Cancer Term Glossary

ibandronate
A drug that is used to prevent and treat osteoporosis, and is being studied in the treatment of cancer that has spread to the bones. It belongs to the family of drugs called bisphosphonates.
IBMFS
Inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. A rare disorder in which a person’s bone marrow is unable to make enough blood cells and there is a family history of the same disorder. There are several different inherited bone marrow failure syndromes. Patients with an IBMFS are at high risk of forming acute leukemia or certain solid tumors. Also called inherited bone marrow failure syndrome.
ibritumomab tiuxetan(ih-brih-TOO-moh-mab ty-oo-EKS-eh-tan)
A monoclonal antibody that is used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment and detection of other types of B-cell tumors. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Ibritumomab binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B cells. It is linked to the compound tiuxetan. This allows certain radioisotopes to be attached before it is given to a patient. It is a type of monoclonal antibody-chelator conjugate. Also called Zevalin.
IBS
A disorder of the intestines commonly marked by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in a person’s bowel habits. This may include diarrhea or constipation, or both, with one occurring after the other. Also called irritable bowel syndrome, irritable colon, mucus colitis, and spastic colon.
ibuprofen(I-byoo-PROH-fen)
A drug used to treat fever, swelling, pain, and redness by preventing the body from making a substance that causes inflammation. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Also called Advil and Motrin.
ICD
A small device used to correct a heartbeat that is abnormal (too fast, too slow, or irregular). The device is placed by surgery in the chest or abdomen. Wires are passed through a vein to connect the device to the heart. When it detects abnormal heartbeats, it sends an electrical shock to the heart to restore the heartbeat to normal. Also called implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
ICE
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas that have come back and do not respond to other treatments. It includes the drugs ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide. Also called ICE regimen.
ICE regimen(… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas that have come back and do not respond to other treatments. It includes the drugs ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide. Also called ICE.
ICI 182780
A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. ICI 182780 blocks estrogen activity in the body and is a type of antiestrogen. Also called Faslodex and fulvestrant.
ICI D1694
An anticancer drug that stops tumor cells from growing by blocking the ability of cells to make DNA. It belongs to the family of drugs called thymidylate synthase inhibitors. Also called raltitrexed.
idarubicin(I-duh-ROO-bih-sin)
An anticancer drug that is a type of antitumor antibiotic. Also called 4-demethoxydaunorubicin.
IDEC-Y2B8
A radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that is used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of B-cell tumors. It is made up of the monoclonal antibody ibritumomab plus the radioisotope yttrium Y 90. It binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B cells. The radiation in the yttrium Y 90 may kill the cancer cells. IDEC-Y2B8 is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called Y 90 ibritumomab tiuxetan, Y 90 Zevalin, and yttrium Y 90 ibritumomab tiuxetan.
idiopathic
Describes a disease of unknown cause.
idiopathic myelofibrosis(IH-dee-oh-PA-thik MY-eh-loh-fy-BROH-sis)
A progressive, chronic disease in which the bone marrow is replaced by fibrous tissue and blood is made in organs such as the liver and the spleen, instead of in the bone marrow. This disease is marked by an enlarged spleen and progressive anemia. Also called agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis, myelosclerosis with myeloid metaplasia, and primary myelofibrosis.
idiopathic pneumonia syndrome(IH-dee-oh-PA-thik noo-MOH-nyuh SIN-drome)
A set of pneumonia-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, coughing, and breathing problems) that occur with no sign of infection in the lung. Idiopathic pneumonia syndrome is a serious condition that can occur after a stem cell transplant.
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis(IH-dee-oh-PA-thik PUL-muh-NAYR-ee fy-BROH-sis)
A disease in which the alveoli (tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles in the lungs) are overgrown with fibrous tissue. The cause of the disease is unknown and it gets worse over time. Symptoms include difficult, painful breathing and shortness of breath.
idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura(IH-dee-oh-PA-thik THROM-boh-sy-toh-PEE-nik PUR-pyuh-ruh)
A condition in which platelets (blood cells that cause blood clots to form) are destroyed by the immune system. The low platelet count causes easy bruising and bleeding, which may be seen as purple areas in the skin, mucous membranes, and outer linings of organs. Also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura and ITP.
idoxifene
A drug that blocks the effects of estrogen.
idoxuridine
A drug that reduces the risk of cancer cell growth by interfering with the cells' DNA.
IFA
A mixture of oil and water that is combined with a specific antigen to boost the immune response to that antigen. It is being studied in immunotherapy and as a way to increase the immune response to cancer vaccines. It is a type of immune modulator. Also called incomplete Freund's adjuvant and Montanide ISA-51.
Ifex(I-feks)
A drug that is used together with other drugs to treat germ cell testicular cancer that did not respond to previous treatment with other drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ifex attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of antimetabolite. Also called ifosfamide.
IFN alpha-2B(… AL-fuh…)
A drug used to treat some infections caused by viruses and several types of cancer. These include hairy cell leukemia, melanoma, and follicular lymphoma. It is a form of interferon alfa (a substance normally made by cells of the immune system) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called interferon alfa-2b, Intron A, and recombinant interferon alfa-2b.
iFOBT
A test to check for blood in the stool. A brush is used to collect water drops from around the surface of a stool while it is still in the toilet bowl. The samples are then sent to a laboratory, where they are checked for a human blood protein. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also called immunoassay fecal occult blood test, immunochemical fecal occult blood test, and immunologic fecal occult blood test.
ifosfamide(i-FOS-fuh-mide)
A drug that is used together with other drugs to treat germ cell testicular cancer that did not respond to previous treatment with other drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ifosfamide attaches to DNA in cells and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of alkylating agent and a type of antimetabolite. Also called Ifex.
Ig(I-jee)
A protein that acts as an antibody. Immunoglobulins are made by B cells and plasma cells. An Ig is a type of glycoprotein with two heavy chains and two light chains. Also called immunoglobulin.
IGF
A protein made by the body that stimulates the growth of many types of cells. IGF is similar to insulin (a hormone made in the pancreas). There are two forms of IGF called IGF-1 and IGF-2. Higher than normal levels of IGF-1 may increase the risk of several types of cancer. IGF is a type of growth factor and a type of cytokine. Also called insulin-like growth factor and somatomedin.
IGFR
A protein found on the surface of some types of cells that binds to insulin-like growth factor (IGF). This causes the cells to grow and divide. IGFR is found at high levels on the surface of several types of cancer cells, which causes these cells to grow rapidly in the presence of IGF. Also called insulin-like growth factor receptor.
IgG-RFT5-dgA
A monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of melanoma that has spread to distant parts of the body. IgG-RFT5-dgA is made in the laboratory. It can find and kill certain white blood cells that prevent the immune system from killing cancer cells. Also called RFT5-dgA immunotoxin.
IH636 grape seed extract
A substance being studied for its ability to prevent damage to normal tissue caused by radiation therapy. It is a type of antioxidant.
IL
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. ILs regulate immune responses. ILs made in the laboratory are used as biological response modifiers to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. An interleukin is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin.
IL-1
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-1 is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. There are two forms of IL-1, alpha and beta, which act the same. IL-1 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-1 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-1.
IL-1-alfa(... AL-fuh)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-1-alfa, one form of IL-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of IL-1, IL-1-beta, acts the same as IL-1-alfa. IL-1-alfa made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-1-alfa is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1-alpha, interleukin-1-alfa, and interleukin-1-alpha.
IL-1-alpha(... AL-fuh)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-1-alpha, one form of IL-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of IL-1, IL-1-beta, acts the same as IL-1-alpha. IL-1-alpha made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-1-alpha is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1-alfa, interleukin-1-alfa, and interleukin-1-alpha.
IL-1-beta(... BAY-tuh)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-1-beta, one form of IL-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of IL-1, IL-1-alpha, acts the same as IL-1-beta. IL-1-beta made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-1-beta is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1B and interleukin-1-beta.
IL-11
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-11 is made by support cells in the bone marrow. It causes the growth of several types of blood cells. Oprelvekin (IL-11 made in the laboratory) is used as a biological response modifier to increase the number of platelets, especially in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer. IL-11 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-11.
IL-12
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-12 is made mainly by B lymphocytes and macrophages. It causes other immune cells to make cytokines and increases the growth of T lymphocytes. It may also block the growth of new blood vessels. IL-12 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-12 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-12.
