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L-377,202

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

L-778,123

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. It may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells.

laboratory study

Research done in a laboratory. These studies may use test tubes or animals to find out if a drug, procedure, or treatment is likely to be useful. Laboratory studies take place before any testing is done in humans.

laboratory test

A medical procedure that involves testing a sample of blood, urine, or other substance from the body. Tests can help determine a diagnosis, plan treatment, check to see if treatment is working, or monitor the disease over time.

lacrimal gland

A gland that secretes tears. The lacrimal glands are found in the upper, outer part of each eye socket.

lactate dehydrogenase (LAK-tayt dee-hy-DRAH-juh-nayz)

LDH. One of a group of enzymes found in the blood and other body tissues and involved in energy production in cells. An increased amount of LDH in the blood may be a sign of tissue damage and some types of cancer or other diseases. Also called lactic acid dehydrogenase.

lactic acid dehydrogenase

One of a group of enzymes found in the blood and other body tissues, and involved in energy production in cells. An increased amount in the blood may be a sign of tissue damage and some types of cancer or other diseases. Also called lactate dehydrogenase.

lactoferrin (LAK-toh-fayr-in)

A protein that is found in milk, tears, mucus, bile, and some white blood cells and is being studied in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It is involved in fighting against infection and inflammation and it acts as an antioxidant.

lactose

A type of sugar found in milk and milk products.

lactose intolerance

The inability to digest or absorb lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

laetrile (LAY-eh-tril)

A substance found in the pits of many fruits such as apricots and papayas, and in other foods. It has been tried in some countries as a treatment for cancer, but it has not been shown to work in clinical studies. Laetrile is not approved for use in the United States. Also called amygdalin.

LAK cell

A white blood cell that is stimulated in a laboratory to kill tumor cells. Also called a lymphokine-activated killer cell.

lamina propria

A type of connective tissue found under the thin layer of tissues covering a mucous membrane.

lamivudine

A drug used to treat infection caused by viruses.

lamotrigine

A drug that is used to help control some types of seizures. It is being studied in the prevention of peripheral neuropathy caused by some chemotherapy drugs. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

laparoscope (LAP-a-ruh-skope)

A thin, lighted tube used to look at tissues and organs inside the abdomen.

laparoscopic prostatectomy (LAP-uh-ruh-SKAH-pik prah-stuh-TEK-toh-mee)

Surgery to remove all or part of the prostate with the aid of a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube attached to a camera).

laparoscopic-assisted colectomy (LAP-uh-ruh-SCOP-ik)

Surgery done with the aid of a laparoscope (a thin, lighted tube) to remove all or part of the colon through several small incisions made in the wall of the abdomen. A laparoscope attached to a video camera is inserted through one opening to guide the surgery. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other openings to perform the surgery. When only part of the colon is removed, it is called a partial colectomy.

laparoscopy (lap-a-RAHS-ko-pee)

The insertion of a thin, lighted tube (called a laparoscope) through the abdominal wall to inspect the inside of the abdomen and remove tissue samples.

laparotomy (lap-a-RAH-toe-mee)

A surgical incision made in the wall of the abdomen.

lapatinib

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 GW572016.

lappa

Arctium lappa. A plant whose seeds and root have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called burdock and happy major.

large cell carcinoma (...KAR-sih-NOH-muh)

Lung cancer in which the cells are large and look abnormal when viewed under a microscope.

large granular lymphocyte

A type of white blood cell that contains granules with enzymes that can kill tumor cells or microbial cells. Also called a natural killer cell.

large intestine

The long, tube-like organ that is connected to the small intestine at one end and the anus at the other. The large intestine has four parts: cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. Partly digested food moves through the cecum into the colon, where water and some nutrients and electrolytes are removed. The remaining material, solid waste called stool, moves through the colon, is stored in the rectum, and leaves the body through the anal canal and anus.

laryngeal (luh-RIN-jee-ul)

Having to do with the larynx.

