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# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

gabapentin

A substance that is being studied as a treatment for relieving hot flashes in women with breast cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

gadolinium texaphyrin

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy, improve tumor images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and kill cancer cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called metalloporphyrin complexes. Also called motexafin gadolinium.

Gail model

A computer program that uses personal and family history to estimate a woman's chance of developing breast cancer.

gallbladder (GAWL-blad-er)

The pear-shaped organ found below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.

gallium nitrate

A drug that lowers blood calcium. Used as treatment for hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

gallium scan

A procedure to detect areas of the body where cells are dividing rapidly. It is used to locate cancer cells or areas of inflammation. A very small amount of radioactive gallium is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The gallium is taken up by rapidly dividing cells in the bones, tissues, and organs and is detected by a scanner.

gallstone

Solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Gallstones are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a golf ball to a grain of sand. Also called cholelith.

gamma irradiation

A type of radiation therapy that uses gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is a type of high-energy radiation that is different from x-rays.

gamma knife

Radiation therapy in which high-energy rays are aimed at a tumor from many angles in a single treatment session.

gamma ray

A type of high-energy radiation that is different from an x-ray.

gamma scanning (GA-muh SKAN-ing)

A procedure to find areas in the body where cells, such as tumor cells, are dividing rapidly. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein or swallowed, and travels through the bloodstream. A machine called a scanner measures the radioactivity and produces pictures (scans) of internal parts of the body. The pictures can show abnormal changes in the area of the body containing the radioactive material. Examples of gamma scans include PET scans, gallium scans, and bone scans. Also called radionuclide scanning.

ganciclovir

An antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus infections that may occur when the body's immune system is suppressed. In gene therapy, ganciclovir is used with an altered herpes simplex virus-1 gene to kill advanced melanoma cells and brain tumor cells.

ganglioside

A complex molecule that contains both lipids (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars) and is found in the plasma (outer) membrane of many kinds of cells. Several different types of gangliosides have been identified.

garden heliotrope

Valeriana officinalis. 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 valerian, garden valerian, Indian valerian, Pacific valerian, Mexican valerian, and Valerianae radix.

garden valerian

Valeriana officinalis. 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 valerian, Indian valerian, Pacific valerian, Mexican valerian, garden heliotrope, and Valerianae radix.

gastrectomy (gas-TREK-tuh-mee)

An operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

gastric (GAS-trik)

Having to do with the stomach.

gastric atrophy (GAS-trik AT-ro-fee)

A condition in which the stomach muscles shrink and become weak. The digestive (peptic) glands may also shrink, resulting in a lack of digestive juices.

gastric cancer (GAS-trik KAN-ser)

Cancer that forms in tissues lining the stomach. Also called stomach cancer.

gastric reflux

The backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux.

gastrinoma (gas-tri-NO-ma)

A tumor that causes overproduction of gastric acid. It usually occurs in the islet cells of the pancreas but may also occur in the esophagus, stomach, spleen, or lymph nodes.

gastritis

Inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

gastroenterologist (GAS-tro-en-ter-AHL-o-jist)

A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.

gastroesophageal junction

The place where the esophagus is connected to the stomach.

gastroesophageal reflux (GAS-tro-ee-sof-uh-JEE-ul REE-flux)

The backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux or gastric reflux.

gastrointestinal (GAS-tro-in-TES-tih-nul)

GI. Refers to the stomach and intestines.

gastrointestinal stromal tumor

GIST. A type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant.

gastrointestinal tract (GAS-tro-in-TES-tih-nul)

The stomach and intestines.

gastroscope (GAS-tro-skope)

A thin, lighted tube used to view the inside of the stomach.

gastroscopy (gas-TRAHS-ko-pee)

An examination of the inside of the stomach using a thin, lighted tube (called a gastroscope) passed through the mouth and esophagus.

G-CSF

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called filgrastim.

gefitinib (geh-FIT-in-ib)

A drug that is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called ZD1839.

geldanamycin analog

An antineoplastic antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called ansamycins.

GEM 231

A drug that may inhibit the growth of malignant tumors.

gemcitabine

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites.

gemtuzumab ozogamicin

A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells.