IL-1B
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-1B, one form of IL-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of IL-1, IL-1-alpha, acts the same as IL-1B. IL-1B made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-1B is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1-beta and interleukin-1-beta.
IL-2
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-2 is made by a type of T lymphocyte. It increases the growth and activity of other T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, and affects the development of the immune system. Aldesleukin (IL-2 made in the laboratory) is being used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-2 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-2.
IL-3
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-3 is made mainly by a type of T lymphocyte. It increases the number of blood cells made by the bone marrow. IL-3 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-3 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-3.
IL-4
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-4 is made by a type of T lymphocyte. It causes B lymphocytes to increase and to make antibodies and also increases the production of T lymphocyte. IL-4 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-4 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-4.
IL-6
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-6 is made mainly by some T lymphocyte. It causes B lymphocytes to make more antibodies and also causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. IL-6 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-6 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-6.
IL-7
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. IL-7 is made by cells that cover and support organs, glands, and other structures in the body. It causes the growth of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. IL-7 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. IL-7 is a type of cytokine. Also called interleukin-7 and lymphopoietin-1.
ileostomy(IL-ee-OS-toh-mee)
An opening into the ileum, part of the small intestine, from the outside of the body. An ileostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the intestine has been removed.
ileus(IH-lee-us)
Blockage of the intestines
iloprost
A substance that is being studied in the prevention of lung cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called prostaglandin analogs.
ILX-295501
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug. It belongs to the family of drugs called diarylsulfonylureas.
ILX23-7553
A substance that is being studied as an anticancer drug.
IM
Within or into muscle. Also called intramuscular.
IM-862
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.
imagery(IH-mij-ree)
A technique in which the person focuses on positive images in his or her mind.
imaging(IH-muh-jing)
In medicine, a process that makes pictures of areas inside the body. Imaging uses methods such as x-rays (high-energy radiation), ultrasound (high-energy sound waves), and radio waves.
imaging procedure
A method of producing pictures of areas inside the body.
imatinib mesylate(ih-MAH-tih-nib MEH-zih-layt)
A drug used to treat different types of leukemia and other cancers of the blood, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, skin tumors called dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, and a rare condition called systemic mastocytosis. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Imatinib mesylate blocks the protein made by the bcr/abl oncogene. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Gleevec and STI571.
IMC-1121B
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer that has come back. It binds to receptors for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This keeps VEGF from binding to the receptors and may stop the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B and ramucirumab.
IMC-3G3
A substance being studied in the treatment of glioblastoma (a type of brain tumor) that has come back. It binds to receptors for a protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This keeps PDGF from binding to the cells. This may stop the growth of cancer cells and blood vessels that have the receptors for PDGF. It is a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-PDGFR alpha monoclonal antibody IMC-3G3 and anti-platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha monoclonal antibody IMC-3G3.
IMC-A12
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is a monoclonal antibody that is made in the laboratory and can bind to substances in the body. IMC-A12 blocks the action of a protein needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) inhibitor. Also called cixutumumab.
imexon(i-MEX-on)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, breast, prostate, melanoma, and multiple myeloma. It belongs to the family of drugs called cyanoaziridine derivatives. Also called Amplimexon.
imipenem
An antibiotic drug used to treat severe or very resistant infection. It belongs to the family of drugs called carbapenems.
imiquimod(ih-MIH-kwee-mod)
A drug used to treat early basal cell skin cancer and certain other skin conditions. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Imiquimod is a type of biological response modifier. Also called Aldara.
immature teratoma(IH-muh-CHOOR TAYR-uh-TOH-muh)
A rare type of malignant (cancer) germ cell tumor (type of tumor that begins in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs) that often contains several different types of tissue such as hair, muscle, and bone.
IMMU-106
A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the treatment of refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. IMMU-106 binds to the protein CD20, which is found on B cells (a type of immune system cell), and some types of lymphoma cells. Also called hA20, HCD20, and veltuzumab.
immune adjuvant(ih-MYOON A-juh-vunt)
A drug that stimulates the immune system to respond to disease.
immune complex hemolytic anemia(ih-MYOON KOM-plex HEE-moh-LIH-tik uh-NEE-mee-uh)
A condition in which the body’s immune system stops red blood cells from forming or causes them to clump together. Immune complex hemolytic anemia can occur in patients who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Also called autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immunohemolytic anemia.
immune function(ih-MYOON FUNK-shun)
Production and action of cells that fight disease or infection.
immune response(ih-MYOON reh-SPONTS)
The activity of the immune system against foreign substances (antigens).
immune system(ih-MYOON SIS-tem)
The complex group of organs and cells that defends the body against infections and other diseases.
immune system tolerance(ih-MYOON SIS-tem TAH-leh-runts)
The failure of the immune system to respond to an antigen that previously caused an immune response.
immune thrombocytopenic purpura(ih-MYOON THROM-boh-sy-toh-PEE-nik PUR-pyuh-ruh)
A condition in which platelets (blood cells that cause blood clots to form) are destroyed by the immune system. The low platelet count causes easy bruising and bleeding, which may be seen as purple areas in the skin, mucous membranes, and outer linings of organs. Also called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and ITP.
immunity(ih-MYOO-nih-tee)
The condition of being protected against an infectious disease. Immunity can be caused by a vaccine, previous infection with the same agent, or by transfer of immune substances from another person or animal.
immunization
A technique used to cause an immune response that results in resistance to a specific disease, especially an infectious disease.
immunoassay(IH-myoo-noh-A-say)
A test that uses the binding of antibodies to antigens to identify and measure certain substances. Immunoassays may be used to diagnose disease. Also, test results can provide information about a disease that may help in planning treatment (for example, when estrogen receptors are measured in breast cancer).
immunoassay fecal occult blood test(IH-myoo-noh-A-say FEE-kul uh-KULT ...)
A test to check for blood in the stool. A brush is used to collect water drops from around the surface of a stool while it is still in the toilet bowl. The samples are then sent to a laboratory, where they are checked for a human blood protein. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also called iFOBT, immunochemical fecal occult blood test, and immunologic fecal occult blood test.
immunochemical fecal occult blood test(IH-myoo-noh-KEH-mih-kul FEE-kul uh-KULT...)
A test to check for blood in the stool. A brush is used to collect water drops from around the surface of a stool while it is still in the toilet bowl. The samples are then sent to a laboratory, where they are checked for a human blood protein. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also called iFOBT, immunoassay fecal occult blood test, and immunologic fecal occult blood test.
immunocompetence(IH-myoo-noh-KOM-peh-tents)
The ability to produce a normal immune response.
immunocompetent(IH-myoo-noh-KOM-peh-tent)
Having the ability to produce a normal immune response.
immunocompromised(IH-myoo-noh-KOM-proh-mized)
Having a weakened immune system caused by certain diseases or treatments.
immunodeficiency(IH-myoo-noh-dih-FIH-shun-see)
The decreased ability of the body to fight infections and other diseases.
immunodeficiency syndrome(IH-myoo-noh-dih-FIH-shun-see SIN-drome)
The inability of the body to produce an immune response.
immunoglobulin(IH-myoo-noh-GLAH-byoo-lin)
A protein that acts as an antibody. Immunoglobulins are made by B cells and plasma cells. An immunoglobulin is a type of glycoprotein with two heavy chains and two light chains. Also called Ig.
immunohemolytic anemia(IH-myoo-noh-HEE-moh-LIH-tik uh-NEE-mee-uh)
A condition in which the body’s immune system stops red blood cells from forming or causes them to clump together. Immunohemolytic anemia can occur in patients who have chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Also called autoimmune hemolytic anemia and immune complex hemolytic anemia.
immunohistochemistry(IH-myoo-noh-HIS-toh-KEH-mih-stree)
A technique used to identify specific molecules in different kinds of tissue. The tissue is treated with antibodies that bind the specific molecule. These are made visible under a microscope by using a color reaction, a radioisotope, colloidal gold, or a fluorescent dye. Immunohistochemistry is used to help diagnose diseases, such as cancer, and to detect the presence of microorganisms. It is also used in basic research to understand how cells grow and differentiate (become more specialized).
immunologic fecal occult blood test(IH-myoo-noh-LAH-jik FEE-kul uh-KULT...)