laryngeal cancer (luh-RIN-jee-ul KAN-ser)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the larynx (area of the throat that contains the vocal cords and is used for breathing, swallowing, and talking). Most laryngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas (cancer that begins in flat cells lining the larynx).

laryngectomee (lair-in-JEK-toe-mee)

A person whose larynx (voice box) has been removed.

laryngectomy (LAIR-in-JEK-tuh-mee)

An operation to remove all or part of the larynx (voice box).

laryngitis

Inflammation of the larynx.

laryngoscope (la-RING-guh-skope)

A thin, lighted tube used to examine the larynx (voice box).

laryngoscopy (LAIR-in-GOSS-kuh-pee)

Examination of the larynx (voice box) with a mirror (indirect laryngoscopy) or with a laryngoscope (direct laryngoscopy).

larynx (LAIR-inks)

The area of the throat containing the vocal cords and used for breathing, swallowing, and talking. Also called the voice box.

laser (LAY-zer)

A device that concentrates light into an intense, narrow beam used to cut or destroy tissue. It is used in microsurgery, photodynamic therapy, and for a variety of diagnostic purposes.

laser surgery

A surgical procedure that uses the cutting power of a laser beam to make bloodless cuts in tissue or to remove a surface lesion such as a tumor.

laser therapy

The use of an intensely powerful beam of light to kill cancer cells.

late effects

Side effects of cancer treatment that appear months or years after treatment has ended. Late effects include physical and mental problems and second cancers.

late or variable onset

The state in which a genetic trait is expressed later in life or is expressed at no fixed time in a life history.

latent

Describes a condition that is present but not active or causing symptoms.

laxative

A substance that promotes bowel movements.

L-carnitine

A form of carnitine, which is a substance made in the muscles and liver. It can be given as a supplement to prevent and treat carnitine deficiency in patients who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer or undergoing dialysis for kidney disease. Also called levocarnitine.

LCIS

Lobular carcinoma in situ. Abnormal cells found in the lobules of the breast. This condition seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having lobular carcinoma in situ increases one's risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.

LDH

Lactate dehydrogenase. One of a group of enzymes found in the blood and other body tissues, and involved in energy production in cells. An increased amount in the blood may be a sign of tissue damage and some types of cancer or other diseases. Also called lactic acid dehydrogenase.

lectin

A complex molecule that has both protein and sugars. Lectins are able to bind to the outside of a cell and cause biochemical changes in it. Lectins are made by both animals and plants.

LED therapy

Light-emitting diode therapy. Treatment with drugs that become active and may kill cancer cells when exposed to light. LED therapy is a type of photodynamic therapy, which uses a special type of light to activate the drug.

LEEP

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure. A technique that uses electric current passed through a thin wire loop to remove abnormal tissue. Also called loop excision.

leflunomide

An anticancer drug that works by inhibiting a cancer cell growth factor. Also called SU101.

legal aid organization

A group or agency that gives legal help to people with low incomes. Health legal aid workers help people with issues related to getting good healthcare, and getting insurance to cover certain patients and conditions.

leiomyoma

A benign smooth muscle tumor, usually in the uterus or gastrointestinal tract. Also called fibroid.

leiomyosarcoma

A malignant (cancerous) tumor of smooth muscle cells that can arise almost anywhere in the body, but is most common in the uterus, abdomen, or pelvis.

lenalidomide

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is similar to thalidomide. It belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called CC-5013.

lentinan

A beta-glucan (a type of polysaccharide) from the mushroom Lentinus edodes (shiitake mushroom). It has been studied in Japan as a treatment for cancer.

