Terminology A


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ABLATION - Destruction.

ADJUVANT - Assisting or aiding. Used to describe a secondary treatment that is applied following definitive local therapy.

ADJUVANT THERAPY - The use of hormone therapy or chemotherapy after surgery or radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment. Compare with neoadjuvant.

ADRENAL GLANDS - Glands located above each kidney that produce several kinds of hormones, including a small amount of sex hormones.

ADRENALECTOMY - Removal of the adrenal gland.

ANDROGEN - A male sex hormone. The main one is testosterone.

ANDROGEN DEPRIVATION - A therapeutic strategy designed to decrease circulating levels of androgen, such as testosterone. Can be done by removing organs that produce testosterone (i.e., testicles, called orchiectomy), or by giving medication.

ANDROGEN RECEPTOR (AR) - Protein from the intracellular receptor (IR) superfamily that mediates actions of androgen agonists and antagonists by binding both to the ligands and to genomic sites close to genes whose expression is regulated by androgens.

ANDROGEN RESPONSE ELEMENT (ARE) - Specific genomic sites to which AR binds with high affinity and modulates transcription of nearby genes; AR may associate with AREs by binding directly to DNA, by binding to a nonreceptor factor that is bound to the DNA, or both.

ANEUPLOID - Having more or less than the normal or diploid number of chromosomes.

ANGIOGENESIS - The birth of new blood vessels.

ANTI-ANDROGEN  - A drug that blocks the action of male sex hormones on prostate and other cells.

ANTIANDROGEN WITHDRAWAL (AAWD) - A clinical syndrome in which discontinuation of an antiandrogen in a patient with progressive disease may result in PSA declines, symptomatic improvement, and tumor regression; occurs in 15-30% of eligible patients.

ANTIBODY - A molecule made by the immune system which circulates in body fluid. An antibody has a specific amino acid sequence which interacts only with the antigen that induces its synthesis.

ANTIGEN - A peptide derived from viral, tumor and in some cases, self products, capable under appropriate conditions of inducing a specific immune response.

ANTIGEN PRESENTING CELL - Cell that displays on its surface peptides that can be recognized by T cell antigen receptor. "Professional" antigen presenting cells with the capacity to elicit T cell responses are limited in origin (dendritic cells and macrophages) and also display costimulatory ligands (B7). Other antigen presenting cells (normal epithelial, endothelial and tumor cells) do not co-express costimulatory ligand and have only limited ability to activate naive T cells.

ANTIGEN RECEPTOR - Structure used by T lymphocytes to recognize antigens.

APOPTOSIS - Programmed cell death.

AUGMENTATION CYSTOPLASTY - The use of a segment of intestine to increase bladder capacity.

AUTOCRINE - Self-acting. For example, a growth factor which acts directly upon the cell which produces it.

AUTOTRANSPLANTATION - Removal of the kidney and placement in the pelvis near the bladder.