A test to check for blood in the stool. A brush is used to collect water drops from around the surface of a stool while it is still in the toilet bowl. The samples are then sent to a laboratory, where they are checked for a human blood protein. Blood in the stool may be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also called iFOBT, immunoassay fecal occult blood test, and immunochemical fecal occult blood test.
immunological adjuvant(IH-myoo-noh-LAH-jih-kul A-juh-vunt)
A substance used to help boost the immune response to a vaccine so that less vaccine is needed.
immunology(IH-myoo-NAH-loh-jee)
The study of the body's immune system.
immunomodulation(IH-myoo-noh-MAH-juh-LAY-shun)
Change in the body's immune system, caused by agents that activate or suppress its function.
immunophenotyping(IM-yoo-no-FEE-no-tie-ping)
A process used to identify cells, based on the types of antigens or markers on the surface of the cell. This process is used to diagnose specific types of leukemia and lymphoma by comparing the cancer cells to normal cells of the immune system.
immunoscintigraphy(IH-myoo-noh-sin-TIH-gruh-fee)
An imaging procedure in which antibodies labeled with radioactive substances are given to the person. A picture is taken of sites in the body where the antibody localizes.
immunostimulant(IH-myoo-noh-STIH-myoo-lunt)
A substance that increases the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease.
immunosuppressant(IH-myoo-noh-suh-PREH-sunt)
An agent that decreases the body’s immune responses. It reduces the body’s ability to fight infections and other diseases, such as cancer. Immunosuppressants may be used to keep a person from rejecting a bone marrow or organ transplant. They are also used in the treatment of conditions marked by over-active immune responses, such as auto-immune diseases and allergies.
immunosuppression(IH-myoo-noh-suh-PREH-shun)
Suppression of the body's immune system and its ability to fight infections and other diseases. Immunosuppression may be deliberately induced with drugs, as in preparation for bone marrow or other organ transplantation, to prevent rejection of the donor tissue. It may also result from certain diseases such as AIDS or lymphoma or from anticancer drugs.
immunosuppressive(IH-myoo-noh-suh-PREH-siv)
Describes the ability to decrease the body's immune system responses.
immunosuppressive therapy(IH-myoo-noh-suh-PREH-siv THAYR-uh-pee)
Therapy used to decrease the body's immune responses, such as drugs given to prevent transplant rejection.
immunotherapy(IH-myoo-noh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment to boost or restore the ability of the immune system to fight cancer, infections, and other diseases. Also used to lessen certain side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments. Agents used in immunotherapy include monoclonal antibodies, growth factors, and vaccines. These agents may also have a direct antitumor effect. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biological therapy, biotherapy, and BRM therapy.
immunotoxin(IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
An antibody linked to a toxic substance. Some immunotoxins can bind to cancer cells and kill them.
Imodium(ih-MOH-dee-um)
A drug used to treat diarrhea. Imodium slows the movement of the muscles in the small intestine to allow more water to be taken out of the feces (waste matter) and more nutrients to be absorbed. Also called loperamide hydrochloride.
impairment(im-PAYR-ment)
A loss of part or all of a physical or mental ability, such as the ability to see, walk, or learn.
implant
A substance or object that is put in the body as a prosthesis, or for treatment or diagnosis.
implant displacement views(… 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 displacement views and Eklund views.
implant radiation therapy(... RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, internal radiation therapy, and radiation brachytherapy.
implantable cardioverter-defibrillator(im-PLAN-tuh-bul KAR-dee-oh-VER-ter-dee-FIH-brih-LAY-ter)
A small device used to correct a heartbeat that is abnormal (too fast, too slow, or irregular). The device is placed by surgery in the chest or abdomen. Wires are passed through a vein to connect the device to the heart. When it detects abnormal heartbeats, it sends an electrical shock to the heart to restore the heartbeat to normal. Also called ICD.
implantable pump
A small device installed under the skin to administer a steady dose of drugs.
impotence
In medicine, refers to the inability to have an erection of the penis adequate for sexual intercourse. Also called erectile dysfunction.
impotent(IM-po-tent)
In medicine, describes the inability to have an erection of the penis adequate for sexual intercourse.
IMRT
A type of 3-dimensional radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. Thin beams of radiation of different intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. This type of radiation therapy reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor. Also called intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan(... ih-brih-TOO-moh-mab ty-oo-EKS-eh-tan)
A radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that is used to detect certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the detection of other types of B-cell tumors. It is made up of the monoclonal antibody ibritumomab plus the radioisotope indium 111. It binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B cells. A machine is used to detect which cells in the body have bound the antibody. In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called In 111 Zevalin and indium In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan.
In 111 Zevalin(... ZEV-uh-lin)
A radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that is used to detect certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the detection of other types of B-cell tumors. It is made up of the monoclonal antibody ibritumomab plus the radioisotope indium 111. It binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B cells. A machine is used to detect which cells in the body have bound the antibody. In 111 Zevalin is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan and indium In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan.
in situ(in SY-too)
In its original place. For example, in carcinoma in situ, abnormal cells are found only in the place where they first formed. They have not spread.
in vitro(in VEE-troh)
In the laboratory (outside the body). The opposite of in vivo (in the body).
in vitro fertilization(in VEE-troh FER-tih-lih-ZAY-shun)
A procedure in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovary and combined with sperm outside the body to form embryos. The embryos are grown in the laboratory for several days and then either placed in a woman’s uterus or cryopreserved (frozen) for future use.
in vivo
In the body. The opposite of in vitro (outside the body or in the laboratory).
in-transit metastasis(in-TRAN-zit meh-TAS-tuh-sis)
A type of metastasis in which skin cancer spreads through a lymph vessel and begins to grow more than 2 centimeters away from the primary tumor but before it reaches the nearest lymph node.
inalimarev(IN-uh-LIM-uh-rev)
A cancer vaccine made with a form of vaccinia virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins, including the tumor markers called CEA and MUC-1, that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called PANVAC-V and recombinant vaccinia-CEA-MUC-1-TRICOM vaccine.
incidence
The number of new cases of a disease diagnosed each year.
incision(in-SIH-zhun)
A cut made in the body to perform surgery.
incisional biopsy(in-SIH-zhun-al BY-op-see)
A surgical procedure in which a portion of a lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope to check for signs of disease.
incomplete Freund's adjuvant(in-kum-PLEET froyndz A-juh-vunt)
A mixture of oil and water that is combined with a specific antigen to boost the immune response to that antigen. It is being studied in immunotherapy and as a way to increase the immune response to cancer vaccines. It is a type of immune modulator. Also called IFA and Montanide ISA-51.
inconclusive
A negative test result in an individual where a clearly deleterious mutation has not been found in any family members. The genetic risk status of such an individual must be interpreted in the context of his or her personal and family history. Also called indeterminate and uninformative.
incontinence(in-KAHN-tih-nens)
Inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder (urinary incontinence) or the escape of stool from the rectum (fecal incontinence).
incubated
Grown in the laboratory under controlled conditions. For example, white blood cells can be grown in special conditions so that they attack specific cancer cells when returned to the body.
indeterminate
A negative test result in an individual where a clearly deleterious mutation has not been found in any family members. The genetic risk status of such an individual must be interpreted in the context of his or her personal and family history. Also called inconclusive and uninformative.
index case
A clinically affected individual through whom attention is first drawn to a genetic disorder in a family.
Indian cress(IN-dee-un kres)
Parts of the flowering plant have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects. The scientific name is Nasturtium officinale. Also called watercress.
Indian elm
The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called gray elm, red elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, Ulmus fulva, and Ulmus rubra.
Indian rhubarb(IN-dee-un ROO-barb)
The root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale. Also called Chinese rhubarb, da-huang, rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.
Indian saffron(IN-dee-un SA-fron)
An East Indian plant that is a member of the ginger family and is used as a spice and food color. The underground stems are used in some cultures to treat certain stomach problems. The substance in Indian saffron that gives it a yellow color (curcumin) is being studied in the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer disease, cystic fibrosis, and psoriasis. The scientific name is Curcuma longa. Also called jiang huang and turmeric.
