V   Nausea and Vomiting.

·         nystagmus   [nis tag´ mus]   Rapid, involuntary movement of the eyeballs.