# 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

vaccinated

Treated with a vaccine.

vaccination

Treatment with a vaccine.

vaccine

A substance or group of substances meant to cause the immune system to respond to a tumor or to microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses. A vaccine can help the body recognize and destroy cancer cells or microorganisms.

vaccine adjuvant

A substance added to a vaccine to improve the immune response so that less vaccine is needed.

vaccine therapy

A type of treatment that uses a substance or group of substances to stimulate the immune system to destroy a tumor or infectious microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses.

vaccinia CEA vaccine

A cancer vaccine containing the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) gene.

vagina (vuh-JYE-na)

The muscular canal extending from the uterus to the exterior of the body. Also called the birth canal.

vaginal

Having to do with the vagina (the birth canal).

valacyclovir

A substance that is being studied in the prevention of fungal, bacterial, and viral infections in patients undergoing donor stem cell transplantation with cells that are infected with cytomegalovirus. It belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals.

valdecoxib

A substance that is being studied as a treatment for pain and other side effects of cancer therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors.

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

Valeriana officinalis

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

Valerianae radix

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 garden heliotrope.

valganciclovir

An antiviral agent that is being studied as a treatment for AIDS-related cytomegalovirus. It is changed in the body to ganciclovir.

valproic acid (val-PRO-ik acid)

A drug used to treat epileptic seizures and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches. It is also being studied in the treatment of Kaposi's sarcoma. It belongs to the families of drugs called anticonvulsants, antimanics, and migraine headache prophylactics.

valrubicin

A drug that is used to treat bladder cancer that does not respond to BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin). It is an anthracycline and belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics. Also called AD 32.

vancomycin

An antibiotic drug used to fight resistant bacterial infections.

vapreotide

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called somatostatin analogs.

variable expression

Variation in the manner in which a trait is manifested. When there is variable expressivity, the trait may vary in clinical expression from mild to severe. For example, the condition neurofibromatosis type 1 may be mild presenting with café-au-lait spots only, or may be severe, presenting with neurofibromas and brain tumor.

varicose vein

A condition in which a vein, most often in the legs, becomes permanently enlarged, twisted, and painful. This may be caused by valves in the vein that don't work properly or by weakness in the vein walls.

vas deferens

A coiled tube that carries the sperm out of the testes.

vascular endothelial growth factor

VEGF. A substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation.

vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (VAS-kyoo-ler EN-duh-THEE-lee-ul . rih-SEP-ter TY-ruh-seen KY-nayz in-HIH-bih-ter)

VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor. A substance that blocks an enzyme needed to form blood vessels.

vasectomy (vas-EK-toe-mee)

An operation to cut or tie off the two tubes that carry sperm out of the testicles.

vasomotor

Affecting the narrowing and widening of the blood vessels.

vatalanib

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors and VEGF receptor kinase inhibitors. Also called PTK787/ZK 222584.

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor. A substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation.

VEGF Trap

A substance that blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and prevents the growth of new blood vessels into a tumor. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors.

VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (VEGFR TY-ruh-seen KY-nayz in-HIH-bih-ter)

Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. A substance that blocks an enzyme needed to form blood vessels.

Velcade

A drug that is used to treat multiple myeloma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called proteosome inhibitors and dipeptidyl boronic acids. Also called bortezomib and PS-341.

venipuncture

The puncture of a vein with a needle for the purpose of drawing blood. Also called phlebotomy.

venlafaxine

An antidepressant drug that is being evaluated for the treatment of hot flashes in women who have breast cancer.

ventilator

In medicine, a machine used to help a patient breathe. Also called respirator.

ventricle (VEN-trih-kul)

A fluid-filled cavity in the heart or brain.

vertebral column

The bones, muscles, tendons, and other tissues that reach from the base of the skull to the tailbone. The vertebral column encloses the spinal cord and the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. Also called spine, backbone, and spinal column.

Viagra

A substance that is used to treat erectile dysfunction. Viagra relaxes the smooth muscle of the penis to allow increased blood flow and erection. It belongs to the family of drugs called phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Also called sildenafil.

video-assisted resection

Surgery that is aided by the use of a video camera that projects and enlarges the image on a television screen. Also called video-assisted surgery.

video-assisted surgery

Surgery that is aided by the use of a video camera that projects and enlarges the image on a television screen. Also called video-assisted resection.

villous adenoma

A type of polyp that grows in the colon and other places in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes in other parts of the body. These adenomas may become malignant (cancerous).

villus

A tiny hair-like projection, often on the surface of mucous membranes. The plural is villi.

vinblastine

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids. It is a mitotic inhibitor.

vinca alkaloid

An anticancer drug that inhibits cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It is also called an antimitotic or antimicrotubule agent, or a mitotic inhibitor.

vincristine

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.

vindesine

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.

vinorelbine

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.

vinyl chloride (VINE-uhl KLOR-ide)

A substance used to make plastics. Exposure to vinyl chloride may increase the risk of developing liver, brain, and lung cancers; lymphoma; and leukemia.