Indian valerian
A plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden heliotrope, garden valerian, Mexican valerian, Pacific valerian, valerian, Valeriana officinalis, and Valerianae radix.
indication
In medicine, a sign, symptom, or medical condition that leads to the recommendation of a treatment, test, or procedure.
indinavir
A drug that interferes with the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.
indirect ophthalmoscopy(… OP-thal-MOS-koh-pee)
An exam of the inside of the back of the eye using a beam of light and a hand-held lens. Indirect ophthalmoscopy gives a wider view inside the eye than an exam using an ophthalmoscope does.
indium In 111 anti-CEA monoclonal antibody M5A(IN-dee-um … MAH-noh-KLOH-nul AN-tee-BAH-dee …)
A substance being studied in the imaging of some types of cancer. M5A is a monoclonal antibody that binds to a protein called CEA on the surface of some tumor cells. It is linked to a radioisotope called indium In 111. The combined substance is injected into the blood, and a machine is used to find cells in the body that bind to it. Indium In 111 anti-CEA monoclonal antibody M5A is a type of radioimmunoconjugate.
indium In 111 CHX-A DTPA trastuzumab(IN-dee-um … tras-TOO-zuh-mab)
A substance being studied in the imaging of breast cancer and some other types of cancer. It is made by attaching a radioactive substance called indium 111 to the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin). Trastuzumab binds to the human growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) on some breast cancer cells and on several other types of cancer cells. Indium In 111 CHX-A DTPA trastuzumab is a type of radioimmunoconjugate.
indium In 111 DOTA monoclonal antibody HuAFP31(IN-dee-um … MAH-noh-KLOH-nul AN-tih-BAH-dee …)
A substance being studied in the treatment of liver cancer. It is made by attaching a radioactive substance called indium 111 to a monoclonal antibody called HuAFP31. HuAFP31 binds to tumor cells that make alpha fetoprotein (AFP), and the indium In 111 may kill the tumor cells. It is a type of radioimmunoconjugate.
indium In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan(IN-dee-um … ih-brih-TOO-moh-mab ty-oo-EKS-eh-tan)
A radiolabeled monoclonal antibody that is used to detect certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the detection of other types of B-cell tumors. It is made up of the monoclonal antibody ibritumomab plus the radioisotope indium 111. It binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B cells. A machine is used to detect which cells in the body have bound the antibody. Indium In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called In 111 ibritumomab tiuxetan and In 111 Zevalin.
indium In 111 pentetreotide
An anticancer drug belonging to a family of drugs called radiopharmaceuticals.
indole-3-carbinol
A substance that is being studied as a cancer prevention drug. It is found in cruciferous vegetables.
indolent(IN-doe-lint)
A type of cancer that grows slowly.
indolent lymphoma(IN-doh-lent lim-FOH-muh)
A type of lymphoma that tends to grow and spread slowly, and has few symptoms. Also called low-grade lymphoma.
indomethacin(IN-doh-MEH-thuh-sin)
A drug that reduces pain, fever, swelling, and redness. It is also being used to reduce tumor-induced suppression of the immune system and to increase the effectiveness of anticancer drugs. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
induction therapy(in-DUK-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Initial treatment used to reduce a cancer. Induction therapy is followed by other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy to get rid of cancer that remains. Also called first-line therapy, primary therapy, and primary treatment.
infantile genetic agranulocytosis(IN-fun-TILE jeh-NEH-tik ay-GRAN-yoo-loh-sy-TOH-sis)
An inherited disorder in which there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that is important in fighting infections). Infants with the disorder get infections caused by bacteria, and are at an increased risk of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) or myelodysplasia (a bone marrow disorder). Also called congenital neutropenia, genetic infantile agranulocytosis, Kostmann disease, Kostmann neutropenia, and Kostmann syndrome.
infantile rickets(IN-fun-TILE RIH-kets)
A condition in children in which bones become soft and deformed because they don’t have enough calcium and phosphorus. It is caused by not having enough vitamin D in the diet or by not getting enough sunlight. In adults, this condition is called osteomalacia. Also called juvenile rickets, rachitis, and rickets.
infection
Invasion and multiplication of germs in the body. Infections can occur in any part of the body and can spread throughout the body. The germs may be bacteria, viruses, yeast, or fungi. They can cause a fever and other problems, depending on where the infection occurs. When the body’s natural defense system is strong, it can often fight the germs and prevent infection. Some cancer treatments can weaken the natural defense system.
inferior vena cava
A large vein that empties into the heart. It carries blood from the legs and feet and from organs in the abdomen and pelvis.
infertile
Unable to produce children.
infertility(IN-fer-TIH-lih-tee)
The inability to produce children.
infiltrating breast cancer(IN-fil-TRAY-ting brest KAN-ser)
Cancer that has spread from where it started in the breast into surrounding, healthy tissue. Most infiltrating breast cancers start in the ducts (tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple). Infiltrating breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Also called invasive breast cancer.
infiltrating cancer(IN-fil-TRAY-ting KAN-ser)
Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues. Also called invasive cancer.
infiltrating ductal carcinoma(IN-fil-TRAY-ting DUK-tul KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
The most common type of invasive breast cancer. It starts in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast, grows outside the ducts, and often spreads to the lymph nodes.
inflammation(IN-fluh-MAY-shun)
Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues.
inflammatory
Having to do with inflammation (redness, swelling, pain, and a feeling of heat that helps protect tissues affected by injury or disease).
inflammatory bowel disease(in-FLA-muh-TOR-ee BOW-ul dih-ZEEZ)
A general term that refers to the inflammation of the colon and rectum. Inflammatory bowel disease includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease.
inflammatory breast cancer(in-FLA-muh-TOR-ee brest KAN-ser)
A type of breast cancer in which the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm. The skin of the breast may also show the pitted appearance called peau d'orange (like the skin of an orange). The redness and warmth occur because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin.
infliximab
A monoclonal antibody that blocks the action of a cytokine called tumor necrosis factor alfa. It is being studied in the treatment and prevention of weight loss and loss of appetite in patients with advanced cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called monoclonal antibodies.
influenza A virus(IN-floo-EN-zuh … VY-rus)
One of three types of virus that cause the illness called influenza (flu). The influenza A virus can infect people, birds, pigs, horses, and other animals. It is the main cause of most influenza epidemics.
informative
In genetic testing, a test result that reveals definitively the presence or absence of the germline genetic alteration associated with the hereditary disorder being assessed. In linkage analysis, the ability to distinguish between maternally inherited and paternally inherited DNA markers (polymorphisms) within or near a given gene of interest.
informed consent
A process in which a person is given important facts about a medical procedure or treatment, a clinical trial, or genetic testing before deciding whether or not to participate. It also includes informing the patient when there is new information that may affect his or her decision to continue. Informed consent includes information about the possible risks, benefits, and limits of the procedure, treatment, trial, or genetic testing.
infrared coagulation(IN-fruh-RED koh-A-gyuh-LAY-shun)
A technique in which abnormal tissue is exposed to a burst of infrared light (a type of radiation). This causes blood in veins in the tissue to coagulate (harden) and the abnormal tissue to shrink. It is being studied in the prevention of anal cancer in some patients with HIV.
infrared thermography(IN-fruh-RED ther-MAH-gruh-fee)
In medicine, a procedure in which an infrared camera (one that senses heat) is used to measure temperature differences on the surface of the body. The camera makes pictures that show areas of possible abnormal cell growth because abnormal tissue gives off more heat than normal tissue does.
infusion(in-FYOO-zhun)
A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous infusion.
ingestion
Taking into the body by mouth.
inguinal orchiectomy(IN-gwih-nul OR-kee-EK-toh-mee)
An operation in which the testicle is removed through an incision in the groin.
inhalation
In medicine, refers to the act of taking a substance into the body by breathing.
inhaler(in-HAY-ler)
A device for giving medicines in the form of a spray that is inhaled (breathed in) through the nose or mouth. Inhalers are used to treat medical problems such as bronchitis, angina, emphysema, and asthma. They are also used to help relieve symptoms that occur when a person is trying to quit smoking.
inherited(in-HAYR-it-ed)
Transmitted through genes that have been passed from parents to their offspring (children).
inherited bone marrow failure syndrome(in-HAYR-it-ed bone MAYR-oh FAYL-yer SIN-drome)
A rare disorder in which a person’s bone marrow is unable to make enough blood cells and there is a family history of the same disorder. There are several different types of inherited bone marrow failure syndrome, and patients with one of them are at high risk of forming acute leukemia or certain solid tumors. Also called IBMFS.
inherited cancer syndrome
Describes the clinical manifestations associated with a mutation conferring cancer susceptibility.
injection
Use of a syringe and needle to push fluids or drugs into the body; often called a "shot."
