AbdomenInside of the body below the chest;
contains the digestive system, liver, spleen, kidneys, and female reproductive organs.
Alkylating agentAn anticancer drug that
interferes with cancer cell division by binding to DNA.
AnemiaA shortage of hemoglobin within the
AntigenForeign matter that provokes an
immune response in the body it invades.
ApoptosisA process whereby a cell causes
its own breakdown (death).
AutoimmuneA condition where the immune
system attacks some part of the body that it should not consider as foreign, eg,
B cellA type of lymphocyte that matures
in the bone marrow and goes on to produce antibodies if stimulated by the right
B-symptomsDrenching night sweats, unexplained
loss of 10% of body weight, marked weakness, and a fever of more than 100°F
(38°C) lasting for more than a week.
BinetA staging system for lymphomas.
Bone marrowTissue contained within the
central cavity of bones. It is responsible for the production of blood cells.
CDStands for "cluster of differentiation."
Used with a number (eg, CD52) to name a specific antigenic marker found on lymphocytes.
CellsCells are the basic unit of life.
Some organisms, such as bacteria, are just individual free-living cells. Other multicellular
organisms, such as humans, have many different kinds of cells.
ChemotherapyThe use of drugs to treat
ChromosomesStructures within a cell that
carry its genetic information in the form of DNA.
CLLChronic lymphocytic leukemia; a cancer
of the blood caused by the accumulation of affected B cells in the body that typically
Complete responseThe disappearance of
all signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not always mean the cancer
has been cured.
Contrast agentA dye or other substance
that helps show abnormal areas inside the body.
CTComputed tomography; a medical imaging
technique that uses x-rays to form very clear pictures of the inside of the body
that appear as slices down its length.
DiagnosisThe determination of the nature
of a disease through its signs and symptoms and the use of specific tests.
DifferentiationProcess of change in which
stem cells divide and mature to form fully functioning specialized cells.
DNAA chemical that is made up of a chain
of smaller chemicals called nucleotides. There are 4 different kinds of nucleotides
in DNA and the order in which they are arranged forms the genetic code. The nucleotides
also form pairs opposite each other when they are arranged as a double helix in
First-degree relativesChildren, parents,
brothers, and sisters.
Flow cytometryAutomated system for detecting
the binding to cells of antibodies labeled with a fluorescent dye.
Fludarabine therapyA form of CLL treatment
that involves a chemotherapy that interferes with the making of DNA so new leukemia
cells cannot grow and shortens the life of existing leukemia cells.
Immune SystemThe organs responsible for
the ability of the body to fight infection by recognizing invading bacteria, viruses,
and fungi as foreign matter and destroying them.
ImmunophenotypingA way of characterizing
cells by the antibodies that they display on their surface.
InfectionInvasion of the body by a bacterium,
virus, or fungus.
IrradiatedTreated with radiation.
LeukemiasCancer of blood-forming tissue,
which causes overproduction of white blood cells.
LiverLarge organ situated at the top of
the abdomen that has many important functions, especially with regard to the metabolism
of the food we eat and the breakdown of toxins.
Lymph nodeSwellings along the lymphatic
system where lymph (a clear fluid that resembles blood plasma) is filtered to remove
LymphoidTissue associated with the lymphatic
system, including tonsils and adenoids.
Lymphatic systemA network of tubeslike
the blood system, but without a pumpthat carries a fluid called lymph all
around the body.
LymphocyteA type of white blood cell involved
in the immune system. There are 3 kinds: B, T, and NK cells.
MalignantCancerous growth that invades
surrounding tissue and spreads to other parts of the body.
MarkersSpecific antigens that are found
on lymphocytes. Different markers are associated with lymphocytes found in the various
types of leukemia/lymphoma.
MetastasisA secondary tumor formed when
a cancer cell breaks off from the original site, travels around the bloodstream,
and implants in another organ.
Monoclonal antibodyAn artificially produced
pure form of an antibody. Normally, an antigen will cause many slightly different
forms of an antibody to be formed.
MRIMagnetic resonance imaging; a medical
imaging technique that uses strong magnet fields and high-frequency radio waves
to form very clear pictures of the inside of the body that can be viewed in any
MutationsAn alteration in the genetic
material of a cell caused by change in the sequence of nucleotides in its DNA.
MyeloidRefers to the bone marrow. Myeloid
stem cells go on to form red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells that
are not lymphocytes.
NK cellsNatural killer cells; a type of
lymphocyte that recognizes and kills cells infected with a virus.
NucleusPart of the cell that contains
Overall ResponseThe number of patients
who had either a complete response or partial response.
OxygenA gas that makes up 20% of the atmosphere.
It plays an essential role in the ability of the body to produce energy from food.
Partial ResponseA decrease in the extent
of cancer in the body, in response to treatment.
PathologistA doctor who assists in the
diagnosis and treatment of disease by studying samples of body tissues and fluid.
PlateletsTiny blood cells that are important
in blood clotting.
PluripotentA description of the stem cells
that can go on to form any other type of blood cell.
ProteinsThe basic building block of the
body. As well as forming the structure of tissues, such as muscle, they also act
as enzymes controlling the chemical processes of the body.
Purine analogAn anticancer drug that interferes
with cancer cell division and causes their death. The enzyme that is responsible
for DNA replication tries to use the analog rather than the proper purine, and thus
does not function correctly.
RadiologyThe use of medical imaging techniques
such as x-ray, CT, ultrasound, and MRI for diagnosis.
RadiotherapyThe use of radiation to kill
cancer cells. X-rays and gamma-rays are the most commonly used forms.
RaiA staging system for lymphoma.
RefractoryA cancer that does not respond
to particular treatment.
RemissionReduction in the severity or
temporary disappearance of a cancer.
Response rateThe proportion of patients
in which a treatment has an effect on cancer. Responses can be partial or complete.
SpleenAn organ located just below the
liver that screens the blood for foreign particles and old blood cells.
StagingThe use of a set of criteria, such
as spread of disease, to decide how far a cancer has advanced so that the correct
treatment can be offered.
Stem cellCells that divide to produce
all the different kinds of cells within an organ. For blood cells, these are mostly
found in the marrow, but some move into the blood.
SymptomAn indication of disease that a
T cellA type of lymphocyte that matures
in the thymus and binds to a specific antigen if it encounters it in the body.
ThrombocytopeniaA shortage of platelets
within the blood.
TumorAn abnormal growth of solid tissue
that may be malignant or benign.
UltrasoundA technique that uses high-frequency
sound waves to form an image of the inside of the body.
VirusesParticles made up of a shell of
protein containing a core of DNA or RNA. They can only reproduce by taking over
the mechanisms of a cell that they have infected. Viruses cause diseases such as
mumps, colds, influenza, and chicken pox.