Cancer Term Glossary

E7070
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called sulfonamides.
E7389
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitubulin agents.
early menopause(...MEN-uh-pawz)
A condition in which the ovaries stop working and menstrual periods stop before age 40. Natural menopause usually occurs around age 50. A woman is said to be in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months in a row. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, trouble concentrating, and infertility. Early menopause can be caused by some cancer treatments, surgery to remove the ovaries, and certain diseases or genetic conditions. Also called premature menopause, premature ovarian failure, and primary ovarian insufficiency.
early-stage breast cancer(ER-lee stayj brest KAN-ser)
Breast cancer that has not spread beyond the breast or the axillary lymph nodes. This includes ductal carcinoma in situ and stage I, stage IIA, stage IIB, and stage IIIA breast cancers.
early-stage cancer
A term used to describe cancer that is early in its growth, and may not have spread to other parts of the body. What is called early stage may differ between cancer types.
Eastern European Jews
One of two major ancestral groups of Jewish individuals, comprised of those whose ancestors lived in Eastern Europe (Germany, Poland, Russia). The other group is designated Sephardic Jews and includes those whose ancestors lived in North Africa, the Middle East, and Spain. Most Jews living in the United States are Eastern European Jews. Also called Ashkenazi Jews.
Eastern red cedar(...SEE-der)
A type of evergreen tree with hard fragrant wood that is a member of the cypress family. The oil from the wood is used in soaps, shampoos, bath salts, perfumes, aromatherapy, and to keep insects away. The scientific name is Juniperus virginiana. Also called cedarwood and red cedar.
EBV
A common virus that remains dormant in most people. It causes infectious mononucleosis and has been associated with certain cancers, including Burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Also called Epstein-Barr virus.
ecchymosis
A small bruise caused by blood leaking from broken blood vessels into the tissues of the skin or mucous membranes.
eccrine gland
A type of simple sweat gland that is found in almost all regions of the skin. These glands produce sweat that reaches the surface of the skin by way of coiled ducts (tubes). The body is cooled as sweat evaporates from the skin.
ECG
A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called EKG and electrocardiogram.
echinacea(EH-kih-NAY-shuh)
An herb native to North America that has been used to prevent and treat the common cold and other respiratory infections. Echinacea may interfere with treatment that uses the immune system to fight cancer. The scientific names are Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. Also called purple coneflower.
echocardiography(EH-koh-KAR-dee-AH-gruh-fee)
A procedure that uses ultrasonic waves directed over the chest wall to obtain a graphic record of the heart's position, motion of the walls, or internal parts such as the valves.
ECT
A treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called electroconvulsive therapy and electroshock therapy.
ecteinascidin 743(ek-TIN-uh-SIDE-in)
A substance that comes from a type of sea squirt and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to DNA and causes breaks in the DNA. It also blocks the ability of the cell to repair the DNA damage, and may cause cancer cells to die. Ecteinascidin 743 is also made in the laboratory. It is a type of DNA excision repair inhibitor. Also called ET-743 and trabectedin.
ectocervical
Having to do with the part of the cervix that protrudes into the vagina and is lined with epithelial cells.
ectomesenchymoma(EK-toh-meh-ZEN-keh-MOH-muh)
A rare, fast-growing tumor of the nervous system or soft tissue that occurs in children and young adults. Ectomesenchymomas may form in the head and neck, abdomen, perineum, scrotum, or limbs. Also called malignant ectomesenchymoma.
eculizumab(ek-yoo-LY-zoo-mab)
A monoclonal antibody used to prevent red blood cells from being destroyed in patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a red blood cell disorder. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body. Eculizumab blocks a protein in the blood that causes the breakdown of red blood cells. Also called Soliris.
eczema(EK-zeh-muh)
A group of conditions in which the skin becomes inflamed, forms blisters, and becomes crusty, thick, and scaly. Eczema causes burning and itching, and may occur over a long period of time. Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema.
edatrexate
An anticancer drug that belongs to a family of drugs called antimetabolites.
edema(eh-DEE-muh)
Swelling caused by excess fluid in body tissues.
edotecarin
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of topoisomerase I inhibitor. Also called J-107088.
edrecolomab
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.
EEG
A recording of electrical activity in the brain. It is made by placing electrodes on the scalp (the skin covering the top of the head), and impulses are sent to a special machine. An EEG may be used to diagnose brain and sleep disorders. Also called electroencephalogram.
EEG biofeedback(… BY-oh-FEED-bak)
A treatment being studied to improve brain function in certain brain disorders and in patients treated with chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sensors are placed on a person’s head, which allows brain activity to be shown as patterns on a computer screen. A beep or a tone may be used as a reward to a person for changing certain brain activities. EEG biofeedback may help cancer patients deal with the stress and mental side effects of chemotherapy. Also called neurofeedback.
EF5
A drug that is used to plan cancer treatment by measuring oxygen levels in tumor cells.
efalizumab(eh-fuh-lih-ZOO-mab)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat psoriasis (a chronic skin disease). It is also being studied in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of the skin after a donor stem cell transplant. Efalizumab binds to a molecule called LFA-1, and blocks the action of T cells (a type of white blood cell). It is a type of immunosuppressant. Also called Raptiva.
efaproxiral(ef-uh-PROX-ih-rul)
A drug that may increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Also called RSR13.
effector cell
A cell that performs a specific function in response to a stimulus; usually used to describe cells in the immune system.
efficacy
Effectiveness. In medicine, the ability of an intervention (for example, a drug or surgery) to produce the desired beneficial effect.
effusion(eh-FYOO-zhun)
An abnormal collection of fluid in hollow spaces or between tissues of the body. For example, a pleural effusion is a collection of fluid between the two layers of membrane covering the lungs.
eflornithine
A substance that is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiprotozoals.
EFTs
A group of cancers that includes Ewing tumor of bone (ETB or Ewing sarcoma of bone), extraosseous Ewing (EOE) tumors, primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET or peripheral neuroepithelioma), and Askin tumors (PNET of the chest wall). These tumors all come from the same type of stem cell. Also called Ewing sarcoma family of tumors.
EGb761
A substance that is being studied in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction (slowed ability to think, reason, concentrate, or remember) in patients receiving chemotherapy. It comes from ginkgo biloba leaves.
EGF
A protein made by many cells in the body and by some types of tumors. It causes cells to grow and differentiate (become more specialized). It is a type of growth factor and a type of cytokine. Also called epidermal growth factor.
EGFR
The protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called epidermal growth factor receptor, ErbB1, and HER1.
ejaculation(i-JAK-yoo-LAY-shun)
The release of semen through the penis during orgasm.
EKB-569
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors.
EKG
A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called ECG and electrocardiogram.
Eklund displacement views(EH-klund dis-PLAYS-ment VYOOZ)
A procedure used to do a mammogram (x-ray of the breasts) in women with breast implants. The implant is pushed back against the chest wall and the breast tissue is pulled forward and around it so the tissue can be seen in the mammogram. Also called Eklund views and implant displacement views.