Innohep(IN-oh-HEP)
A drug that is used with another drug, warfarin, to treat blood clots that form deep in the veins and to prevent new blood clots from forming. It is a type of anticoagulant. Also called tinzaparin and tinzaparin sodium.
inoperable
Describes a condition that cannot be treated by surgery.
inositol(ih-NOH-sih-TOL)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Inositol helps cells make membranes and respond to messages from their environment. It has the same chemical formula as glucose (the chief source of energy for living organisms) but has a different arrangement of atoms. It is found in beans, peas, brown rice, wheat bran and nuts. It is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Inositol is being studied in the prevention of cancer. Also called myoinositol.
inositol hexaphosphate(ih-NAH-sih-TOL HEK-suh-FOS-fayt)
A substance found in many foods that come from plants, including corn, wheat, rice, and soybeans, and in large amounts in cereals and legumes. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer. Also called IP6 and phytic acid.
INS316
A substance being studied in the diagnosis of lung diseases, including lung cancer. It helps bring up a sample of mucus from deep in the lungs and improves the quality of the sample for testing. It is a type of nucleoside triphosphate.
insomnia
Difficulty in going to sleep or getting enough sleep.
instillation
In medicine, a method used to put a liquid into the body slowly or drop by drop.
Institutional Review Board(IN-stih-TOO-shuh-nul reh-VYOO BORD)
A group of scientists, doctors, clergy, and consumers that reviews and approves the action plan for every clinical trial. There is an Institutional Review Board at every health care facility that does clinical research. Institutional Review Boards are designed to protect the people who take part in a clinical trial. Institutional Review Boards check to see that the trial is well designed, legal, ethical, does not involve unneccesary risks, and includes safeguards for patients. Also called IRB.
insulin(IN-suh-lin)
A hormone made by the islet cells of the pancreas. Insulin controls the amount of sugar in the blood by moving it into the cells, where it can be used by the body for energy.
insulin-like growth factor(IN-suh-lin-like grohth FAK-ter)
A protein made by the body that stimulates the growth of many types of cells. Insulin-like growth factor is similar to insulin (a hormone made in the pancreas). There are two forms of insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1 and IGF-2. Higher than normal levels of IGF-1 may increase the risk of several types of cancer. Insulin-like growth factor is a type of growth factor and a type of cytokine. Also called IGF and somatomedin.
insulin-like growth factor receptor(IN-suh-lin-like grohth FAK-ter reh-SEP-ter)
A protein found on the surface of some types of cells that binds to insulin-like growth factor (IGF). This causes the cells to grow and divide. Insulin-like growth factor receptor is found at high levels on the surface of several types of cancer cells, which causes these cells to grow rapidly in the presence of IGF. Also called IGFR.
intensification therapy(in-TEN-sih-fih-KAY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment that is given after cancer has disappeared following the initial therapy. Intensification therapy is used to kill any cancer cells that may be left in the body. It may include radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant, or treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells. Also called consolidation therapy and postremission therapy.
intensity-modulated radiation therapy(in-TEN-sih-tee-MAH-juh-LAY-tid RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of 3-dimensional radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. Thin beams of radiation of different intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. This type of radiation therapy reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor. Also called IMRT.
intercalator
In biochemistry, a type of molecule that binds to DNA and inserts itself into the DNA structure. Some intercalators are used as treatments for cancer.
interfering thought(IN-ter-FEER-ing thawt)
An unpleasant memory or idea that occurs often in a person’s everyday thoughts and keeps him or her from thinking about other things. Interfering thoughts can make sleep difficult and make a person unable to carry out daily activities. Also called intrusive thought.
interferon(in-ter-FEER-on)
A biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infections and other diseases). Interferons interfere with the division of cancer cells and can slow tumor growth. There are several types of interferons, including interferon-alpha, -beta, and -gamma. The body normally produces these substances. They are also made in the laboratory to treat cancer and other diseases.
interferon alfa-2b(in-ter-FEER-on AL-fuh …)
A drug used to treat some infections caused by viruses and several types of cancer. These include hairy cell leukemia, melanoma, and follicular lymphoma. It is a form of interferon alfa (a substance normally made by cells of the immune system) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called IFN alpha-2B, Intron A, and recombinant interferon alfa-2b.
interleukin(in-ter-LOO-kin)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukins regulate immune responses. Interleukins made in the laboratory are used as biological response modifiers to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. An interleukin is a type of cytokine. Also called IL.
interleukin-1(in-ter-LOO-kin …)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-1 is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. There are two forms of interleukin-1, alpha and beta, which act the same. Interleukin-1 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-1 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1.
interleukin-1-alfa(in-ter-LOO-kin ... AL-fuh)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-1-alfa, one form of interleukin-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of interleukin-1, interleukin-1-beta, acts the same as interleukin-1-alfa. Interleukin-1-alfa made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-1-alfa is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1-alfa, IL-1-alpha, and interleukin-1-alpha.
interleukin-1-alpha(in-ter-LOO-kin … AL-fuh)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-1-alpha, one form of interleukin-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of interleukin-1, interleukin-1-beta, acts the same as interleukin-1-alpha. Interleukin-1-alpha made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-1-alpha is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1-alfa, IL-1-alpha, and interleukin-1-alfa.
interleukin-1-beta(in-ter-LOO-kin ... BAY-tuh)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-1-beta, one form of interleukin-1, is made mainly by one type of white blood cell, the macrophage, and helps another type of white blood cell, the lymphocyte, fight infections. It also helps leukocytes pass through blood vessel walls to sites of infection and causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. The other form of interleukin-1, interleukin-1-alpha, acts the same as interleukin-1-beta. Interleukin-1-beta made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-1-beta is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-1-beta and IL-1B.
interleukin-11(in-ter-LOO-kin...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-11 is made by support cells in the bone marrow. It causes the growth of several types of blood cells. Oprelvekin (interleukin-11 made in the laboratory) is used as a biological response modifier to increase the number of platelets, especially in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Interleukin-11 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-11.
interleukin-12(in-ter-LOO-kin)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-12 is made mainly by B lymphocytes and macrophages. It causes other immune cells to make cytokines and increases the growth of T lymphocytes. It may also block the growth of new blood vessels. Interleukin-12 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-12 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-12.
interleukin-13 PE38QQR immunotoxin(in-ter-LOO-kin … IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made by combining interleukin-13 with a toxin from Pseudomonas bacteria. It is a type of recombinant chimeric protein.
interleukin-2(in-ter-LOO-kin...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-2 is made by a type of T lymphocyte. It increases the growth and activity of other T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, and affects the development of the immune system. Aldesleukin (interleukin-2 made in the laboratory) is being used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-2 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-2.
interleukin-3(in-ter-LOO-kin...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-3 is made mainly by a type of T lymphocyte. It increases the number of blood cells made by the bone marrow. Interleukin-3 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-3 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-3.
interleukin-4(in-ter-LOO-kin...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-4 is made by a type of T lymphocyte. It causes B lymphocytes to increase and to make antibodies and also increases the production of T lymphocyte. Interleukin-4 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-4 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-4.
interleukin-4 PE38KDEL cytotoxin(in-ter-LOO-kin ... SY-toh-TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made by combining interleukin-4 with a bacterial toxin. Interleukin-4 PE38KDEL cytotoxin is a type of recombinant chimeric protein. Also called interleukin-4 PE38KDEL immunotoxin and NBI-3001.
interleukin-4 PE38KDEL immunotoxin(in-ter-LOO-kin ... IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is made by combining interleukin-4 with a bacterial toxin. Interleukin-4 PE38KDEL immunotoxin is a type of recombinant chimeric protein. Also called interleukin-4 PE38KDEL cytotoxin and NBI-3001.
interleukin-6(in-ter-LOO-kin...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-6 is made mainly by some T lymphocyte. It causes B lymphocytes to make more antibodies and also causes fever by affecting areas of the brain that control body temperature. Interleukin-6 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-6 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-6.
interleukin-7(in-ter-LOO-kin...)