LEP-ETU

A form of the anticancer drug paclitaxel that may have fewer side effects and work better than paclitaxel. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called mitotic inhibitors. Also called PNU-93914 and paclitaxel liposome.

lepirudin

A drug that inhibits blood clotting. It is being studied in cancer treatment.

leptomeningeal

Having to do with the two innermost layers of tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord.

leptomeningeal cancer

A tumor that involves the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord.

leptomeningeal metastases

Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord.

leridistim

A substance that is being studied for its ability to stimulate the production of blood cells during chemotherapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called colony-stimulating factors. Also known as SC-70935.

lerisetron

A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting.

lesion (LEE-zhun)

An area of abnormal tissue. A lesion may be benign (noncancercous) or malignant (cancerous).

letrozole

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. Letrozole is used to decrease estrogen production and suppress the growth of estrogen-dependent tumors.

leucovorin

A drug used to protect normal cells from high doses of the anticancer drug methotrexate. It is also used to increase the antitumor effects of fluorouracil and tegafur-uracil, an oral treatment alternative to intravenous fluorouracil.

leukapheresis

Removal of the blood to collect specific blood cells; the remaining blood is returned to the body.

leukemia (loo-KEE-mee-a)

Cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, and causes large numbers of blood cells to be produced and enter the bloodstream.

leukocyte (LOO-ko-site)

A white blood cell. Refers to a blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin. White blood cells include lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, and mast cells. These cells are made by bone marrow and help the body fight infection and other diseases.

leukopenia (LOO-ko-PEE-nya)

A condition in which the number of leukocytes (white blood cells) in the blood is reduced.

leukoplakia (loo-ko-PLAY-kee-a)

An abnormal patch of white tissue that forms on mucous membranes in the mouth and other areas of the body. It may become cancerous. Tobacco (smoking and chewing) and alcohol may increase the risk of leukoplakia in the mouth.

leuprolide (LOO-pro-lide)

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

leuvectin

An agent that delivers the gene for interleukin-2 (IL-2) into cells to increase production of IL-2 by the cells.

levamisole

An antiparasitic drug that is also being studied in cancer therapy with fluorouracil.

Level of evidence 1iA

Randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial with total mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iB

Randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial with cause-specific mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iC

Randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial with carefully assessed quality of life as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iDi

Randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial with disease-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iDii

Randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial with progression-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iDiii

Randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial with tumor response rate as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iiA

Randomized, controlled, nonblinded clinical trial with total mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iiB

Randomized, controlled, nonblinded clinical trial with cause-specific mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iiC

Randomized, controlled, nonblinded clinical trial with carefully assessed quality of life as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iiDi

Randomized, controlled, nonblinded clinical trial with disease-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iiDii

Randomized, controlled, nonblinded clinical trial with progression-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 1iiDiii

Randomized, controlled, nonblinded clinical trial with tumor response rate as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 2A

Nonrandomized, controlled clinical trial with total mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 2B

Nonrandomized, controlled clinical trial with cause-specific mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 2C

Nonrandomized, controlled clinical trial with carefully assessed quality of life as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 2Di

Nonrandomized, controlled clinical trial with disease-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 2Dii

Nonrandomized, controlled clinical trial with progression-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 2Diii

Nonrandomized, controlled clinical trial with tumor response rate as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iA

Population-based, consecutive case series with total mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iB

Population-based, consecutive case series with cause-specific mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iC

Population-based, consecutive case series with carefully assessed quality of life as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iDi

Population-based, consecutive case series with disease-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iDii

Population-based, consecutive case series with progression-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iDiii

Population-based, consecutive case series with tumor response rate as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiA

Consecutive case series (not population-based) with total mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiB

Consecutive case series (not population-based) with cause-specific mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiC

Consecutive case series (not population-based) with carefully assessed quality of life as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiDi

Consecutive case series (not population-based) with disease-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiDii

Consecutive case series (not population-based) with progression-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiDiii

Consecutive case series (not population-based) with tumor response rate as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiiA

Nonconsecutive case series with total mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiiB

Nonconsecutive case series with cause-specific mortality as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiiC

Nonconsecutive case series with carefully assessed quality of life as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiiDi

Nonconsecutive case series with total disease-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiiDii

Nonconsecutive case series with progression-free survival as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

Level of evidence 3iiiDiii

Nonconsecutive case series with tumor response rate as an endpoint. See Levels of Evidence for Cancer Treatment Studies: Definition and Use (PDQ®) for more information.

levocarnitine

A form of carnitine, which is a substance made in the muscles and liver. It can be given as a supplement to prevent and treat carnitine deficiency in patients who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer or undergoing dialysis for kidney disease. Also called L-carnitine.

levofloxacin

A substance used to treat bacterial infections. It belongs to the family of drugs called quinolone antibiotics.