Genasense

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It belongs to the family of drugs called antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides. Also called oblimersen, augmerosen, and bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139.

gene

The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

gene deletion

The total loss or absence of a gene.

gene expression profiling

A research method that measures messenger RNA made from many different genes in various cell types. It is being used as a diagnostic test to help identify subgroups of tumor types, to help predict which patients may respond to treatment, and which patients may be at increased risk for cancer relapse.

gene therapy

Treatment that alters a gene. In studies of gene therapy for cancer, researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability to fight the disease or to make the cancer cells more sensitive to other kinds of therapy.

gene transfer

The insertion of genetic material into a cell.

gene-modified

Cells that have been altered to contain different genetic material than they originally contained.

general anesthesia (an-es-THEE-zha)

Drugs that cause loss of feeling or awareness and put the person to sleep.

generic

Official nonbrand names by which medicines are known. Generic names usually refer to the chemical name of the drug.

genetic

Inherited; having to do with information that is passed from parents to offspring through genes in sperm and egg cells.

genetic analysis

The study of a sample of DNA to look for mutations (changes) that may increase risk of disease or affect the way a person responds to treatment.

genetic counseling

A communication process between a specially trained health professional and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person's family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counseling may lead to genetic testing.

genetic heterogeneity

The production of the same or similar phenotypes (observed biochemical, physiological, and morphological characteristics of a person determined by his/her genotype) by different genetic mechanisms. There are two types: (1) allelic heterogeneity - when different alleles at a locus can produce variable expression of a condition; and (2) locus heterogeneity - the term used to describe disease in which mutations at different loci can produce the same disease phenotype.

genetic markers

Alterations in DNA that may indicate an increased risk of developing a specific disease or disorder.

genetic susceptibility

An inherited increase in the risk of developing a disease.

genetic testing

Analyzing DNA to look for a genetic alteration that may indicate an increased risk for developing a specific disease or disorder.

genetics (jeh-NEH-tiks)

The study of genes and heredity. Heredity is the passing of genetic information and traits (such as eye color and an increased chance of getting a certain disease) from parents to offspring.

genistein

An isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

genital wart

A raised growth on the surface of the genitals caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The HPV in genital warts is very contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually during oral, anal, or genital sex with an infected partner. A female with genital warts is at an increased risk for developing cervical cancer. Also called condyloma and condylomata acuminata.

genitourinary system (GEN-ih-toe-YOO-rin-air-ee)

The parts of the body that play a role in reproduction, getting rid of waste products in the form of urine, or both.

genome

The complete genetic material of an organism.

genomic imprinting

An epigenetic modification in the expression of a gene or genes which varies in its effect depending on whether the active allele is inherited from the mother or the father.

germ cell

A reproductive cell of the body. Germ cells are egg cells in females and sperm cells in males.

germ cell tumor

A type of tumor that begins in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs. Germ cell tumors can occur almost anywhere in the body and can be either benign or malignant.

German Commission E

The German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Commission E. A committee made up of scientists, toxicologists, doctors, and pharmacists formed by the German government in 1978 to find out if herbs sold in Germany are safe and effective. The Commission has published information on the uses, side effects, and drug interactions of more than 300 herbs.

germ-free

Free of bacteria, disease-causing viruses, and other organisms that can cause infection.

germinoma (jer-mih-NO-ma)

The most common type of germ cell tumor in the brain.

germline mutation

A gene change in the body's reproductive cells (egg or sperm) that becomes incorporated into the DNA of every cell in the body of offspring; germline mutations are passed on from parents to offspring. Also called hereditary mutation.

Gerota's capsule

A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called renal fascia and Gerota's fascia.

Gerota's fascia (Ga-RO-tahz FAYSH-ee-uh)

A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called renal fascia and Gerota's capsule.

gestational trophoblastic disease

A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic tumor, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, molar pregnancy, or choriocarcinoma.

gestational trophoblastic neoplasia

A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic tumor, molar pregnancy, or choriocarcinoma.

gestational trophoblastic tumor

A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, molar pregnancy, or choriocarcinoma.

GI14721

An antitumor drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is a camptothecin analog.

giant cell fibroblastoma

A rare type of soft tissue tumor marked by painless nodules in the dermis (the inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin) and subcutaneous (beneath the skin) tissue. These tumors may come back after surgery, but they do not spread to other parts of the body. They occur mostly in boys and are related to dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

gimatecan

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. Also called ST1481.

ginger

Zingiber officianale. An herb with a root that has been used in cooking, and by some cultures to treat nausea, vomiting, and certain other medical conditions. It is being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy.

ginseng

An herb with a root that has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects.