Vioxx (VY-ox)

A drug that was being used for pain relief and was being studied for its ability to prevent cancer and to block the growth of new blood vessels to solid tumors. It belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Vioxx was taken off the market in the U.S. because of safety concerns. Also called rofecoxib.

viral

Having to do with a virus.

viral vector

A type of virus used in cancer therapy. The virus is changed in the laboratory and cannot cause disease. Viral vectors produce tumor antigens (proteins found on a tumor cell) and can stimulate an antitumor immune response in the body. Viral vectors may also be used to carry genes that can change cancer cells back to normal cells.

virtual colonoscopy (ko-lun-AHS-ko-pee)

A method under study to examine the colon by taking a series of x-rays (called a CT scan) and using a high-powered computer to reconstruct 2-D and 3-D pictures of the interior surfaces of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, manipulated to better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomography colography.

virulence

The ability of a microorganism to cause damage to its host.

virulent

Refers to the ability of a virus or a bacterium to cause damage to its host.

Virulizin

A substance that activates some types of immune system cells, and is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological therapy agents.

virus (VYE-rus)

A microorganism that can infect cells and cause disease.

virus replication cycle

The reproduction cycle of viruses. A replication cycle begins with the infection of a host cell and ends with the release of mature progeny virus particles.

virus-neutralizing antibody

An antibody that binds to a virus and interferes with its ability to infect a cell.

viscera

The soft internal organs of the body, including the lungs, the heart, and the organs of the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems.

visceral

Having to do with the viscera, which are the soft internal organs of the body, including the lungs, the heart, and the organs of the digestive, excretory, reproductive, and circulatory systems.

visceral peritoneum (VIH-suh-rul PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-um)

The layers of tissue that cover the outer surface of most organs in the abdomen, including the intestines.

viscotoxin

A member of a group of small proteins produced by mistletoe plants that are able to kill cells and may stimulate the immune system.

visilizumab

A monoclonal antibody that binds to CD3 (a substance found on T-cells) and that is being studied as a treatment for graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). It belongs to the family of drugs called monoclonal antibodies.

visual pathway glioma

A rare, slow-growing tumor of the eye.

vital

Necessary to maintain life. Breathing is a vital function.

vitamin

A key nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to grow and stay strong. Examples are vitamins A, C, and E.

vitamin A

Retinol, a nutrient essential for proper vision and healthy skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin A is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.

vitamin B12

A vitamin that is needed to make red blood cells and DNA (the genetic material in cells) and to keep nerve cells healthy. It is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12, along with folate, may be given to help reduce side effects in cancer patients being treated with drugs called antimetabolites. Also called cobalamin.

vitamin C (VY-tuh-min.)

A key nutrient that the body needs to fight infection, heal wounds, and keep tissues healthy, including the blood vessels, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bones, muscle, skin, teeth, and gums. It is an antioxidant that helps prevent tissue damage caused by free radicals. The body does not make or store vitamin C, so it must be taken in every day. It is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially green peppers, citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, potatoes, and cantaloupe. Also called ascorbic acid.

vitamin D

A nutrient that helps the body use calcium and phosphorus and make strong bones and teeth. It is found in fatty fish, eggs, and dairy products. The skin can also make vitamin D when exposed to sunshine. Not getting enough vitamin D can cause a bone disease called rickets. Vitamin D is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called cholecalciferol.

vitamin E

A substance used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called tocopherols.

vitamin K

A substance that promotes the clotting of blood.

vitamin Q10

A substance found in most tissues in the body, and in many foods. It can also be made in the laboratory. It is used by the body to produce energy for cells, and as an antioxidant. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer and in the relief of side effects caused by some cancer treatments. Also called coenzyme Q10, Q10, CoQ10, and ubiquinone.

VNP20009

A genetically modified Salmonella bacterium that is injected into the tumor. It is being studied for its ability to shrink solid tumors.

VNP40101M

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

vocal cord (VOH-kul kord)

One of two small bands of muscle within the larynx that vibrates to produce the voice.

volociximab (voh-loh-SIK-sih-mab)

A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Volociximab binds to a protein that is found on cells that line some tumor blood vessels. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called M200.

vomit

To eject some or all of the contents of the stomach through the mouth.

von Hippel-Lindau syndrome

A rare inherited disorder in which blood vessels grow abnormally in the eyes, brain, spinal cord, adrenal glands, or other parts of the body. People with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome have a higher risk of developing some types of cancer.

voriconazole

A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.

vorozole

A hormone therapy drug used to decrease the production of estrogen.

vulva

The external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina.

vulvar cancer

Cancer of the vulva (the external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina).

VX 853

A drug being studied to make cancer cells less resistant to the effects of chemotherapy.

VX-710

A drug being studied to make cancer cells less resistant to the effects of chemotherapy.