Eklund views(EH-klund VYOOZ)
A procedure used to do a mammogram (x-ray of the breasts) in women with breast implants. The implant is pushed back against the chest wall and the breast tissue is pulled forward and around it so the tissue can be seen in the mammogram. Also called Eklund displacement views and implant displacement views.
electroacupuncture(ee-LEK-troh-AK-yoo-punk-cher)
A procedure in which pulses of weak electrical current are sent through acupuncture needles into acupuncture points in the skin. This procedure is being studied in the prevention of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
electrocardiogram(ee-LEK-troh-KAR-dee-oh-gram)
A line graph that shows changes in the electrical activity of the heart over time. It is made by an instrument called an electrocardiograph. The graph can show that there are abnormal conditions, such as blocked arteries, changes in electrolytes (particles with electrical charges), and changes in the way electrical currents pass through the heart tissue. Also called ECG and EKG.
electroconvulsive therapy(ee-LEK-troh-kun-VUL-siv THAYR-uh-pee)
A treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called ECT and electroshock therapy.
electrode(ee-LEK-trode)
In medicine, a device such as a small metal plate or needle that carries electricity from an instrument to a patient for treatment or surgery. Electrodes can also carry electrical signals from muscles, brain, heart, skin, or other body parts to recording devices to help diagnose certain conditions.
electrodermal response(ee-LEK-troh-DER-mul reh-SPONTS)
A change in the heat and electricity passed through the skin by nerves and sweat. Electrodermal response increases in certain emotional states and during hot flashes that happen with menopause. Also called galvanic skin response and skin conduction.
electrodesiccation(ee-LEK-troh-deh-sih-KAY-shun)
The drying of tissue by a high-frequency electric current applied with a needle-shaped electrode.
electrodiathermy(ee-LEK-troh-DY-uh-THER-mee)
A procedure in which tissue is heated to destroy abnormal cells. The heat may come from electric currents, microwaves, radio waves, or ultrasound. Electrodiathermy is a type of hyperthermia therapy. Also called diathermy.
electroencephalogram(ee-LEK-troh-en-SEH-fuh-loh-gram)
A recording of electrical activity in the brain. It is made by placing electrodes on the scalp (the skin covering the top of the head), and impulses are sent to a special machine. An EEG may be used to diagnose brain and sleep disorders. Also called EEG.
electrofulguration(ee-LEK-troh-ful-guh-RAY-shun)
A procedure to destroy tissue (such as a tumor) using an electric current. Also called fulguration.
electrolarynx(ee-LEK-troh-LAYR-inx)
A battery-operated device that makes a humming sound. It is used to help a person talk after removal of the larynx (voice box).
electrolyte(ee-LEK-troh-lite)
A substance that breaks up into ions (particles with electrical charges) when it is dissolved in water or body fluids. Some examples of ions are sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and phosphate. These ions help move nutrients into cells, help move waste out of cells, and help nerves, muscles, the heart, and the brain work the way they should.
electromagnetic field(ee-LEK-troh-mag-NEH-tik feeld)
Low-energy radiation that comes from the interaction of electric and magnetic fields. Sources include power lines, electric appliances, radio waves, microwaves, and others. Also called electromagnetic radiation.
electromagnetic radiation(ee-LEK-troh-mag-NEH-tik ray-dee-AY-shun)
Low-energy radiation that comes from the interaction of electric and magnetic fields. Sources include power lines, electric appliances, radio waves, microwaves, and others. Also called electromagnetic field.
electron beam(ee-LEK-tron beem)
A stream of electrons (small negatively charged particles found in atoms) that can be used for radiation therapy.
electron microscope(ee-LEK-tron MY-kroh-SKOPE)
A microscope (device used to magnify small objects) that uses electrons (instead of light) to produce an enlarged image. An electron microscope shows tiny details better than any other type of microscope.
electronic medical record(eh-lek-TRAH-nik MEH-dih-kul …)
A collection of a patient’s medical information in a digital (electronic) form that can be viewed on a computer and easily shared by people taking care of the patient.
electrophoresis(eh-LEK-troh-fuh-REE-sis)
A laboratory technique that uses an electric current to separate substances, such as proteins or nucleic acids. The size and electrical charge (either positive or negative) of a substance determines how far it moves with the current. Electrophoresis may be used to help diagnosis certain diseases. There are many different types of electrophoresis.
electroporation therapy(ee-LEK-troh-por-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that generates electrical pulses through an electrode placed in a tumor to enhance the ability of anticancer drugs to enter tumor cells. Also called EPT.
electroshock therapy(ee-LEK-troh-shok THAYR-uh-pee)
A treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called ECT and electroconvulsive therapy.
element(EH-leh-ment)
A basic part of a whole. In chemistry, refers to a simple substance that cannot be broken down into smaller parts or changed into another substance. The basic part of an element is an atom, which contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. All atoms of an element have the same number of protons. Examples of elements are hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and calcium.
elesclomol sodium(eh-les-KLOH-mol SOH-dee-um)
A drug used in the treatment of skin cancer that has spread. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It increases the amount of harmful oxygen molecules in cells and may kill cancer cells. It may also help other drugs kill cancer cells. It is a type of oxidative stress inducer.
Eligard(EL-ih-gard)
A drug used to treat symptoms of advanced prostate cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other conditions and types of cancer. The active ingredient leuprolide blocks the body from making testosterone (a male hormone) and estradiol (a female hormone). It may stop the growth of prostate cancer cells that need testosterone to grow. Some brands of leuprolide are also used to treat early puberty in children and certain gynecologic conditions. Eligard is a type of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog. Also called leuprolide acetate, Lupron, and Viadur.
eligibility criteria(EH-lih-jih-BIH-lih-tee kry-TEER-ee-uh)
In clinical trials, requirements that must be met for an individual to be included in a study. These requirements help make sure that patients in a trial are similar to each other in terms of specific factors such as age, type and stage of cancer, general health, and previous treatment. When all participants meet the same eligibility criteria, it gives researchers greater confidence that results of the study are caused by the intervention being tested and not by other factors.
ELISA(ee-LY-suh)
A laboratory technique that uses antibodies linked to enzymes to detect and measure the amount of a substance in a solution, such as serum. The test is done using a solid surface to which the antibodies and other molecules stick. In the final step, an enzyme reaction takes place that causes a color change that can be read using a special machine. There are many different ways that an ELISA can be done. ELISAs may be used to help diagnose certain diseases. Also called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Elitek(EH-lih-tek)
A drug used to treat high blood levels of uric acid in patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other types of cancer who are receiving certain types of cancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other medical conditions. Elitek is a type of recombinant enzyme and a type of urate-lowering drug. Also called rasburicase and recombinant urate oxidase.
Ellence(eh-LENTS)
A drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ellence is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called epirubicin and epirubicin hydrochloride.
Elocon(EL-oh-kon)
A drug that is used in a cream to treat certain skin conditions and in a nasal spray to treat sinus problems caused by allergies. It is being studied as a way to treat inflammation of the skin caused by radiation therapy. Elocon is a type of corticosteroid. Also called mometasone, mometasone furoate, and Nasonex.
Eloxatin(eh-LOK-sah-tin)
A drug used together with other drugs to treat colorectal cancer that is advanced or has come back. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Eloxatin attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of platinum compound. Also called oxaliplatin.
Elspar(EL-spar)
A drug that is used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and is being studied in the treatment of some other types of cancer. It is an enzyme taken from the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli). It breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. Also called asparaginase and L-asparaginase.
eltrombopag(el-TROM-boh-pag)
The active ingredient in a drug used to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (a condition in which platelets are destroyed by the immune system). It causes more platelets to be made in the bone marrow. It is also being studied in the treatment of low platelet counts caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of thrombopoietin receptor agonist.
eltrombopag olamine(el-TROM-boh-pag OH-luh-meen)
A drug used to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (a condition in which platelets are destroyed by the immune system). It causes more platelets to be made in the bone marrow. It is also being studied in the treatment of low platelet counts caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of thrombopoietin receptor agonist. Also called Promacta.