One of a group of related proteins made by leukocytes (white blood cells) and other cells in the body. Interleukin-7 is made by cells that cover and support organs, glands, and other structures in the body. It causes the growth of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. Interleukin-7 made in the laboratory is used as a biological response modifier to boost the immune system in cancer therapy. Interleukin-7 is a type of cytokine. Also called IL-7 and lymphopoietin-1.
intermediate-grade lymphoma
A type of lymphoma that grows and spreads quickly, and has severe symptoms. It is seen frequently in patients who are HIV-positive (AIDS-related lymphoma). Also called aggressive lymphoma and high-grade lymphoma.
internal examination(in-TER-nul eg-ZA-mih-NAY-shun)
A physical examination in which the health care professional will feel for lumps or changes in the shape of the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and rectum. The health care professional will also use a speculum to open the vagina to look at the cervix and take samples for a Pap test. Also called pelvic examination.
internal radiation therapy(in-TER-nul RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, implant radiation therapy, and radiation brachytherapy.
International Unit
A unit used to measure the activity of many vitamins, hormones, enzymes, and drugs. An International Unit is the amount of a substance that has a certain biological effect. For each substance there is an international agreement on the biological effect that is expected for 1 International Unit. Also called IU.
internist(in-TER-nist)
A doctor who specializes in internal medicine. An internist works with adult patients to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases without using surgery.
interstitial cell-stimulating hormone(IN-ter-STIH-shul SEL STIM-yoo-LAY-ting HOR-mone)
A hormone made in the pituitary gland. In females, it acts on the ovaries to make follicles release their eggs and to make hormones that get the uterus ready for a fertilized egg to be implanted. In males, it acts on the testes to cause cells to grow and make testosterone. Also called LH, luteinizing hormone, and lutropin.
interstitial radiation therapy(IN-ter-STIH-shul RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of internal radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into a tumor or body tissue.
intervention(IN-ter-VEN-shun)
In medicine, a treatment or action taken to prevent or treat disease, or improve health in other ways.
intervention group(IN-ter-VEN-shun groop)
The group receiving the study agent that is being tested in a clinical trial or clinical study.
intestinal(in-TES-tih-nul)
Having to do with the intestines.
intestinal villi(in-TES-tih-nul VIH-ly)
Tiny hair-like projections that line the inside of the small intestine. They contain blood vessels and help absorb nutrients.
intestine(in-TES-tin)
The long, tube-shaped organ in the abdomen that completes the process of digestion. The intestine has two parts, the small intestine and the large intestine. Also called bowel.
intoplicine(in-TOP-lih-seen)
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Intoplicine blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor.
intoxicating pepper(in-TOK-sih-KAYT-ing...)
An herb native to islands in the South Pacific. Substances taken from the root have been used in some cultures to relieve stress, anxiety, tension, sleeplessness, and problems of menopause. Intoxicating pepper may increase the effect of alcohol and of certain drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises users that intoxicating pepper may cause severe liver damage. The scientific name is Piper methysticum. Also called kava kava, rauschpfeffer, tonga, and yangona.
intra-arterial(IN-truh-ar-TEER-ee-ul)
Within an artery (blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body).
intra-arterial brachytherapy(IN-truh-ar-TEER-ee-ul BRAY-kee-THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy used to treat liver cancer that is advanced or has come back. Tiny beads that hold the radioisotope yttrium Y 90 are injected into the hepatic artery (the main blood vessel that carries blood to the liver). The beads collect in the tumor and the yttrium Y 90 gives off radiation. This destroys the blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow and kills the cancer cells. Intra-arterial brachytherapy is a type of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Also called radioembolization.
intracarotid infusion(IN-truh-kuh-RAH-tid in-FYOO-zhun)
The introduction of fluids and drugs directly into the carotid artery, the main artery in the neck that carries blood from the heart to the brain.
intracavitary(IN-truh-KA-vuh-tayr-ee)
Within a cavity or space, such as the abdomen, pelvis, or chest.
intracavitary radiation therapy(IN-truh-KA-vih-tayr-ee RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of internal radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into a body cavity such as the chest cavity or the vagina.
intracellular(IN-truh-SEL-yoo-ler)
Inside a cell.
intracolonic
Within the colon.
intracranial tumor(IN-truh-KRAY-nee-ul TOO-mer)
A tumor that occurs in the brain.
intracutaneous(IN-truh-kyoo-TAY-nee-us)
Within the skin. Also called intradermal.
intradermal(IN-truh-DER-mul)
Within the skin. Also called intracutaneous.
intraductal breast papilloma(IN-truh-DUK-tul brest PA-pih-LOH-muh)
A benign (not cancer), wart-like growth in a milk duct of the breast. It is usually found close to the nipple and may cause a discharge from the nipple. It may also cause pain and a lump in the breast that can be felt. It usually affects women aged 35-55 years. Having a single papilloma does not increase the risk of breast cancer. When there are multiple intraductal breast papillomas, they are usually found farther from the nipple. There may not be a nipple discharge and the papillomas may not be felt. Having multiple intraductal breast papillomas may increase the risk of breast cancer. Also called intraductal papilloma.
intraductal carcinoma(IN-truh-DUK-tul KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A noninvasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct. The abnormal cells have not spread outside the duct to other tissues in the breast. In some cases, intraductal carcinoma may become invasive cancer and spread to other tissues, although it is not known at this time how to predict which lesions will become invasive. Also called DCIS and ductal carcinoma in situ.
intraductal papilloma(IN-truh-DUK-tul PA-pih-LOH-muh)
A benign (not cancer), wart-like growth in a milk duct of the breast. It is usually found close to the nipple and may cause a discharge from the nipple. It may also cause pain and a lump in the breast that can be felt. It usually affects women aged 35-55 years. Having a single papilloma does not increase the risk of breast cancer. When there are multiple intraductal papillomas, they are usually found farther from the nipple. There may not be a nipple discharge and the papillomas may not be felt. Having multiple intraductal papillomas may increase the risk of breast cancer. Also called intraductal breast papilloma.
intraepithelial(IN-truh-eh-pih-THEEL-ee-ul)
Within the layer of cells that form the surface or lining of an organ.
intrahepatic(IN-truh-heh-PA-tik)
Within the liver.
intrahepatic bile duct(IN-truh-heh-PA-tik BILE dukt)
A bile duct that passes through and drains bile from the liver.
intrahepatic infusion(IN-truh-heh-PA-tik in-FYOO-zhun)
The delivery of anticancer drugs directly to the blood vessels of the liver.
intralesional(IN-truh-LEE-zhun-ul)
Within an area of cancer, for example, within a tumor in the skin.
intraluminal intubation and dilation
A procedure in which a plastic or metal tube is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach) to keep it open. This procedure may be used during radiation therapy for esophageal cancer.
intramuscular(IN-truh-MUS-kyoo-ler)
Within or into muscle. Also called IM.
intramuscular injection(IN-truh-MUS-kyoo-ler in-JEK-shun)
Injection into muscle.
intraocular(IN-truh-AH-kyoo-ler)
Within the eyeball.
intraocular melanoma(IN-truh-AH-kyoo-ler MEH-luh-NOH-muh)
A rare cancer of melanocytes (cells that produce the pigment melanin) found in the eye. Also called ocular melanoma.
intraoperative radiation therapy(IN-truh-AH-puh-ruh-tiv RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery. Also called IORT.
intrapelvic(IN-truh-PEL-vik)
Within the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen between the hip bones.
intraperitoneal(IN-truh-PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul)
Within the peritoneal cavity (the area that contains the abdominal organs). Also called IP.
intraperitoneal chemotherapy(IN-truh-PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment in which anticancer drugs are put directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin tube.
intraperitoneal infusion(IN-truh-PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul in-FYOO-zhun)
A method of delivering fluids and drugs directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin tube. Also called peritoneal infusion.
intraperitoneal radiation therapy(IN-truh-PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment in which a radioactive liquid is put directly into the abdomen through a thin tube.
intrapleural
Within the pleural cavity.
intraspinal(IN-truh-SPY-nul)
Within the spine (backbone).
intrathecal(IN-truh-THEE-kul)
Describes the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. Drugs can be injected into the fluid or a sample of the fluid can be removed for testing.
intrathecal chemotherapy(IN-truh-THEE-kul KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment in which anticancer drugs are injected into the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.
intratumoral
Within a tumor.
intrauterine(IN-truh-YOO-teh-rin)
Inside the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis in which a fetus develops).