LGD1069

An anticancer drug used to decrease the growth of some types of cancer cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids. Also called bexarotene.

Lhermitte's sign (lair-MEETS)

A sensation similar to an electrical shock radiating from the back of the head down the spine as the neck is bent forward.

LH-RH

Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. A hormone that stimulates the production of sex hormones in men and women.

liarozole

An anticancer drug that promotes differentiation by increasing the levels of retinoic acid within the tumor.

lidocaine (LYE-doe-kane)

A substance that is used to relieve pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings in skin. It can also be given intravenously to stop heart arrhythmias. It belongs to the families of drugs called local anesthetics and antiarrhythmics.

Li-Fraumeni syndrome

A rare, inherited predisposition to multiple cancers, caused by an alteration in the p53 tumor suppressor gene.

ligation (lye-GAY-shun)

The process of tying off blood vessels so that blood cannot flow to a part of the body or to a tumor.

light microscope

A microscope (device to magnify small objects) in which objects are lit directly by white light.

light-emitting diode therapy

LED therapy. Treatment with drugs that become active and may kill cancer cells when exposed to light. LED therapy is type of photodynamic therapy which uses a special type of light to activate the drug.

lignan

A member of a group of substances found in plants that have shown estrogenic and anticancer effects. Lignans have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems.

limb perfusion (per-FYOO-zhun)

A technique that may be used to deliver anticancer drugs directly to an arm or leg. The flow of blood to and from the limb is temporarily stopped with a tourniquet, and anticancer drugs are put directly into the blood of the limb. This allows the person to receive a high dose of drugs in the area where the cancer occurred. Also called isolated limb perfusion.

limited-stage small cell lung cancer

Cancer is found in one lung, the tissues between the lungs, and nearby lymph nodes only.

linac

A machine that uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. This creates high-energy radiation that may be used to treat cancer. Also called linear accelerator and MeV linear accelerator (mega-voltage linear accelerator).

linear accelerator

A machine that uses electricity to form a stream of fast-moving subatomic particles. This creates high-energy radiation that may be used to treat cancer. Also called linac and MeV linear accelerator (mega-voltage linear accelerator).

linkage analysis

A gene hunting technique that traces patterns of disease in high-risk families, in an attempt to locate a disease-causing gene by identifying genetic markers of known chromosomal location that are co-inherited with the trait of interest.

linseed

The seed of the flax plant. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, and a compound called lignin. It is being studied in the prevention of prostate cancer. Also called flaxseed.

liothyronine sodium

A thyroid hormone. Also called triiodothyronine or T-3.

lipid

Fat.

lipophilic

Able to dissolve, be dissolved in, or absorb lipids (fats).

liposarcoma

A rare cancer of the fat cells.

liposomal

A drug preparation that contains the active drug in very tiny fat particles. This fat-encapsulated drug is absorbed better, and its distribution to the tumor site is improved.

liposomal SN-38 (LIH-poh-SOH-mul.)

A form of the anticancer drug irinotecan that may have fewer side effects and work better than irinotecan alone. It is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called irinotecan (CPT-11) derivatives.

liquid-based Pap test

A type of Pap test. A Pap test is a procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is used to detect cancer or changes that may lead to cancer. A Pap test can also show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation. In a liquid-based Pap test, the cells are rinsed into a small container of liquid. The cells are then placed onto slides by a special machine and examined under a microscope to see if the cells are abnormal.

lisofylline

A drug that may protect healthy cells from chemotherapy and radiation without inhibiting the effects of these therapies on tumor cells.

liver

A large organ located in the upper abdomen. The liver cleanses the blood and aids in digestion by secreting bile.

liver cancer

A disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the liver.

liver function test

A blood test to measure the blood levels of certain substances released by the liver. A high or low level of certain substances can be a sign of liver disease.

liver metastases

Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the liver.

liver scan

An image of the liver created on a computer screen or on film. A radioactive substance is injected into a blood vessel and travels through the bloodstream. It collects in the liver, especially in abnormal areas, and can be detected by the scanner.

living will

A type of legal advance directive in which a person describes specific treatment guidelines that are to be followed by health care providers if he or she becomes terminally ill and cannot communicate. A living will usually has instructions about whether to use aggressive medical treatment to keep a person alive (such as CPR, artificial nutrition, use of a respirator).