EM-1421
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It blocks proteins needed for cancer growth. It is a type of transcriptional inhibitor. Also called tetra-O-methyl NDGA and tetra-O-methyl nordihydroguaiaretic acid.
embalmer(em-BAHLM-er)
A person who treats dead bodies with embalming fluid (a chemical like formaldehyde) to keep them from decaying.
embolism(EM-boh-lih-zum)
A block in an artery caused by blood clots or other substances, such as fat globules, infected tissue, or cancer cells.
embolization(EM-boh-lih-ZAY-shun)
The blocking of an artery by a clot or foreign material. Embolization can be done as treatment to block the flow of blood to a tumor.
embryo
Early stage in the development of a plant or an animal. In vertebrate animals (have a backbone or spinal column), this stage lasts from shortly after fertilization until all major body parts appear. In particular, in humans, this stage lasts from about 2 weeks after fertilization until the end of the seventh or eighth week of pregnancy.
embryoma
A mass of rapidly growing cells that begins in embryonic (fetal) tissue. Embryomas may be benign or malignant, and include neuroblastomas and Wilms tumors. Also called embryonal tumor.
embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma(em-BRY-uh-nul RAB-doh-MY-oh-sar-KOH-muh)
A soft tissue tumor that is most common in infants and young children. It begins in muscles, usually in the head, neck, or genitourinary tract. Also called ERMS.
embryonal tumor
A mass of rapidly growing cells that begins in embryonic (fetal) tissue. Embryonal tumors may be benign or malignant, and include neuroblastomas and Wilms tumors. Also called embryoma.
embryonic
Having to do with an embryo, which is an early stage in the development of a plant or animal.
EMD 121974
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer and antiangiogenesis drug. Also called cilengitide.
EMD 72000
A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. EMD 72000 binds to the epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) on tumor cells and blocks growth signals. Also called matuzumab.
Emend(ee-MEND)
A drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control the nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is also used to treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance P/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called aprepitant.
Emend for Injection(ee-MEND ... in-JEK-shun)
A drug used together with other drugs to prevent and control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. It is given in a vein. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of substance P/neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist. Also called fosaprepitant dimeglumine.
emesis(EH-meh-sis)
Vomiting.
emetic(eh-MEH-tik)
Describes a substance that causes vomiting. Also called emetogenic.
emetogenic(eh-MEH-toh-JEN-ik)
Describes a substance that causes vomiting. Also called emetic.
emitefur
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.
emodin
A substance found in certain plants, including rhubarb. It belongs to a family of compounds called anthraquinones, which have shown anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects.
emphysema
Pulmonary emphysema is a disorder affecting the alveoli (tiny air sacs) of the lungs. The transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs takes place in the walls of the alveoli. In emphysema, the alveoli become abnormally inflated, damaging their walls and making it harder to breathe. People who smoke or have chronic bronchitis have an increased risk of emphysema.
enalapril
An antihypertensive agent that can also be used to slow or prevent the progression of heart disease in people with childhood cancer treated with drugs that may be harmful to the heart.
encapsulated(en-KAP-soo-lay-ted)
Confined to a specific, localized area and surrounded by a thin layer of tissue.
encephalopathy
A disorder of the brain that can be caused by disease, injury, drugs, or chemicals.
enchondroma(en-kon-DRO-ma)
A benign (not cancer) growth of cartilage in bones or in other areas where cartilage is not normally found.
Endo-Pat 2000(EN-doh-pat...)
A medical device that tests to see if endothelial cells are damaged. Endothelial cells line the inner walls of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart, and damage to them may be an early sign of heart disease. Endo-Pat 2000 looks for heart disease by using sensors that measure blood flow through a patient’s fingers. It is also being used to check blood vessels in patients treated for breast cancer. Also called EndoPat.
endocarditis(EN-doh-kar-DY-tis)
A condition in which the tissues lining the inside of the heart and the heart valves become inflamed (red and swollen). Endocarditis may be caused by infection with microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungi.
endocervical curettage(en-do-SER-vih-kul kyoo-reh-TAHZH)
A procedure in which the mucous membrane of the cervical canal is scraped using a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette.
endocrine(EN-doh-krin)
Refers to tissue that makes and releases hormones that travel in the bloodstream and control the actions of other cells or organs. Some examples of endocrine tissues are the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands.
endocrine cancer(EN-doh-krin KAN-ser)
Cancer that occurs in endocrine tissue, the tissue in the body that secretes hormones.
endocrine pancreas cell
A pancreatic cell that produces hormones (e.g., insulin and glucagon) that are secreted into the bloodstream. These hormones help control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Also called islet cell and islet of Langerhans cell.
endocrine system(EN-doh-krin SIS-tem)
A system of glands and cells that make hormones that are released directly into the blood and travel to tissues and organs all over the body. The endocrine system controls growth, sexual development, sleep, hunger, and the way the body uses food.
endocrine therapy(EN-doh-krin THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that adds, blocks, or removes hormones. For certain conditions (such as diabetes or menopause), hormones are given to adjust low hormone levels. To slow or stop the growth of certain cancers (such as prostate and breast cancer), synthetic hormones or other drugs may be given to block the body’s natural hormones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the gland that makes a certain hormone. Also called hormonal therapy, hormone therapy, and hormone treatment.
endocrinologist(en-duh-krih-NAH-loh-jist)
A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating hormone disorders.
endogenous
Produced inside an organism or cell. The opposite is external (exogenous) production.
endometrial(EN-doh-MEE-tree-ul)
Having to do with the endometrium (the layer of tissue that lines the uterus).
endometrial biopsy
A procedure in which a sample of tissue is taken from the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) for examination under a microscope. A thin tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus, and gentle scraping and suction are used to remove the sample.
endometrial cancer(EN-doh-MEE-tree-ul KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in the tissue lining the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman's pelvis in which a fetus develops). Most endometrial cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).
endometrial disorder(EN-doh-MEE-tree-ul dis-OR-der)
Abnormal cell growth in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus).
endometrial hyperplasia(EN-doh-MEE-tree-ul HY-per-PLAY-zhuh)
An abnormal overgrowth of the endometrium (the layer of cells that lines the uterus). There are four types of endometrial hyperplasia: simple endometrial hyperplasia, complex endometrial hyperplasia, simple endometrial hyperplasia with atypia, and complex endometrial hyperplasia with atypia. These differ in terms of how abnormal the cells are and how likely it is that the condition will become cancer.
endometriosis(en-do-mee-tree-O-sis)
A benign condition in which tissue that looks like endometrial tissue grows in abnormal places in the abdomen.
endometrium(en-doh-MEE-tree-um)
The layer of tissue that lines the uterus.
EndoPat(EN-doh-pat)
A medical device that tests to see if endothelial cells are damaged. Endothelial cells line the inner walls of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart, and damage to them may be an early sign of heart disease. EndoPat looks for heart disease by using sensors that measure blood flow through a patient’s fingers. It is also being used to check blood vessels in patients treated for breast cancer. Also called Endo-Pat 2000.
endorectal ultrasound(en-doh-REK-tul UL-truh-SOWND)
A procedure in which a probe that sends out high-energy sound waves is inserted into the rectum. The sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissue called a sonogram. Endorectal ultrasound is used to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures, including the prostate. Also called ERUS, transrectal ultrasound, and TRUS.
endorphin(en-DOR-fin)
One of several substances made in the body that can relieve pain and give a feeling of well-being. Endorphins are peptides (small proteins) that bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. An endorphin is a type of neurotransmitter.
endoscope(EN-doh-SKOPE)
A thin, tube-like instrument used to look at tissues inside the body. An endoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.
endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography(en-doh-SKAH-pik REH-troh-grayd koh-LAN-jee-oh-PAN-kree-uh-TAH-gruh-fee)
A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine and x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken. Also called ERCP.
endoscopic ultrasound(en-doh-SKAH-pik...)
A procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endosonography and EUS.
endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration(en-doh-SKAH-pik UL-truh-SOWND-GY-ded … NEE-dul as-pih-RAY-shun)
A procedure to take a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. An endoscope with an ultrasound probe and a biopsy needle at the end is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. The ultrasound probe is used to bounce high-energy sound waves off internal organs and tissues to make a picture on a monitor. This picture helps the doctor see where to place the biopsy needle. Also called EUS-FNA.
endoscopy(en-DOSS-koh-pee)
A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine the inside of the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.
endosonography(EN-doh-soh-NAH-gruh-fee)
A procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endoscopic ultrasound and EUS.
endostatin(EN-doh-STA-tin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Endostatin is made from a type of collagen (a protein found in cartilage and other connective tissue). It may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Endostatin is a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called COL18A1.
endothelial cell(EN-doh-THEE-lee-ul sel)
The main type of cell found in the inside lining of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart.
endothelin receptor antagonist(EN-doh-THEE-lin reh-SEP-ter an-TAG-uh-nist)
A drug that blocks the hormone endothelin and may prevent prostate cancer from spreading to the bones. It may also prevent the growth and spread of other types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.
endothelin-1 protein receptor antagonist(EN-doh-THEE-lin-1 PROH-teen reh-SEP-ter an-TA-guh-nist)
A substance that blocks the binding of the endothelin-1 protein to its receptor. Endothelin-1 is a small molecule that causes changes in blood vessels and helps regulate blood pressure. It can also stimulate the growth of some types of cells.
endpoint
In clinical trials, an event or outcome that can be measured objectively to determine whether the intervention being studied is beneficial. The endpoints of a clinical trial are usually included in the study objectives. Some examples of endpoints are survival, improvements in quality of life, relief of symptoms, and disappearance of the tumor.
enema
The injection of a liquid through the anus into the large bowel.
energy balance(EH-nur-jee BA-lunts)
In biology, the state at which the number of calories eaten equals the number of calories used. Energy balance is affected by physical activity, body size, amount of body fat and muscle, and genetics.
English chamomile(... KA-muh-mile)
A type of chamomile plant with daisy-like white flowers that is found in Europe, North America, and Argentina. The dried flowers are used in teas to calm and relax, to improve sleep, and to help with stomach problems. Its essential oil (scented liquid taken from plants) is used in perfumes, shampoos, face creams, lotions, and aromatherapy. The scientific names are Chamaemelum nobile and Anthemis nobilis. Also called Roman chamomile.
English lavender(...LA-vun-der)
A plant with aromatic leaves and flowers that is a member of the mint family. Oil from the flowers has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems, to keep insects away, and to wash in. It is also used in aromatherapy. Perillyl alcohol, a substance found in English lavender, is being studied in cancer prevention and treatment. The scientific name is Lavandula angustifolia. Also called lavender and true lavender.
eniluracil
An anticancer drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil. Also called ethynyluracil.
enoxaparin
A drug used to prevent blood clots. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticoagulants.
enriched food(in-RICHT…)
A food that has nutrients added back that were lost during processing. Examples are bread, pasta, and other products made from white flour that have B vitamins added back.
ENT doctor
A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. Also called otolaryngologist.
enteral nutrition
A form of nutrition that is delivered into the digestive system as a liquid. Drinking nutrition beverages or formulas and tubefeeding are forms of enteral nutrition. People who are unable to meet their needs with food and beverages alone, and who do not have vomiting or uncontrollable diarrhea may be given tubefeedings. Tubefeeding can be used to add to what a person is able to eat or can be the only source of nutrition. A small feeding tube may be placed through the nose into the stomach or the small intestine, or it may be surgically placed into the stomach or the intestinal tract through an opening made on the outside of the abdomen, depending on how long it will be used.
enterostomal therapist(EN-ter-oh-STOH-mul...)
A health professional trained in the care of persons with stomas, such as colostomies or urostomies.
entinostat(en-tih-NOH-stat)
A substance being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks enzymes needed for cell division and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Also called HDAC inhibitor SNDX-275 and SNDX-275.
enucleation
In medicine, the removal of an organ or tumor in such a way that it comes out clean and whole, like a nut from its shell.
enveloped virus(....VY-rus)
A virus that has an outer wrapping or envelope. This envelope comes from the infected cell, or host, in a process called "budding off." During the budding process, newly formed virus particles become "enveloped" or wrapped in an outer coat that is made from a small piece of the cell's plasma membrane. The envelope may play a role in helping a virus survive and infect other cells.
environmental tobacco smoke(en-VY-run-MEN-tul tuh-BA-koh ...)
Smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Inhaling environmental tobacco smoke is called involuntary or passive smoking. Also called ETS and secondhand smoke.
enzastaurin(en-zuh-STAW-rin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, colon, lung, ovarian, and prostate. Enzastaurin blocks certain cell signaling pathways, and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of serine threonine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called enzastaurin hydrochloride and LY317615.
enzastaurin hydrochloride(en-zuh-STAW-rin HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, colon, lung, ovarian, and prostate. Enzastaurin hydrochloride blocks certain cell signaling pathways, and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of serine threonine kinase inhibitor and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called enzastaurin and LY317615.
enzyme(EN-zime)
A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body.
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(EN-zime-linkt IH-myoo-noh-SOR-bent A-say)
A laboratory technique that uses antibodies linked to enzymes to detect and measure the amount of a substance in a solution, such as serum. The test is done using a solid surface to which the antibodies and other molecules stick. In the final step, an enzyme reaction takes place that causes a color change that can be read using a special machine. There are many different ways that an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay can be done. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays may be used to help diagnose certain diseases. Also called ELISA.
eosinophil
A type of immune cell that has granules (small particles) with enzymes that are released during infections, allergic reactions, and asthma. An eosinophil is a type of white blood cell and a type of granulocyte.
eosinophilia
A condition in which the number of eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) in the blood is greatly increased. Eosinophilia is often a response to infection or allergens (substances that cause an allergic response).