intrauterine device(IN-truh-YOO-teh-rin dee-VICE)
A small, plastic T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis in which a fetus develops) to prevent pregnancy. Intrauterine devices prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg, and prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The use of intrauterine devices is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of endometrial cancer and other conditions. Also called IUD.
intravaginal(IN-truh-VA-jih-nul)
Having to do with the inside of the vagina (the birth canal).
intravenous(IN-truh-VEE-nus)
Into or within a vein. Intravenous usually refers to a way of giving a drug or other substance through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. Also called IV.
intravenous infusion(IN-truh-VEE-nus in-FYOO-zhun)
A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called infusion.
intravenous injection(IN-truh-VEE-nus in-JEK-shun)
Injection into a vein.
intravenous pyelogram(IN-truh-VEE-nus PY-eh-loh-GRAM)
An x-ray image of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. It is made after a substance that shows up on x-rays is injected into a blood vessel. The substance outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder as it flows through the system and collects in the urine. An intravenous pyelogram is usually made to look for a block in the flow of urine.
intravenous pyelography(IN-truh-VEE-nus PY-eh-LAH-gruh-fee)
A procedure in which x-ray images of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder are taken at regular times after a substance that shows up on x-rays is injected into a blood vessel. The substance outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder as it flows through the system and collects in the urine. Intravenous pyelography is usually done to look for a block in the flow of urine. Also called IVP.
intraventricular infusion(IN-truh-ven-TRIH-kyoo-ler in-FYOO-zhun)
The delivery of a drug into a fluid-filled cavity within the heart or brain.
intravesical(IN-truh-VES-ih-kal)
Within the bladder.
intron
The sequence of DNA in between exons that is initially copied into RNA but is cut out of the final RNA transcript and therefore does not change the amino acid code. Some intronic sequences are known to affect gene expression.
Intron A(IN-tron…)
A drug used to treat some infections caused by viruses and several types of cancer. These include hairy cell leukemia, melanoma, and follicular lymphoma. It is a form of interferon alfa (a substance normally made by cells of the immune system) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called IFN alpha-2B, interferon alfa-2b, and recombinant interferon alfa-2b.
intrusive thought(in-TROO-siv thawt)
An unpleasant memory or idea that occurs often in a person’s everyday thoughts and keeps him or her from thinking about other things. Interfering thoughts can make sleep difficult and make a person unable to carry out daily activities. Also called interfering thought.
invasive breast cancer(in-VAY-siv brest KAN-ser)
Cancer that has spread from where it started in the breast into surrounding, healthy tissue. Most invasive breast cancers start in the ducts (tubes that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple). Invasive breast cancer can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. Also called infiltrating breast cancer.
invasive cancer(in-VAY-siv KAN-ser)
Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues. Also called infiltrating cancer.
invasive cervical cancer(in-VAY-siv SER-vih-kul KAN-ser)
Cancer that has spread from the surface of the cervix to tissue deeper in the cervix or to other parts of the body.
invasive hydatidiform mole(in-VAY-siv hy-da-TID-ih-form mohl)
A type of cancer that grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. It is formed after conception (fertilization of an egg by a sperm). It may spread to other parts of the body, such as the vagina, vulva, and lung. Also called chorioadenoma destruens.
invasive procedure
A medical procedure that invades (enters) the body, usually by cutting or puncturing the skin or by inserting instruments into the body.
inverted papilloma
A type of tumor in which surface epithelial cells grow downward into the underlying supportive tissue. It may occur in the nose and/or sinuses or in the urinary tract (bladder, renal pelvis, ureter, urethra). When it occurs in the nose or sinuses, it may cause symptoms similar to those caused by sinusitis, such as nasal congestion. When it occurs in the urinary tract, it may cause blood in the urine.
investigational(in-VES-tih-GAY-shuh-nul)
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 investigational in other diseases or conditions. Also called experimental.
investigational agent(in-VES-tih-GAY-shuh-nul AY-jent)
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 investigational agent may be approved by the FDA for use in one disease or condition but be considered investigational in other diseases or conditions. Also called experimental drug and investigational drug.
investigational drug(in-VES-tih-GAY-shuh-nul drug)
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 investigational 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 experimental drug and investigational agent.
investigator
A researcher in a clinical trial or clinical study.
inviable
Not able to survive.
involuntary(in-VAH-lun-TAYR-ee)
An action that is not made by choice. In the body, involuntary actions (such as blushing) occur automatically, and cannot be controlled by choice.
involuntary nervous system(in-VAH-lun-TAYR-ee NER-vus SIS-tem)
The part of the nervous system that controls muscles of internal organs (such as the heart, blood vessels, lungs, stomach, and intestines) and glands (such as salivary glands and sweat glands). One part of the involuntary nervous system helps the body rest, relax, and digest food and another part helps a person fight or take flight in an emergency. Also called ANS and autonomic nervous system.
iobenguane I 123(I-oh-BEN-gwayne …)
A substance used to detect certain types of tumors, including pheochromocytomas and neuroblastomas. It contains a substance called iobenguane linked to a radioactive substance called iodine I 123. The tumor cells take up the iobenguane I 123, and a machine is used to detect where the cancer cells are in the body. It is a type of radioimaging agent. Also called AdreView.
iodine(I-oh-dine)
An element that is necessary for the body to make thyroid hormone. It is found in shellfish and iodized salt.
iodine I 131 metaiodobenzylguanidine(I-oh-dine ... meh-tuh-I-oh-doh-BEN-zeel-GWAH-nih-deen)
A radioactive substance that is used in imaging tests, and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of radiopharmaceutical. Also called 131I-MIBG.
iodine I 131 monoclonal antibody BC8(I-oh-dine … MAH-noh-KLOH-nul AN-tee-BAH-dee…)
A monoclonal antibody that contains the radioactive substance iodine I131. It is being studied in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Iodine I 131 monoclonal antibody BC8 binds to the protein CD45, which is found on most white blood cells and myeloid and lymphoid leukemia cells.
iodine I 131 tositumomab(I-oh-dine I 131 TAH-sih-TOO-moh-mab)
A monoclonal antibody (tositumomab) that has been chemically changed by adding radioactive iodine, and that is used in the treatment of certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It belongs to the family of drugs called radioconjugated monoclonal antibodies. When iodine I 131 tositumomab and tositumomab are given together, the combination is called the Bexxar regimen. Also called Bexxar regimen, tositumomab, and tositumomab and iodine I 131 tositumomab.
iododoxorubicin(I-oh-doh-DOK-soh-ROO-bih-sin)
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer and for primary systemic amyloidosis (a disease in which proteins are deposited in specific organs). It is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic.
ion(I-un)
An atom or a molecule that has a positive or negative electrical charge. Examples 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.
ionizing radiation(I-uh-NYZ-ing RAY-dee-AY-shun)
A type of radiation made (or given off ) by x-ray procedures, radioactive substances, rays that enter the Earth's atmosphere from outer space, and other sources. At high doses, ionizing radiation increases chemical activity inside cells and can lead to health risks, including cancer.
ionomycin
An antibiotic drug used to treat infection.
IORT
Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery. Also called intraoperative radiation therapy.
IP
Within the peritoneal cavity (the area that contains the abdominal organs). Also called intraperitoneal.
IP6
A substance found in many foods that come from plants, including corn, wheat, rice, and soybeans, and in large amounts in cereals and legumes. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer. Also called inositol hexaphosphate and phytic acid.
ipilimumab(ih-pih-LIH-myoo-mab)
A monoclonal antibody being studied in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Ipilimumab is made in the laboratory and binds to the molecule CTLA-4 on T cells (a type of white blood cell). Ipilimumab may block CTLA-4 and help the immune system kill cancer cells. Also called MDX-010.
ipsilateral(IP-sih-LA-ter-ul)
On the same side of the body as another structure or a given point.
IRB
A group of scientists, doctors, clergy, and consumers that reviews and approves the action plan for every clinical trial. There is an IRB at every health care facility that does clinical research. IRBs are designed to protect the people who take part in a clinical trial. They check to see that the trial is well designed, legal, ethical, does not involve unneccesary risks, and includes safeguards for patients. Also called Institutional Review Board.
