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Glossary

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# – C
Abiraterone

Abiraterone is an oral medication that blocks the synthesis of androgens (male hormones), such as testosterone, inside the tumor. Phase III clinical trial results showed that Abiraterone improved overall survival of men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer and is currently under review for approval by the FDA.

Ablation

In medicine, the removal or destruction of a body part or tissue or its function. Ablation may be performed by surgery, hormones, drugs, radio frequency, heat or other methods.

Cabazitaxel (JEVTANA)

Cabazitaxel is a chemotherapy medicine approved for treatment of patients that have failed standard chemotherapy. It is a member of a class of medications called taxanes. Cabazitaxel is administered intravenously in combination with oral prednisone. Cabazitaxel kills cancer cells by blocking cell division which results in cancer cell death.

benign

Not cancerous. Benign tumors do not spread to tissues around them or to other parts of the body.

D – K
Denosumab

Denosumab is a monoclonal antibody against the protein RANKL (RANKL is important for the maintenance of healthy bone but when elevated (in osteoporosis and cancers that spread to bone) it causes osteoporosis). It was FDA approved in June 2010 under the brand name Prolia for use in postmenopausal women with a risk of osteoporosis. In November 2010, denosumab (brand name XGEVA) was FDA-approved for the prevention of fractures in patients with solid tumors metastasized to bone, including prostate cancer. In December 2010, clinical results were presented that show XGEVA also delays the time to first bone metastasis in men with hormone refractory prostate cancer. As of January 25th, 2011 the FDA is still considering these results.

EBR, EBRT

External beam radiation (therapy).

Finasteride

A drug used to reduce the amount of male hormone (testosterone) produced by the body.

IAS

Intermittent androgen suppression; the starting and stopping of the treatment. See hormone therapy.

Jewett staging system

A staging system for prostate cancer that uses ABCD. “A” and “B” refer to cancer that is confined to the prostate. “C” refers to cancer that has grown out of the prostate but has not spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body. “D” refers to cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or to other places in the body. Also called the ABCD rating or the Whitmore-Jewett staging system.

gastrointestinal (GI)

Refers to the stomach and intestines.

high-dose-rate (HDR)

May be combined to be called high-dose-rate remote brachytherapy or high-dose-rate remote radiation. A type of internal radiation treatment in which the radioactive source is removed between treatments. (NCI bklt)

L – O
laparoscopy

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.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A procedure in which radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures can show the difference between normal and diseased tissue. MRI makes better images of organs and soft tissue than other scanning techniques, such as CT or X-ray. MRI is especially useful for imaging the brain, spine, the soft tissue of joints, and the inside of bones. Also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.

neoadjuvant

Done or added before the primary treatment; for example, neoadjuvant hormone therapy could be given prior to another form of treatment such as a radical prostatectomy; compare to adjuvant.

oncologist

A doctor who specializes in treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

P – Z
Zoladex

Trade or brand name for goserelin acetate, an LHRH used in hormone therapy.

palliative

Designed to produce relief from symptoms without curing, e.g., aspirin for a headache is palliative.

radical prostatectomy

Surgery to remove the entire prostate. The two types of radical prostatectomy are retropubic prostatectomy and perineal prostatectomy.

screening

Checking for disease when there are no symptoms.

testicle

One of two egg-shaped glands found inside the scrotum that produce sperm and male hormones. Also called a testis.

ultrasound (US)

A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. Also called ultrasonography.

watchful waiting (WW)

Closely monitoring a patient’s condition but withholding treatment until symptoms appear or change. Also called observation.