EP-2101
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called cancer vaccines.
ependyma(eh-PEN-dih-muh)
A thin membrane that lines the fluid-filled spaces in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of a type of glial cell called an ependymal cell.
ependymal cell(eh-PEN-dih-mul SEL)
A cell that forms the lining of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain and spinal cord. It is a type of glial cell.
ependymal tumor(eh-PEN-dih-mul TOO-mer)
A type of brain tumor that begins in cells lining the spinal cord central canal (fluid-filled space down the center) or the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces of the brain). Ependymal tumors may also form in the choroid plexus (tissue in the ventricles that makes cerebrospinal fluid). Also called ependymoma.
ependymoma(eh-PEN-dih-MOH-muh)
A type of brain tumor that begins in cells lining the spinal cord central canal (fluid-filled space down the center) or the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces of the brain). Ependymomas may also form in the choroid plexus (tissue in the ventricles that makes cerebrospinal fluid). Also called ependymal tumor.
ephedra(eh-FEH-druh)
A shrub native to China and India. The stems and roots are used in traditional medicine as a diuretic and for asthma, bronchitis, and cough. It has also been promoted as a decongestant, a weight loss aid, and as a supplement to increase energy. Ephedra may cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, or death if used with certain drugs, and may reduce the effects of certain drugs used to treat cancer and other diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale of dietary supplements that contain ephedra. The scientific name is Ephedra sinica. Also called ma huang.
epidemiologist(EH-pih-DEE-mee-AH-loh-jist)
A scientist who studies the patterns, causes, and control of disease in groups of people.
epidemiology(EH-pih-dee-mee-AH-loh-jee)
The study of the patterns, causes, and control of disease in groups of people.
epidermal growth factor(eh-pih-DER-mul grohth FAK-ter)
A protein made by many cells in the body and by some types of tumors. It causes cells to grow and differentiate (become more specialized). It is a type of growth factor and a type of cytokine. Also called EGF.
epidermal growth factor receptor(eh-pih-DER-mul grohth FAK-ter reh-SEP-ter)
The protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called EGFR, ErbB1, and HER1.
epidermis(EH-pih-DER-mis)
The outer layer of the two main layers of the skin.
epidermoid carcinoma(EH-pih-DUR-moyd KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Cancer that begins in squamous cells (thin, flat cells that look like fish scales). Squamous cells are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Also called squamous cell carcinoma.
epidermolysis bullosa(EP-ih-der-MOLE-uh-sis bul-OH-suh)
A group of chronic skin disorders in which fluid-filled blisters form on the skin and mucosa (the moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities). Epidermolysis bullosa is inherited and usually starts at birth. Patients with epidermolysis bullosa may be at increased risk of squamous cell cancer of the skin.
epididymis(eh-pih-DIH-dih-mis)
A narrow, tightly-coiled tube that is attached to each of the testicles (the male sex glands that produce sperm). Sperm cells (male reproductive cells) move from the testicles into the epididymis, where they finish maturing and are stored.
epidural
Having to do with the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord. An epidural injection is given into this space.
epidural block
An injection of an anesthetic drug into the space between the wall of the spinal canal and the covering of the spinal cord.
epigastric(EH-pih-GAS-trik)
Having to do with the upper middle area of the abdomen.
epiglottis(ep-ih-GLAH-tis)
The flap that covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter the lungs.
epilepsy
A group of disorders marked by problems in the normal functioning of the brain. These problems can produce seizures, unusual body movements, a loss of consciousness or changes in consciousness, as well as mental problems or problems with the senses.
epinephrine
A hormone and neurotransmitter. Also called adrenaline.
epipodophyllotoxin(EH-pih-POH-doh-FIH-loh-TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Epipodophyllotoxin is extracted from the mandrake root Podophyllum peltatum. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.
epirubicin(EP-ih-ROO-bih-sin)
A drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Epirubicin is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called Ellence and epirubicin hydrochloride.
epirubicin hydrochloride(EP-ih-ROO-bih-sin HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used together with other drugs to treat early breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Epirubicin hydrochloride is a type of anthracycline antibiotic. Also called Ellence and epirubicin.
epithelial(ep-ih-THEE-lee-ul)
Refers to the cells that line the internal and external surfaces of the body.
epithelial carcinoma(ep-ih-THEE-lee-ul KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
Cancer that begins in the cells that line an organ.
epithelial ovarian cancer(eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul oh-VAYR-ee-un KAN-ser)
Cancer that occurs in the cells on the surface of the ovary. Also called ovarian epithelial cancer.
epithelium(EP-ih-THEE-lee-um)
A thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures within the body.
epitope(EP-i-tope)
A part of a molecule that an antibody will recognize and bind to.
EPO906
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epothilones. Also called epothilone B.
EPOCH
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including mantle cell lymphoma. It includes the drugs etoposide, prednisone, vincristine (Oncovin), cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin). Also called EPOCH regimen.
EPOCH regimen(… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including mantle cell lymphoma. It includes the drugs etoposide, prednisone, vincristine (Oncovin), cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin). Also called EPOCH.
epoetin alfa(ee-POH-eh-tin AL-fuh)
A substance that is made in the laboratory and stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. It is a type of antianemic and a type of recombinant human erythropoietin.
epoetin beta(ee-POH-eh-tin BAY-tuh)
A substance that is made in the laboratory and stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. It is a type of antianemic and a type of recombinant human erythropoietin.
epothilone(eh-POTH-ih-lone)
A substance obtained from bacteria that interferes with cell division. Some epothilones are being studied as treatments for cancer.
epothilone B(eh-POTH-ih-lone ...)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of epothilone. Also called EPO906.
epothilone D(eh-POTH-ih-lone ...)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor and epothilone. Also called KOS-862.
epothilone ZK219477(eh-POTH-ih-lone ...)
A form of the substance epothilone that is made in the laboratory. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Epothilone ZK2219477 stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of antimitotic agent.
epratuzumab
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies.
Epstein-Barr virus(ep-stine-BAR VY-rus)
A common virus that remains dormant in most people. It causes infectious mononucleosis and has been associated with certain cancers, including Burkitt lymphoma, immunoblastic lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Also called EBV.
EPT
Treatment that generates electrical pulses through an electrode placed in a tumor to enhance the ability of anticancer drugs to enter tumor cells. Also called electroporation therapy.
ER
A protein found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone estrogen will bind to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow. Also called estrogen receptor.
ER+
Describes cells that have a receptor protein that binds the hormone estrogen. Cancer cells that are ER+ may need estrogen to grow, and may stop growing or die when treated with substances that block the binding and actions of estrogen. Also called estrogen receptor positive.
ER-
Describes cells that do not have a protein to which the hormone estrogen will bind. Cancer cells that are ER- do not need estrogen to grow, and usually do not stop growing when treated with hormones that block estrogen from binding. Also called estrogen receptor negative.
ER-negative PR-negative HER2/neu-negative(... NEH-guh-tiv ... NEH-guh-tiv ... NEH-guh-tiv)
Describes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or large amounts of HER2/neu protein. Also called ER-PR-HER2/neu- and triple-negative breast cancer.
ER-PR-HER2/neu-
Describes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, or large amounts of HER2/neu protein. Also called ER-negative PR-negative HER2/neu-negative and triple-negative breast cancer.
ERA-923
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to a family of drugs called antiestrogens.
erb-38 immunotoxin(... IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.
ErbB1
The protein found on the surface of some cells and to which epidermal growth factor binds, causing the cells to divide. It is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, so these cells may divide excessively in the presence of epidermal growth factor. Also called EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor, and HER1.
Erbitux(ER-bih-tux)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat certain types of head and neck cancer, and colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Erbitux binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is found on the surface of some types of cancer cells. Also called cetuximab.
ERCP
A procedure that uses an endoscope to examine and x-ray the pancreatic duct, hepatic duct, common bile duct, duodenal papilla, and gallbladder. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. The endoscope is passed through the mouth and down into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A smaller tube (catheter) is then inserted through the endoscope into the bile and pancreatic ducts. A dye is injected through the catheter into the ducts, and an x-ray is taken. Also called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
erectile dysfunction(ih-REK-tile dis-FUNK-shun)
An inability to have an erection of the penis adequate for sexual intercourse. Also called impotence.
erection(ih-REK-shun)
In medicine, the swelling of the penis with blood, causing it to become firm.
ergocalciferol(ER-goh-kal-SIH-feh-rol)
A form of vitamin D that helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones and teeth. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils) and is found in plants and yeast. It can be made in the body from another form of vitamin D when the body is exposed to the sun. Ergocalciferol is also made in the laboratory. It is used to prevent and to treat vitamin D deficiency. It is a type of dietary supplement. Also called vitamin D2.
erlotinib(er-LOH-ty-nib)
A drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also used together with gemcitabine to treat pancreatic cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Erlotinib is a type of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called CP-358,774, erlotinib hydrochloride, OSI-774, and Tarceva.
erlotinib hydrochloride(er-LOH-ty-nib HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer. It is also used together with gemcitabine to treat pancreatic cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Erlotinib hydrochloride is a type of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called CP-358,774, erlotinib, OSI-774, and Tarceva.
ERMS
A soft tissue tumor that is most common in infants and young children. It begins in muscles, usually in the head, neck, or genitourinary tract. Also called embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
ERT
Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to postmenopausal women or to women who have had their ovaries surgically removed. Hormones are given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries. Also called estrogen replacement therapy.
ERUS
A procedure in which a probe that sends out high-energy sound waves is inserted into the rectum. The sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissue called a sonogram. ERUS is used to look for abnormalities in the rectum and nearby structures, including the prostate. Also called endorectal ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound, and TRUS.
erythema(ER-ih-THEE-muh)
Redness of the skin.
erythrocyte(eh-RITH-roh-site)
A cell that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Also called RBC and red blood cell.
erythrocyte sedimentation rate(eh-RITH-roh-site SEH-dih-men-TAY-shun ...)
The distance red blood cells travel in one hour in a sample of blood as they settle to the bottom of a test tube. The sedimentation rate is increased in inflammation, infection, cancer, rheumatic diseases, and diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Also called ESR and sedimentation rate.
erythrodysplasia(eh-RITH-roh-dis-PLAY-zhuh)
A condition in which immature red blood cells (erythroid cells) in the bone marrow are abnormal in size, shape, organization, and/or number. Erythrodysplasia may be caused by vitamin deficiency or chemotherapy, or it may be a sign of refractory anemia, which is a myelodysplastic syndrome. Also called erythroid dysplasia.
erythroid dysplasia(eh-RITH-royd dis-PLAY-zhuh)
A condition in which immature red blood cells (erythroid cells) in the bone marrow are abnormal in size, shape, organization, and/or number. Erythroid dysplasia may be caused by vitamin deficiency or chemotherapy, or it may be a sign of refractory anemia, which is a myelodysplastic syndrome. Also called erythrodysplasia.
erythroleukemia(eh-RITH-roh-loo-KEE-mee-uh)
Cancer of the blood-forming tissues in which large numbers of immature, abnormal red blood cells are found in the blood and bone marrow.
erythroleukoplakia(eh-RITH-roh-LOO-koh-PLAY-kee-uh)
An abnormal patch of red and white tissue that forms on mucous membranes in the mouth and may become cancer. Tobacco (smoking and chewing) and alcohol may increase the risk of erythroleukoplakia.
erythroplakia(eh-RITH-roh-PLAY-kee-uh)
An abnormal patch of red tissue that forms on mucous membranes in the mouth and may become cancer. Tobacco (smoking and chewing) and alcohol may increase the risk of erythroplakia.
erythropoietin(eh-RITH-roh-POY-eh-tin)
A substance that is naturally produced by the kidneys, and that stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells. When erythropoietin is made in the laboratory, it is called epoetin alfa or epoetin beta.
escitalopram(es-sy-TAL-oh-pram)
A drug used to treat depression and certain anxiety disorders. It belongs to the family of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Also called Lexapro.
esomeprazole(es-oh-MEH-pray-zole)
A drug that blocks acid from being made in the stomach. It is used to treat acid reflux disease and to prevent certain types of gastrointestinal ulcers. Esomeprazole is being studied in the prevention of esophageal cancer and in the treatment of other conditions, including side effects of chemotherapy. It is a type of anti-ulcer agent. Also called esomeprazole magnesium and Nexium.
esomeprazole magnesium(es-oh-MEH-pray-zole mag-NEE-zee-um)
A drug that blocks acid from being made in the stomach. It is used to treat acid reflux disease and to prevent certain types of gastrointestinal ulcers. Esomeprazole magnesium is being studied in the prevention of esophageal cancer and in the treatment of other conditions, including side effects of chemotherapy. It is a type of anti-ulcer agent. Also called esomeprazole and Nexium.
esophageal(ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul)
Having to do with the esophagus, the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.
esophageal cancer(ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues lining the esophagus (the muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach). Two types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the esophagus) and adenocarcinoma (cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids).
esophageal reflux(ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul REE-flux)
The backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called gastric reflux and gastroesophageal reflux.
esophageal speech(ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul...)
Speech produced by trapping air in the esophagus and forcing it out again. It is used after removal of a person's larynx (voice box).
esophageal stent(ee-SAH-fuh-JEE-ul stent)
A tube placed in the esophagus to keep a blocked area open so the patient can swallow soft food and liquids. Esophageal stents are made of metal mesh, plastic, or silicone, and may be used in the treatment of esophageal cancer.
esophagectomy(ee-SAH-fuh-JEK-toh-mee)
An operation to remove a portion of the esophagus.
esophagitis(ee-sof-uh-JY-tis)
Inflammation of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach).
esophagoscopy(ee-SAH-fuh-GOS-koh-pee)
Examination of the esophagus using an esophagoscope. An esophagoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.
esophagram(ee-SAH-fuh-gram)
A series of x-ray pictures of the esophagus taken after a patient drinks a liquid containing barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner wall of the esophagus so that it can be seen on the x-ray pictures. Also called contrast esophagram.
esophagus(ee-SAH-fuh-gus)
The muscular tube through which food passes from the throat to the stomach.
ESR
The distance red blood cells travel in one hour in a sample of blood as they settle to the bottom of a test tube. The sedimentation rate is increased in inflammation, infection, cancer, rheumatic diseases, and diseases of the blood and bone marrow. Also called erythrocyte sedimentation rate and sedimentation rate.
essential oil(eh-SENT-shul OYL)
The scented liquid taken from certain plants using steam or pressure. Essential oils contain the natural chemicals that give the plant its “essence” (specific odor and flavor). Essential oils are used in perfumes, food flavorings, medicine, and aromatherapy.
essential thrombocythemia
An increased number of thrombocytes (platelets) in the blood, without a known cause. Also called essential thrombocytosis.
essential thrombocytosis(eh-SEN-shul THROM-boh-sy-TOH-sis)
An increased number of thrombocytes (platelets) in the blood, without a known cause. Also called essential thrombocythemia.
