Cancer Term Glossary

R-CHOP
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine (Oncovin), and prednisone. Also called R-CHOP regimen.
R-CHOP regimen(… REH-jih-men)
An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine (Oncovin), and prednisone. Also called R-CHOP.
R-flurbiprofen
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
r-metHuSCF
A substance that causes blood stem cells (cells from which other types of cells develop) to change into different types of blood cells and increases the number and actions of these cells in the blood. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplasia. r-metHuSCF is a type of recombinant stem cell growth factor. Also called ancestim, recombinant human methionyl stem cell factor, and Stemgen.
r-tPA
A form of tissue plasminogen activator that is made in the laboratory. It helps dissolve blood clots and is used to treat heart attacks, strokes, and clots in the lungs. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of systemic thrombolytic agent. Also called Activase, Alteplase, and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator.
R101933
A substance that is being studied for its ability to make cancer cells respond to drugs to which they have become resistant. It belongs to the family of drugs called multidrug resistance inhibitors.
R115777
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called farnesyltransferase inhibitors. Also called tipifarnib and Zarnestra.
R1507
A human monoclonal antibody being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. R1507 blocks the action of a protein needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) inhibitor.
R788 sodium(… SOH-dee-um)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer and certain other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It may block tumor cell signaling and growth. It is a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called fostamatinib disodium and Syk kinase inhibitor R-935788.
rabies
A disease of the nervous system caused by the rabies virus. Rabies is marked by an increase in saliva production, abnormal behavior, and eventual paralysis and death.
rachitis(ray-KY-tis)
A condition in children in which bones become soft and deformed because they don’t have enough calcium and phosphorus. It is caused by not having enough vitamin D in the diet or by not getting enough sunlight. In adults, this condition is called osteomalacia. Also called infantile rickets, juvenile rickets, and rickets.
rAd/p53
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. rAd/p53 is a weakened adenovirus that carries the p53 gene into tumor cells, causing them to die. It is a type of gene therapy. Also called ACN53, recombinant adenovirus-p53, and SCH-58500.
RAD001
A drug used to treat advanced kidney cancer that did not respond to treatment with certain other anticancer drugs. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. RAD001 stops cancer cells from dividing and may block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also decreases the body’s immune responses. It is a type of immunosuppressant and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Afinitor and everolimus.
radiation(RAY-dee-AY-shun)
Energy released in the form of particle or electromagnetic waves. Common sources of radiation include radon gas, cosmic rays from outer space, medical x-rays, and energy given off by a radioisotope (unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable).
radiation brachytherapy(RAY-dee-AY-shun BRAY-kee-THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of radiation therapy in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, implant radiation therapy, and internal radiation therapy.
radiation dermatitis(RAY-dee-AY-shun DER-muh-TY-tis)
A skin condition that is a common side effect of radiation therapy. The affected skin becomes painful, red, itchy, and blistered.
radiation enteritis(RAY-dee-AY-shun EN-tuh-RY-tis)
Inflammation of the small intestine caused by radiation therapy to the abdomen, pelvis, or rectum. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping, frequent bowel movements, watery or bloody diarrhea, fatty stools, and weight loss. Some of these symptoms may continue for a long time.
radiation fibrosis(RAY-dee-AY-shun fy-BROH-sis)
The formation of scar tissue as a result of radiation therapy.
radiation necrosis(RAY-dee-AY-shun neh-KROH-sis)
The death of healthy tissue caused by radiation therapy. Radiation necrosis is a side effect of radiation therapy given to kill cancer cells, and can occur after cancer treatment has ended.
radiation nurse
A health professional who specializes in caring for people who are receiving radiation therapy.
radiation oncologist(RAY-dee-AY-shun on-KAH-loh-jist)
A doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer.
radiation physicist
A person who makes sure that the radiation machine delivers the right amount of radiation to the correct site in the body. The physicist works with the radiation oncologist to choose the treatment schedule and dose that has the best chance of killing the most cancer cells.