GIST

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor. A type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant.

gland

An organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat, tears, saliva, or milk. Endocrine glands release the substances directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands release the substances into a duct or opening to the inside or outside of the body.

Gleason score (GLEE-sun)

A system of grading prostate cancer cells based on how they look under a microscope. Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low Gleason score means the cancer cells are similar to normal prostate cells and are less likely to spread; a high Gleason score means the cancer cells are very different from normal and are more likely to spread.

Gleevec

A drug that is being studied for its ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancers. It interferes with a portion of the protein produced by the bcr/abl oncogene. Also called imatinib mesylate and STI571.

Gliadel Wafer

A biodegradable wafer that is used to deliver the anticancer drug carmustine directly into a brain tumor site after the tumor has been removed by surgery. Also called polifeprosan 20 carmustine implant.

glial cell (GLEE-al)

A type of cell that surrounds nerve cells and holds them in place. Glial cells also insulate nerve cells from each other.

glial tumor

A general term for tumors of the central nervous system, including astrocytomas, ependymal tumors, glioblastoma multiforme, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.

glioblastoma (glee-o-blas-TOE-ma)

A general term that refers to malignant astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor.

glioblastoma multiforme (glee-o-blas-TOE-ma mul-tih-FOR-may)

A type of brain tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain. It grows very quickly and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Also called grade IV astrocytoma.

glioma (glee-O-ma)

A cancer of the brain that begins in glial cells (cells that surround and support nerve cells).

gliosarcoma

A type of glioma (cancer of the brain that comes from glial, or supportive, cells).

glossectomy

Surgical removal of all or part of the tongue.

glottis (GLAH-tis)

The middle part of the larynx; the area where the vocal cords are located.

glucagon

A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

glucagonoma (GLOO-kuh-guh-NO-ma)

A rare pancreatic tumor that produces a hormone called glucagon. Glucagonomas can produce symptoms similar to diabetes.

glucocorticoid

A compound that belongs to the family of compounds called corticosteroids (steroids). Glucocorticoids affect metabolism and have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. They may be naturally produced (hormones) or synthetic (drugs).

gluconeogenesis

The process of making glucose (sugar) from its own breakdown products or from the breakdown products of lipids (fats) or proteins. Gluconeogenesis occurs mainly in cells of the liver or kidney.

glucose

A type of sugar; the chief source of energy for living organisms.

glufosfamide

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

glutamine

An amino acid used in nutrition therapy. It is also being studied for the treatment of diarrhea caused by radiation therapy to the pelvis.

glutathione

A substance found in plant and animal tissues that has many functions in a cell. These include activating certain enzymes and destroying toxic compounds and chemicals that contain oxygen.

glutathione S-transferase

A family of enzymes involved in metabolism and in making toxic compounds less harmful to the body.

glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase inhibitor

A drug that blocks DNA synthesis and may prevent tumor growth. It is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

Glycine max

A plant of Asian origin that produces beans used in many food products. Soy products contain isoflavones (estrogen-like substances) that are being studied for the prevention of cancer, hot flashes that occur with menopause, and osteoporosis (loss of bone density). Soy products in the diet may lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Also called soy, soya, and soybean.

glycolysis

A process in which glucose (sugar) is partially broken down by cells in enzyme reactions that do not need oxygen. Glycolysis is one method that cells use to produce energy. When glycolysis is linked with other enzyme reactions that use oxygen, more complete breakdown of glucose is possible and more energy is produced.

glycopeptide

A short chain of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that has sugar molecules attached to it. Some glycopeptides have been studied for their ability to stimulate the immune system.

glycoprotein

A protein that has sugar molecules attached to it.

glycoprotein 100

gp100. A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines.

glycosaminoglycan

A type of long, unbranched polysaccharide molecule. Glycosaminoglycans are major structural components of cartilage and are also found in the cornea of the eye.

GM2-KLH vaccine

A substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies that fight certain cancer cells.

GM-CSF

Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. A substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages, and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called sargramostim.