Essiac
An herbal tea mixture that contains burdock root, Indian rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, and slippery elm bark. It has been claimed to remove toxins from the body, make the immune system stronger, relieve pain, control diabetes, treat AIDS, reduce tumor size, increase cancer survival, and improve quality of life. No clinical trial using Essiac in humans has been reported in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, and the FDA has not approved the use of Essiac for the treatment of any medical conditions.
ester(EH-ster)
A chemical substance made when an acid and an alcohol combine and water is removed. Esters are found in essential oils (scented oils that come from plants).
esterified estrogen(eh-STAYR-uh-fide ES-truh-jin)
A form of estrogen that may have fewer side effects than other forms. Esterified estrogens are used to treat some types of cancer, including prostate cancer. They are also used to treat the symptoms of menopause, (such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or heavy and painful bleeding) and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass). It is a type of drug called hormone therapy.
estradiol(es-truh-DY-ol)
A form of the hormone estrogen.
estramustine
A combination of the hormone estradiol (an estrogen) and nitrogen mustard (an anticancer drug). Used in the palliative therapy of prostate cancer.
estrogen(ES-truh-jin)
A type of hormone made by the body that helps develop and maintain female sex characteristics and the growth of long bones. Estrogens can also be made in the laboratory. They may be used as a type of birth control and to treat symptoms of menopause, menstrual disorders, osteoporosis, and other conditions.
estrogen blocker(ES-truh-jin BLAH-ker)
A substance that keeps cells from making or using estrogen (a hormone that plays a role in female sex characteristics, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy). Estrogen blockers may stop some cancer cells from growing and are used to prevent and treat breast cancer. They are also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. An estrogen blocker is a type of hormone antagonist. Also called antiestrogen.
estrogen receptor(ES-truh-jin reh-SEP-ter)
A protein found inside the cells of the female reproductive tissue, some other types of tissue, and some cancer cells. The hormone estrogen will bind to the receptors inside the cells and may cause the cells to grow. Also called ER.
estrogen receptor negative(ES-truh-jin reh-SEP-ter NEH-guh-tiv)
Describes cells that do not have a protein to which the hormone estrogen will bind. Cancer cells that are estrogen receptor negative do not need estrogen to grow, and usually do not stop growing when treated with hormones that block estrogen from binding. Also called ER-.
estrogen receptor positive(ES-truh-jin reh-SEP-ter PAH-zuh-tiv)
Describes cells that have a receptor protein that binds the hormone estrogen. Cancer cells that are estrogen receptor positive may need estrogen to grow, and may stop growing or die when treated with substances that block the binding and actions of estrogen. Also called ER+.
estrogen receptor test(ES-truh-jin reh-SEP-ter test)
A lab test to find out if cancer cells have estrogen receptors (proteins to which estrogen will bind). If the cells have estrogen receptors, they may need estrogen to grow, and this may affect how the cancer is treated.
estrogen replacement therapy(ES-truh-jin rih-PLAYS-munt THAYR-uh-pee)
Hormones (estrogen, progesterone, or both) given to postmenopausal women or to women who have had their ovaries surgically removed. Hormones are given to replace the estrogen no longer produced by the ovaries. Also called ERT.
ET-743
A substance that comes from a type of sea squirt and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It binds to DNA and causes breaks in the DNA. It also blocks the ability of the cell to repair the DNA damage, and may cause cancer cells to die. ET-743 is also made in the laboratory. It is a type of DNA excision repair inhibitor. Also called ecteinascidin 743 and trabectedin.
etanercept
A drug that is commonly used to treat arthritis. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer, and as a treatment for loss of appetite and weight loss in cancer patients. It belongs to the family of drugs called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists.
etanidazole(EE-tuh-NIH-duh-zole)
A drug that increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy.
etaracizumab(eh-TAR-uh-SIH-zoo-mab)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. Etaracizumab binds to a protein on the surface of blood vessels and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It may also prevent the spread of cancer. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent, a type of metastasis inhibitor, and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called Abegrin, humanized monoclonal antibody MEDI-522, and MEDI-522.
ethanol ablation(EH-thuh-nol uh-BLAY-shun)
An injection of ethanol (alcohol) through the skin directly into a tumor to kill cancer cells. Ultrasound or a CT scan is used to guide the needle into the tumor. Also called alcohol ablation, PEI, and percutaneous ethanol injection.
ethical(EH-thih-kul)
Having to do with beliefs about what is right and wrong in terms of how people behave. Also called moral.
ethical will(EH-thih-kul …)
A final personal message or document in which a person shares his or her thoughts, values, memories, life lessons, advice, and hopes for the future. The person may also ask for forgiveness and forgive others. An ethical will is not a legal document.
ethmoid sinus(ETH-moyd SY-nus)
A type of paranasal sinus (a hollow space in the bones around the nose). Ethmoid sinuses are found in the spongy ethmoid bone in the upper part of the nose between the eyes. They are lined with cells that make mucus to keep the nose from drying out.
ethynyluracil
An anticancer drug that increases the effectiveness of fluorouracil. Also called eniluracil.
etidronate
A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates are used as treatment for hypercalcemia (abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).
etiology(EE-tee-AH-loh-jee)
The cause or origin of disease.
Etopophos(ee-toh-POH-fos)
A drug used to treat testicular and small cell lung cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. Etopophos blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called etoposide phosphate.
etoposide(ee-toh-POH-side)
A drug used to treat testicular and small cell lung cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. Etoposide blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called Toposar and Vepesid.
etoposide phosphate(ee-TOH-poh-side FOS-fate)
A drug used to treat testicular and small cell lung cancers. It is also being studied in the treatment of several other types of cancer. Etoposide phosphate blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of podophyllotoxin derivative and a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called Etopophos.
ETS
Smoke that comes from the burning of a tobacco product and smoke that is exhaled by smokers. Inhaling ETS is called involuntary or passive smoking. Also called environmental tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke.
eucalyptus(YOO-kuh-LIP-tus)
A type of evergreen tree that is a member of the myrtle family. Oil from the leaves is used in very small amounts in mouthwash and in medicines and candy used to treat and soothe sore throats and coughs. It has also been used in some cultures to treat many other medical problems. The scientific name is Eucalyptus globulus.
euphoria(yoo-FOR-ee-uh)
A feeling of great happiness or well-being. Euphoria may be a side effect of certain drugs.
EUS
A procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal organs to make a picture (sonogram). Also called endoscopic ultrasound and endosonography.
EUS-FNA
A procedure to take a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope. An endoscope with an ultrasound probe and a biopsy needle at the end is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a lens for viewing. The ultrasound probe is used to bounce high-energy sound waves off internal organs and tissues to make a picture on a monitor. This picture helps the doctor see where to place the biopsy needle. Also called endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration.
euthanasia(YOO-thuh-NAY-zhuh)
An easy or painless death, or the intentional ending of the life of a person suffering from an incurable or painful disease at his or her request. Also called mercy killing.
Evacet(EH-vuh-set)
A form of the anticancer drug doxorubicin that is contained in very tiny, fat-like particles. It may have fewer side effects and work better than doxorubicin. Evacet is used to treat ovarian cancer, AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma, and multiple myeloma in patients whose disease has not gotten better after treatment with other anticancer drugs. It may be used together with other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Evacet is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Dox-SL, Doxil, doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome, LipoDox, and liposomal doxorubicin hydrochloride.
evaluable disease(ee-VAL-yoo-uh-bul dih-ZEEZ)
Disease that cannot be measured directly by the size of the tumor but can be evaluated by other methods specific to a particular clinical trial.
evaluable patients(ee-VAL-yoo-uh-bul PAY-shunts)
Patients whose response to a treatment can be measured because enough information has been collected.
everolimus(eh-veh-ROH-lih-mus)
A drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer that did not respond to treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Everolimus stops cancer cells from dividing and may block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also decreases the body’s immune responses. It is a type of immunosuppressant and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Afinitor and RAD001.
Evista(ee-VIS-tuh)
A drug used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of the disease or who have osteoporosis. It is also used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the prevention of breast cancer in certain premenopausal women and in the prevention and treatment of other conditions. Evista blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the breast and increases the amount of calcium in bone. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Also called raloxifene hydrochloride.
Ewing sarcoma(YOO-ing sar-KOH-muh)
A type of cancer that forms in bone or soft tissue. Also called peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumor and pPNET.