LMB-1 immunotoxin

A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

LMB-2 immunotoxin

A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

LMB-7 immunotoxin

A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

LMB-9 immunotoxin

A toxic substance linked to an antibody that attaches to tumor cells and kills them.

lobaplatin

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

lobe

A portion of an organ, such as the liver, lung, breast, thyroid, or brain.

lobectomy (lo-BEK-toe-mee)

The removal of a lobe.

lobradimil

A substance that is being studied for its ability to help other drugs reach the brain. It belongs to the family of drugs called bradykinin agonists. Also called RMP-7.

lobular carcinoma

Cancer that begins in the lobules (the glands that make milk) of the breast. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is a condition in which abnormal cells are found only in the lobules. When cancer has spread from the lobules to surrounding tissues, it is invasive lobular carcinoma. LCIS does not become invasive lobular carcinoma very often, but having LCIS in one breast increases the risk of developing invasive cancer in either breast.

lobular carcinoma in situ (LOB-yoo-lar KAR-sih-NOH-muh in SYE-too)

LCIS. A condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lobules of the breast. LCIS seldom becomes invasive cancer; however, having lobular carcinoma in situ in one breast increases the risk of developing breast cancer in either breast.

lobule (LOB-yule)

A small lobe or a subdivision of a lobe.

local anesthesia (an-es-THEE-zha)

Drugs that cause a temporary loss of feeling in one part of the body. The patient remains awake but has no feeling in the part of the body treated with the anesthetic.

local cancer

An invasive malignant cancer confined entirely to the organ where the cancer began.

local therapy

Treatment that affects cells in the tumor and the area close to it.

localization (LO-kal-ih-ZAY-shun)

The process of determining or marking the location or site of a lesion or disease. May also refer to the process of keeping a lesion or disease in a specific location or site.

localized

Restricted to the site of origin, without evidence of spread.

localized gallbladder cancer

Cancer found only in the tissues that make up the wall of the gallbladder. Localized gallbladder cancer can be removed completely in an operation.

localized malignant mesothelioma

Cancer is found in the lining of the chest wall and may also be found in the lining of the lung, the lining of the diaphragm (the thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen), or the lining of the sac that covers the heart on the same side of the chest. Also called stage I malignant mesothelioma.

locally advanced cancer

Cancer that has spread only to nearby tissues or lymph nodes.

LOD score

Logarithm of the odd score. A statistical estimate of whether two genetic loci are physically near enough to each other (or "linked") on a particular chromosome that they are likely to be inherited together. A LOD score of three or more is generally considered statistically significant evidence of linkage.

logarithm of the odd score

LOD score. A statistical estimate of whether two genetic loci are physically near enough to each other (or "linked") on a particular chromosome that they are likely to be inherited together. A LOD score of three or more is generally considered statistically significant evidence of linkage.

lometrexol

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

lomustine

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

lonafarnib

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. Also called SCH 66336.

loop electrosurgical excision procedure (eh-LEK-tro-SER-juh-kal ek-SI-zhun)

LEEP. A technique that uses electric current passed through a thin wire loop to remove abnormal tissue. Also called loop excision.

loop excision (ek-SI-zhun)

A technique that uses electric current passed through a thin wire loop to remove abnormal tissue. Also called loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).

loperamide hydrochloride

An antidiarrheal drug.

losoxantrone

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

low grade

When referring to cancerous and precancerous growths, a term used to describe cells that look nearly normal under a microscope. These cells are less likely to grow and spread quickly than cells in high-grade cancerous or precancerous growths.

lower GI series

X-rays of the colon and rectum (lower gastrointestinal tract) that are taken after a person is given a barium enema.

low-grade lymphoma

A type of lymphoma that tends to grow and spread slowly, and has few symptoms. Also called indolent lymphoma.

low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion

LSIL. A condition in which the cells of the uterine cervix are slightly abnormal. LSIL is not cancer.

LSIL

Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. A condition in which the cells of the uterine cervix are slightly abnormal. LSIL is not cancer.

LU 79553

An anticancer drug that kills cancer cells by affecting DNA synthesis.

LU-103793

An anticancer drug that reduces the risk of tumor cell growth and reproduction.

lubricant (LOO-brih-kant)

An oily or slippery substance.

lumbar puncture

A procedure in which a needle is put into the lower part of the spinal column to collect cerebrospinal fluid or to give anticancer drugs intrathecally. Also called a spinal tap.

lumen

The cavity or channel within a tube or tubular organ such as a blood vessel or the intestine.

lumpectomy (lump-EK-toe-mee)

Surgery to remove the tumor and a small amount of normal tissue around it.

lung

One of a pair of organs in the chest that supplies the body with oxygen, and removes carbon dioxide from the body.

lung cancer (lung KAN-ser)

Cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope.

lung metastases

Cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the lung.

lupus

A chronic, inflammatory, connective tissue disease that can affect the joints and many organs, including the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. It can cause many different symptoms; however, not everyone with lupus has all of the symptoms. Also called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

lurtotecan

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

luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone

LH-RH. A hormone that stimulates the production of sex hormones in men and women.

luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist (LOO-tin-eye-zing. . .AG-o-nist)

LH-RH agonist. A drug that inhibits the secretion of sex hormones. In men, LH-RH agonist causes testosterone levels to fall. In women, LH-RH agonist causes the levels of estrogen and other sex hormones to fall.

lutetium texaphyrin

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer using photodynamic therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called metallotexaphyrins. Also called motexafin lutetium.

LY231514

A drug that is used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma and advanced 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 enzyme inhibitors. Also called Alimta and pemetrexed disodium.

LY293111

A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called leukotriene B4 receptor antagonists.

LY317615

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called protein kinase C inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called enzastaurin.

LY335979

A substance that is being studied for its ability to reverse resistance to chemotherapy. Also called zosuquidar trihydrochloride.

LY353381 hydrochloride

A hormone substance used in the treatment of some types of cancer.

lycopene (LIE-kuh-peen)

A red pigment found in tomatoes and some fruits. It is an antioxidant and may help prevent some types of cancer.

lymph (limf)

The clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. Also called lymphatic fluid.

lymph gland

A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph glands filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called a lymph node.

lymph node (limf node)

A rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they store lymphocytes (white blood cells). They are located along lymphatic vessels. Also called a lymph gland.

lymph node dissection (limf node dis-EK-shun)

A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and examined to see whether they contain cancer. For a regional lymph node dissection, some of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed; for a radical lymph node dissection, most or all of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed. Also called lymphadenectomy.

lymph node drainage

The flow of lymph from an area of tissue into a particular lymph node.

lymph node mapping

The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that may contain tumor cells. Also called lymphatic mapping.

lymph vessel (limf)

A thin tube that carries lymph (lymphatic fluid) and white blood cells through the lymphatic system. Also called lymphatic vessel.

lymphadenectomy

A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and examined to see whether they contain cancer. For a regional lymphadenectomy, some of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed; for a radical lymphadenectomy, most or all of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed. Also called lymph node dissection.

lymphadenopathy

Disease or swelling of the lymph nodes.

lymphangiogram (lim-FAN-jee-o-gram)

An x-ray of the lymphatic system. A dye is injected into a lymphatic vessel and travels throughout the lymphatic system. The dye outlines the lymphatic vessels and organs on the x-ray.

lymphangiography (lim-FAN-jee-AH-gra-fee)

An x-ray study of the lymphatic system. A dye is injected into a lymphatic vessel and travels throughout the lymphatic system. The dye outlines the lymphatic vessels and organs on the x-ray.

lymphangiosarcoma

A type of cancer that begins in the cells that line lymph vessels.

lymphatic basin

A group of lymph nodes that receives and filters lymph that flows from a certain area of the body. Special dyes may be used to stain and identify the lymphatic basin in the tissues around a tumor, so that lymph nodes that may contain cancer can be removed and checked by a pathologist.

lymphatic fluid (lim-FAT-ik)

The clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system and carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases. Also called lymph.

lymphatic mapping

The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that may contain tumor cells. Also called lymph node mapping.

lymphatic system (lim-FAT-ik SIS-tem)

The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells). Lymphatic vessels branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body.

lymphatic vessel (lim-FAT-ik)

A thin tube that carries lymph (lymphatic fluid) and white blood cells through the lymphatic system. Also called lymph vessel.

lymphedema (LIMF-eh-DEE-ma)

A condition in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling. It may occur in the arm or leg after lymph vessels or lymph nodes in the underarm or groin are removed or treated with radiation.

lymphoblast

A lymphocyte that has gotten larger after being stimulated by an antigen. Lymphoblasts look like immature lymphocytes, and were once thought to be precursor cells.

lymphocyte (LIM-fo-site)

A type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes have a number of roles in the immune system, including the production of antibodies and other substances that fight infection and diseases.

lymphocytic (lim-fo-SIT-ik)

Referring to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

lymphocytic leukemia

A type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes (white blood cells).

lymphoepithelioma (LIM-fo-EP-ih-THEE-lee-O-ma)

A type of cancer that begins in the tissues covering the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose).

lymphography

An x-ray study of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels made visible by the injection of a special dye.

lymphoid (LIM-foyd)

Referring to lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Also refers to tissue in which lymphocytes develop.

lymphokine-activated killer cell

A white blood cell that is stimulated in a laboratory to kill tumor cells. Also called an LAK cell.

lymphoma (lim-FO-ma)

Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One kind is Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer.

lymphomatoid granulomatosis

Destructive growth of lymph cells, usually involving the lungs, skin, kidneys, and central nervous system. Grades I and II are not considered cancerous, but grade III is considered a lymphoma.

lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LIM-foh-plaz-muh-SIH-tik lim-FOH-muh)

An indolent (slow-growing) type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by abnormal levels of IgM antibodies in the blood and an enlarged liver, spleen, or lymph nodes. Also called Waldenström's macroglobulinemia.

lymphoproliferative disorder

A disease in which cells of the lymphatic system grow excessively. Lymphoproliferative disorders are often treated like cancer.

lymphosarcoma

An obsolete term for a malignant tumor of lymphatic tissue.

lymphoscintigraphy (lim-fo-sin-TIG-ruh-fee)

A method used to identify the sentinel lymph node (the first draining lymph node near a tumor). A radioactive substance that can be taken up by lymph nodes is injected at the site of the tumor, and a doctor follows the movement of this substance on a computer screen. Once the lymph nodes that have taken up the substance are identified, they can be removed and examined to see if they contain tumor cells.

Lynch syndrome

An inherited disorder in which affected individuals have a higher-than-normal chance of developing colon cancer and certain other types of cancer, usually before the age of 60. Also called hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer.

lysis

In biology, lysis refers to the breakdown of a cell caused by damage to its plasma (outer) membrane. Lysis can be caused by chemical or physical means (for example, strong detergents or high-energy sound waves) or by an infection.

lysosome

A sac-like compartment inside a cell that has enzymes that can break down cellular components that need to be destroyed.

lytic

Having to do with lysis. In biology, lysis refers to the disintegration of a cell by disruption of its plasma membrane. Lysis can be caused by chemical or physical means (e.g., high-energy sound waves) or by a virus infection.

lytic lesion

Destruction of an area of bone due to a disease process, such as cancer.