Iressa(i-REH-suh)
A drug that is used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called gefitinib and ZD1839.
irinotecan(I-rih-noh-TEE-kan)
The active ingredient in a drug used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat colon cancer or rectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after treatment with fluorouracil. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Irinotecan blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor and a type of camptothecin analog.
irinotecan hydrochloride(I-rih-noh-TEE-kan HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used alone or together with other drugs to treat colon cancer or rectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or has come back after treatment with fluorouracil. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Irinotecan hydrochloride blocks certain enzymes needed for cell division and DNA repair, and it may kill cancer cells. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor and a type of camptothecin analog. Also called Camptosar and CPT 11.
iris(I-ris)
The colored tissue at the front of the eye that contains the pupil in the center. The iris helps control the size of the pupil to let more or less light into the eye.
irofulven(i-roh-FUL-ven)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Irofulven attaches to the cell's DNA and may block cancer cell growth. It is a type of alkylating agent. Also called 6-hydroxymethylacylfulvene.
iron(I-urn)
An important mineral the body needs to make hemoglobin, a substance in the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. Iron is also an important part of many other proteins and enzymes needed by the body for normal growth and development. It is found in red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans, and foods with iron added, such as cereal.
iron overload(I-urn OH-ver-lode)
A condition in which the body takes up and stores more iron than it needs. The extra iron is stored in the liver, heart, and pancreas, which may cause liver disease, heart problems, organ failure, and cancer. It may also cause bronze skin, diabetes, pain in the joints and abdomen, tiredness, and impotence. Iron overload may be inherited, or it may be caused by blood transfusions. Also called hemochromatosis.
irradiated(ih-RAY-dee-AY-ted)
Treated with radiation.
irradiation(ih-RAY-dee-AY-shun)
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic irradiation uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Also called radiation therapy and radiotherapy.
irreversible toxicity(eer-ih-VER-sih-bul tok-SIH-sih-tee)
Side effects that are caused by toxic substances or something harmful to the body and do not go away.
irritable bowel syndrome(EER-ih-tuh-bul BOW-ul SIN-drome)
A disorder of the intestines commonly marked by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in a person’s bowel habits. This may include diarrhea or constipation, or both, with one occurring after the other. Also called IBS, irritable colon, mucus colitis, and spastic colon.
irritable colon(EER-ih-tuh-bul KOH-lun)
A disorder of the intestines commonly marked by abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in a person’s bowel habits. This may include diarrhea or constipation, or both, with one occurring after the other. Also called IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, mucus colitis, and spastic colon.
ischemia(is-KEE-mee-uh)
Lack of blood supply to a part of the body. Ischemia may cause tissue damage due to the lack of oxygen and nutrients.
iseganan hydrochloride(i-seh-GAN-an HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A substance being studied in the treatment of oral mucositis (painful mouth sores) caused by cancer therapy and other conditions. Iseganan hydrochloride kills certain bacteria, fungi, and viruses by making holes in their outer membranes and causing them to burst. It is a type of synthetic antimicrobial peptide and a type of synthetic protegrin analog.
ISIS 2503
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.
ISIS 3521
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.
ISIS 5132
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.
islet 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 endocrine pancreas cell and islet of Langerhans cell.
islet cell carcinoma(I-let sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
A rare cancer that forms in the islets of Langerhans cells (a type of cell found in the pancreas). Also called pancreatic endocrine cancer.
islet cell tumor(I-let sel TOO-mer)
A mass of abnormal cells that forms in the endocrine (hormone-producing) tissues of the pancreas. Islet cell tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
islet of Langerhans cell(EYE-let of LANG-er-hanz)
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 endocrine pancreas cell and islet cell.
isoflavone
An estrogen-like substance made by some plants, including the soy plant. Soy isoflavones are being studied in the prevention of cancer, hot flashes that occur with menopause, and osteoporosis (loss of bone density).
isointense
Having the same intensity as another object. Used to describe the results of imaging tests, such as x-rays, MRIs, or CT scans.
isolated hepatic perfusion(I-soh-LAY-ted heh-PA-tik per-FYOO-zhun)
A procedure in which a catheter is placed into the artery that provides blood to the liver. A second catheter is placed into the vein that takes blood away from the liver. This temporarily separates the liver's blood supply from blood circulating throughout the rest of the body and allows high doses of anticancer drugs to be directed to the liver only.
isolated limb infusion(I-soh-LAY-ted LIM in-FYOO-zhun)
A procedure used to deliver anticancer drugs directly to an arm or leg but not to the rest of the body. The flow of blood to and from the limb is temporarily stopped with a tourniquet (a tight band around the limb). Catheters (small, flexible tubes) attached to a pump are put into an artery and a vein in the limb so that blood can be circulated through the pump into the limb. Anticancer drugs are injected into the catheters. Wrapping the limb in a heated blanket or warming the drugs or blood may help the drugs work better.
isolated limb perfusion(I-soh-LAY-ted LIM per-FYOO-zhun)
A procedure that may be used to deliver anticancer drugs directly to an arm or leg. The flow of blood to and from the limb is temporarily stopped with a tourniquet (a tight band around the limb), and anticancer drugs are put directly into the blood of the limb. This allows the person to receive a high dose of drugs in the area where the cancer occurred. Also called limb perfusion.
isolated lung perfusion(I-soh-LAY-ted ... per-FYOO-zhun)
A surgical procedure during which the circulation of blood to the lungs is separated from the circulation of blood through the rest of the body, and a drug is delivered directly into the lung circulation. This allows a higher concentration of chemotherapy to reach tumors in the lungs.
isolation(I-soh-LAY-shun)
State of being separated from others. Isolation is sometimes used to prevent disease from spreading.
isomer
One of two or more compounds that have the same chemical formula but different arrangements of the atoms within the molecules and that may have different physical/chemical properties.
isosulfan blue(I-soh-SUL-fan …)
A dye made in the laboratory that helps identify the sentinel lymph node (the first lymph node that cancer spreads to from a primary tumor). Isosulfan blue is injected at the edge of a tumor and travels through the lymph fluid to lymph nodes near the tumor. The sentinel lymph node is identified by removing lymph nodes that are stained with the blue dye and looking for cancer cells under a microscope.
isotope(I-soh-tope)
A form of a chemical element in which the atoms have the same number of protons (part of the nucleus of an atom) but with a different number of neutrons (part of the nucleus of an atom). For example, carbon 12, carbon 13, and carbon 14 are isotopes of carbon. They all have six protons in the nucleus, but each has different number of neutrons. Isotopes may be used in certain medical tests and procedures.
isotretinoin
A drug that is used in the treatment of acne and psoriasis and is being studied in cancer prevention. It is a type of retinoid. Also called 13-cis retinoic acid.
ispinesib(is-PIN-eh-sib)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Ispinesib blocks a protein that tumor cells need to divide. It is a type of mitotic inhibitor. Also called SB-715992.
isthmus(iz-muhs)
A narrow part inside the body that connects two larger structures.
ITP
A condition in which platelets (blood cells that cause blood clots to form) are destroyed by the immune system. The low platelet count causes easy bruising and bleeding, which may be seen as purple areas in the skin, mucous membranes, and outer linings of organs. Also called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and immune thrombocytopenic purpura.
itraconazole
A drug used to prevent or treat fungal infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.
IU
A unit used to measure the activity of many vitamins, hormones, enzymes, and drugs. An IU is the amount of a substance that has a certain biological effect. For each substance there is an international agreement on the biological effect that is expected for 1 IU. Also called International Unit.
IUD
A small, plastic T-shaped device that is placed inside the uterus (the small, hollow, pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis in which a fetus develops) to prevent pregnancy. IUDs prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg, and prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus. The use of IUDs is also being studied in the prevention and treatment of endometrial cancer and other conditions. Also called intrauterine device.
IV
Into or within a vein. IV usually refers to a way of giving a drug or other substance through a needle or tube inserted into a vein. Also called intravenous.
IVP
A procedure in which x-ray images of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder are taken at regular times after a substance that shows up on x-rays is injected into a blood vessel. The substance outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder as it flows through the system and collects in the urine. IVP is usually done to look for a block in the flow of urine. Also called intravenous pyelography.
ixabepilone(ix-ab-EP-ih-lone)
A drug used to treat metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ixabepilone stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of epothilone analog. Also called BMS-247550 and Ixempra.
Ixempra(ix-EM-pruh)
A drug used to treat metastatic or locally advanced breast cancer that has not improved after treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Ixempra stops the growth of tumor cells by blocking cell division. It is a type of epothilone analog. Also called BMS-247550 and ixabepilone.

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