Ewing sarcoma family of tumors(YOO-ing sar-KOH-muh FAM-ih-lee .. TOO-mers)
A group of cancers that includes Ewing tumor of bone (ETB or Ewing sarcoma of bone), extraosseous Ewing (EOE) tumors, primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET or peripheral neuroepithelioma), and Askin tumors (PNET of the chest wall). These tumors all come from the same type of stem cell. Also called EFTs.
ex vivo(ex VEE-voh)
Outside of the living body. Refers to a medical procedure in which an organ, cells, or tissue are taken from a living body for a treatment or procedure, and then returned to the living body.
exatecan mesylate
An anticancer drug that is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called DX-8951f.
excision(ek-SIH-zhun)
Removal by surgery.
excisional biopsy(ek-SIH-zhun-al BY-op-see)
A surgical procedure in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.
excisional skin surgery(ek-SIH-zhun-al … SER-juh-ree)
A surgical procedure used to remove moles, cysts, skin cancer, and other skin growths using local anesthesia. To treat skin cancer, the doctor uses a scalpel to remove the entire tumor and some of the healthy tissue around it.
excrete(ek-SKREET)
To get rid of waste material from the blood, tissues, or organs by a normal discharge (such as sweat, urine, or stool).
exemestane(EK-seh-MEH-stayn)
A drug used to treat advanced breast cancer and to prevent recurrent breast cancer in postmenopausal women who have already been treated with tamoxifen. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Exemestane causes a decrease in the amount of estrogen made by the body. It is a type of aromatase inhibitor. Also called Aromasin.
exenteration(ek-ZEN-ter-AY-shun)
Surgery to remove organs within a body cavity.
exisulind(ek-sih-SOO-lind)
A drug being studied in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It has been shown to cause apoptosis (cell death) in cells that are malignant (cancer) and in cells that may become cancer. It acts through a group of cellular enzymes called cGMP phosphodiesterases.
Exjade(EX-jayd)
A drug used to treat too much iron in the blood caused by blood transfusions. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells) and other conditions. Exjade binds to extra iron in the blood. The drug and the iron are passed from the body in urine. It is a type of chelating agent. Also called deferasirox.
exocrine cancer(EK-soh-krin KAN-ser)
A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Also called pancreatic cancer.
exocrine pancreas cell
A pancreatic cell that produces enzymes that are secreted into the small intestine. These enzymes help digest food as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract.
exon
The sequence of DNA present in mature messenger RNA, some of which encodes the amino acids of a protein. Most genes have multiple exons with introns between them.
expanded access trial
A way to provide an investigational therapy to a patient who is not eligible to receive that therapy in a clinical trial, but who has a serious or life-threatening illness for which other treatments are not available. Expanded access allows a patient to receive promising but not yet fully studied or approved cancer therapies when no other treatment option exists. Also called compassionate use trial.
expectant management(ek-SPEK-tunt MA-nij-ment)
Closely monitoring a patient's condition but withholding treatment until symptoms appear or change. Also called active surveillance, observation, and watchful waiting.
experimental(ek-SPER-ih-men-tul)
In clinical trials, refers to a drug (including a new drug, dose, combination, or route of administration) or procedure that has undergone basic laboratory testing and received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested in human subjects. A drug or procedure may be approved by the FDA for use in one disease or condition, but be considered experimental in other diseases or conditions. Also called investigational.
experimental drug(ek-SPER-ih-men-tul ...)
A substance that has been tested in a laboratory and has gotten approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested in people. An experimental drug may be approved by the FDA for use in one disease or condition but be considered investigational in other diseases or conditions. Also called investigational agent and investigational drug.
exploratory surgery(ek-SPLOR-uh-TOR-ee SER-juh-ree)
Surgery to look inside the body to help make a diagnosis.
extensive-stage small cell lung cancer
Cancer has spread outside of the lung in which it began or to other parts of the body.
external radiation therapy(...RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside of the body. Also called external-beam radiation therapy.
external-beam radiation therapy(...RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside of the body. Also called external radiation therapy.
extracorporeal photopheresis(EK-struh-kore-PORE-ee-ul FOH-toh-fuh-REE-siss)
A procedure in which blood is removed from the body and treated with ultraviolet light and drugs that become active when exposed to light. The blood is then returned to the body. It is being studied in the treatment of some blood and bone marrow diseases and graft-vs-host disease (GVHD). Also called photopheresis.
extracranial(EK-struh-KRAY-nee-ul)
Outside of the cranium (bones that surround the brain).
extracranial germ cell tumor(EK-struh-KRAY-nee-ul jurm sel TOO-mer)
A rare cancer that forms in germ cells in the testicle or ovary, or in germ cells that have traveled to areas of the body other than the brain (such as the chest, abdomen, or tailbone). Germ cells are reproductive cells that develop into sperm in males and eggs in females.
extract(EK-strakt)
In medicine, a preparation of a substance obtained from plants, animals, or bacteria and used as a drug or in drugs.
extragonadal germ cell tumor(EK-struh-goh-NA-dul jurm sel TOO-mer)
A rare cancer that develops in germ cells that are found in areas of the body other than the ovary or testicle (such as the brain, chest, abdomen, or tailbone). Germ cells are reproductive cells that develop into sperm in males and eggs in females.
extrahepatic(EK-struh-heh-PA-tik)
Located or occurring outside the liver.
extrahepatic bile duct(EK-struh-heh-PA-tik BILE dukt)
The part of the common hepatic bile duct (tube that collects bile from the liver) that is outside the liver. This duct joins a duct from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct, which carries bile into the small intestine when food is being digested.
extrahepatic bile duct cancer(EK-struh-heh-PA-tik BILE dukt KAN-ser)
A rare cancer that forms in the part of the bile duct that is outside the liver. The bile duct is the tube that collects bile from the liver and joins a duct from the gallbladder to form the common bile duct, which carries bile into the small intestine when food is being digested.
extranodal(EK-struh-NOH-dul)
Refers to an area or organ outside of the lymph nodes.
extraocular(EK-struh-AH-kyoo-ler)
Located outside the eye.
extraosseous(EK-struh-AH-see-us)
Located outside of the bone.
extrapleural pneumonectomy(EK-struh-PLOOR-ul NOO-moh-NEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove a diseased lung, part of the pericardium (membrane covering the heart), part of the diaphragm (muscle between the lungs and the abdomen), and part of the parietal pleura (membrane lining the chest). This type of surgery is used most often to treat malignant mesothelioma.
extravasation(ek-STRA-vuh-SAY-shun)
The leakage of blood, lymph, or other fluid, such as an anticancer drug, from a blood vessel or tube into the tissue around it. It is also used to describe the movement of cells out of a blood vessel into tissue during inflammation or metastasis (the spread of cancer).
eye cancer(I KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in tissues of and around the eye. Some of the cancers that may affect the eye include melanoma (a rare cancer that begins in cells that make the pigment melanin in the eye), carcinoma (cancer that begins in tissues that cover structures in the eye), lymphoma (cancer that begins in immune system cells), and retinoblastoma (cancer that begins in the retina and usually occurs in children younger than 5 years).
EZN-2285
A drug used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It is a form of the anticancer drug PEG-asparaginase that stays in the body longer. EZN-2285 is an enzyme that breaks down the amino acid asparagine and may block the growth of tumor cells that need asparagine to grow. It is a type of protein synthesis inhibitor. Also called Oncaspar-IV and SC-PEG E. coli L-asparaginase.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 300 W. 10th Ave. Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: jamesline@osumc.edu