GnRH

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone. A hormone made by the hypothalamus (part of the brain). GnRH causes the pituitary gland to make luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are involved in reproduction.

goiter

An enlarged thyroid. It may be caused by too little iodine in the diet or by other conditions. Most goiters are not cancer.

gonad

The part of the reproductive system that produces and releases eggs (ovary) or sperm (testicle/testis).

gonadotropin-releasing hormone

GnRH. A hormone made by the hypothalamus (part of the brain). GnRH causes the pituitary gland to make luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are involved in reproduction.

gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist

A hormone made in the laboratory that has the same effect as the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) produced naturally by the body.

Gonzalez regimen

An alternative therapy that is being studied as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. It includes a special diet, nutritional supplements, pancreatic enzymes, and coffee enemas.

Gorlin syndrome

A genetic condition that causes unusual facial features and disorders of the skin, bones, nervous system, eyes, and endocrine glands. People with this syndrome have a higher risk of basal cell carcinoma. Also called nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and basal cell nevus syndrome.

goserelin (go-SAIR-uh-lin)

A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs. Goserelin is used to block hormone production in the ovaries or testicles.

gossypol

An anticancer drug extracted from the cotton plant.

gp100

Glycoprotein 100. A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines.

gp209-2M

A peptide (short piece of protein) made from the tumor-specific antigen gp100, and used to make vaccines being studied in the treatment of melanoma.

GPX-100

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

grade

The grade of a tumor depends on how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer.

grade 1 follicular lymphoma (fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler lim-FOH-muh)

An indolent (slow-growing) type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and small cells that have cleaved (u-shaped) nuclei.

grade 2 follicular lymphoma (fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler lim-FOH-muh)

An indolent (slow-growing) type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and a mix of large cells and small cells that have cleaved (u-shaped) nuclei.

grade 3 follicular lymphoma (fuh-LIH-kyoo-ler lim-FOH-muh)

A type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by large cells and enlarged lymph nodes. Grade 3 follicular lymphoma is less common, and more aggressive than grades 1 or 2 follicular lymphoma.

grade IV astrocytoma

A type of brain tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain. It grows very quickly and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Also called glioblastoma multiforme.

grading

A system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope. The objective of a grading system is to provide information about the probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.

graft

Healthy skin, bone, or other tissue taken from one part of the body and used to replace diseased or injured tissue removed from another part of the body.

graft-versus-host disease

GVHD. A reaction of donated stem cells against the patient's tissue.

graft-versus-tumor

An immune response to a person's tumor cells by immune cells present in a donor's transplanted tissue, such as bone marrow or peripheral blood.

gram

A unit of weight in the metric system. One gram is equal to one thousandth of a kilogram and is approximately 30-times less than an ounce.

granisetron

A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiemetics.

granulocyte (GRAN-yoo-lo-site)

A type of white blood cell that fights bacterial infection. Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are granulocytes.

granulocyte colony-stimulating factor

G-CSF. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called filgrastim.

granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GRAN-yoo-loh-SITE MA-kruh-FAYJ KAH-luh-nee STIM-yoo-LAY-ting FAK-ter)

GM-CSF. A substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages, and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called sargramostim.

granulocytic sarcoma

A malignant, green-colored tumor of myeloid cells (a type of immature white blood cell). This tumor is usually associated with myelogenous leukemia. Also called chloroma.

granulocytopenia

A deficiency in the number of granulocytes, a type of white blood cell.

granulosa cell tumor

A type of slow-growing, malignant tumor that usually affects the ovary.

gray elm

Ulmus fulva or Ulmus rubra. The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called slippery elm, Indian elm, red elm, and sweet elm.

green tea extract

A substance that is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is made from decaffeinated green tea, and contains chemicals called catechins, which are antioxidants. Also called Polyphenon® E.

groin

The area where the thigh meets the abdomen.

growth factor

A substance made by the body that functions to regulate cell division and cell survival. Some growth factors are also produced in the laboratory and used in biological therapy.

GTI-2040

A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antisense oligonucleotides.

GVHD

Graft-versus-host disease. A reaction of donated stem cells against the patient's tissue.

GW572016

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called ErbB-2 and EGFR dual tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called lapatinib.

GW786034

A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors.

gynecologic

Having to do with the female reproductive tract (including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina).

gynecologic cancer (guy-neh-ko-LAH-jik)

Cancer of the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and vagina.

gynecologic oncologist (guy-neh-ko-LAH-jik on-KOL-o-jist)

A doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female reproductive organs.

gynecologist (guy-neh-KAH-lo-jist)

A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs.