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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

Kahler's disease

A type of cancer that begins in plasma cells (white blood cells that produce antibodies). Also called multiple myeloma, myelomatosis, or plasma cell myeloma.

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus

KSHV. A type of herpesvirus that may cause Kaposi's sarcoma (a rare cancer that can cause skin lesions) and a type of lymphoma (cancer that begins in the lymph system), especially in patients who have a weak immune system. Also called human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8).

Kaposi's sarcoma (KAP-o-seez sar-KO-ma)

A type of cancer characterized by the abnormal growth of blood vessels that develop into skin lesions or occur internally.

karenitecin

A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to a family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is related to the anticancer drug camptothecin.

Karnofsky Performance Status

KPS. A standard way of measuring the ability of cancer patients to perform ordinary tasks. The Karnofsky Performance scores range from 0 to 100. A higher score means the patient is better able to carry out daily activities. KPS may be used to determine a patient's prognosis, to measure changes in a patient's ability to function, or to decide if a patient could be included in a clinical trial.

keloid (KEY-loyd)

A thick, irregular scar caused by excessive tissue growth at the site of an incision or wound.

kelp

Laminaria digitata. A type of seaweed. The stem-like parts of this plant have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have immunostimulatory and anticancer effects.

keratan sulfate

A glycosaminoglycan (a type of polysaccharide) found in cartilage and in the cornea of the eye.

keratinocyte growth factor

KGF. A substance that stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that line the surface of the mouth and intestinal tract. There are several forms of KGF. Recombinant human KGF (rHuKGF) is being studied in the prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that may occur after tissue transplantation, and in the treatment of mucositis caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. rHuKGF is also called palifermin.

keratoacanthoma (KER-a-toe-AK-an-THOW-ma)

A benign (noncancerous), rapidly growing skin tumor that usually occurs on sun-exposed areas of the skin and that can go away without treatment.

ketoconazole (kee-ta-KOE-na-zol)

A drug that treats infection caused by a fungus. It is also used as a treatment for prostate cancer because it can block the production of male sex hormones.

ketorolac

A drug that belongs to a family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents. It is being studied in cancer prevention.

keyhole limpet hemocyanin

KLH. One of a group of drugs called immune modulators, given as a vaccine to help the body respond to cancer.

KGF

Keratinocyte growth factor. A substance that stimulates the growth of epithelial cells that line the surface of the mouth and intestinal tract. There are several forms of KGF. Recombinant human KGF (rHuKGF) is being studied in the prevention of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) that may occur after tissue transplantation, and in the treatment of mucositis caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. rHuKGF is also called palifermin.

kidney (KID-nee)

One of a pair of organs in the abdomen. Kidneys remove waste from the blood (as urine), produce erythropoietin (a substance that stimulates red blood cell production), and play a role in blood pressure regulation.

kidney cancer (KID-nee KAN-ser)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the kidneys. Kidney cancer includes renal cell carcinoma (cancer that forms in the lining of very small tubes in the kidney that filter the blood and remove waste products) and renal pelvis carcinoma (cancer that forms in the center of the kidney where urine collects). It also includes Wilms' tumor, which is a type of kidney cancer that usually develops in children under the age of 5.

kidney failure (KID-nee FAYL-yer)

A condition in which the kidneys stop working and are not able to remove waste and extra water from the blood or keep body chemicals in balance. Acute kidney failure happens suddenly (for example, after an injury) and may be treated and cured. Chronic kidney failure develops over years (related to high blood pressure or diabetes, for example) and cannot be cured. Chronic kidney failure may lead to total and permanent kidney failure, called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and requires dialysis (process of cleaning the blood by passing it through a membrane or filter) or a kidney transplant.

killer cell

A white blood cell that attacks tumor cells and body cells that have been invaded by foreign substances.

kilogram

A measure of weight. A kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds.

Kinaret®

A substance that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and is being studied in the treatment of cancer. Kinaret blocks the action of interleukin 1 (IL-1). It belongs to the family of drugs called interleukin receptor antagonists. Also called anakinra.

Klatskin tumor

Cancer that develops in cells that line the bile ducts in the liver, where the right and left ducts meet. It is a type of cholangiocarcinoma.

Klebsiella

A bacteria that frequently causes lung, urinary tract, intestinal, and wound infections.

Klinefelter's syndrome

A genetic disorder in males caused by having an extra X chromosome. Males with this disorder may have larger than normal breasts, a lack of facial and body hair, a rounded body type, and small testicles. They may learn to speak much later than other children and may have difficulty learning to read and write. Klinefelter's syndrome increases the risk of developing testicular cancer.

KOS-862

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called mitotic inhibitors and epothilones. Also called epothilone D.

KPS

Karnofsky Performance Status. A standard way of measuring the ability of cancer patients to perform ordinary tasks. The Karnofsky Performance scores range from 0 to 100. A higher score means the patient is better able to carry out daily activities. KPS may be used to determine a patient's prognosis, to measure changes in a patient's ability to function, or to decide if a patient could be included in a clinical trial.

kretek

A cigarette made of a mixture of tobacco and clove.

KRN5500

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

KRN7000

A drug being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a biological response modifier that belongs to the family of drugs called glycosphingolipids or agelasphins.

Krukenberg tumor (KROO-ken-berg TOO-mer)

A tumor in the ovary caused by the spread of stomach cancer.

KSHV

Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. A type of herpesvirus that may cause Kaposi's sarcoma (a rare cancer that can cause skin lesions) and a type of lymphoma (cancer that begins in the lymph system), especially in patients who have a weak immune system. Also called human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8).

KW2189

A semisynthetic anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.