radiation surgery(RAY-dee-AY-shun SER-juh-ree)
A type of external radiation therapy that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely give a single large dose of radiation to a tumor. It is used to treat brain tumors and other brain disorders that cannot be treated by regular surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called radiosurgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and stereotaxic radiosurgery.
radiation therapist
A health professional who gives radiation treatment.
radiation therapy(RAY-dee-AY-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Also called irradiation and radiotherapy.
radical cystectomy(RA-dih-kul sis-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove all of the bladder (the organ that holds urine) as well as nearby tissues and organs.
radical hysterectomy(RA-dih-kul HIS-teh-REK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the uterus, cervix, and part of the vagina. The ovaries, fallopian tubes, and nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
radical local excision(RA-dih-kul LOH-kul ek-SIH-zhun)
Surgery to remove a tumor and a large amount of normal tissue surrounding it. Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed.
radical lymph node dissection
A surgical procedure to remove most or all of the lymph nodes that drain lymph from the area around a tumor. The lymph nodes are then examined under a microscope to see if cancer cells have spread to them.
radical mastectomy(RA-dih-kul ma-STEK-toh-mee)
Surgery for breast cancer in which the breast, chest muscles, and all of the lymph nodes under the arm are removed. For many years, this was the breast cancer operation used most often, but it is used rarely now. Doctors consider radical mastectomy only when the tumor has spread to the chest muscles. Also called Halsted radical mastectomy.
radical nephrectomy(RA-dih-kul neh-FREK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove an entire kidney, nearby adrenal gland and lymph nodes, and other surrounding tissue.
radical perineal prostatectomy(RA-dih-kul PAYR-ih-NEE-ul PROS-tuh-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove all of the prostate through an incision between the scrotum and the anus. Nearby lymph nodes are sometimes removed through a separate incision in the wall of the abdomen.
radical prostatectomy(RA-dih-kul PROS-tuh-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the entire prostate. The two types of radical prostatectomy are retropubic prostatectomy (surgery through an incision in the wall of the abdomen) and perineal prostatectomy (surgery through an incision between the scrotum and the anus).
radical retropubic prostatectomy(RA-dih-kul reh-troh-PYOO-bik PROS-tuh-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove all of the prostate and nearby lymph nodes through an incision in the wall of the abdomen.
radical vulvectomy(RA-dih-kul vul-VEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the entire vulva (the external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina) and nearby lymph nodes.
radio wave(RAY-dee-oh…)
A type of wave made when an electric field and a magnetic field are combined. Radio waves are being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer and other conditions. The radio waves are sent through needles inserted into tumor tissue and may kill cancer cells. Radio waves are also used in MRI to create detailed images of areas inside the body.
radioactive(RAY-dee-oh-AK-tiv)
Giving off radiation.
radioactive drug(RAY-dee-oh-AK-tiv...)
A drug that contains a radioactive substance and is used to diagnose or treat disease, including cancer. Also called radiopharmaceutical.
radioactive fallout(RAY-dee-oh-AK-tiv...)
Airborne radioactive particles that fall to the ground during and after an atomic bombing, nuclear weapons test, or nuclear plant accident.
radioactive iodine(RAY-dee-oh-AK-tiv I-oh-dine)
A radioactive form of iodine, often used for imaging tests or to treat an overactive thyroid, thyroid cancer, and certain other cancers. For imaging tests, the patient takes a small dose of radioactive iodine that collects in thyroid cells and certain kinds of tumors and can be detected by a scanner. To treat thyroid cancer, the patient takes a large dose of radioactive iodine, which kills thyroid cells. Radioactive iodine is also used in internal radiation therapy for prostate cancer, intraocular (eye) melanoma, and carcinoid tumors. Radioactive iodine is given by mouth as a liquid or in capsules, by infusion, or sealed in seeds, which are placed in or near the tumor to kill cancer cells.
radioactive palladium(RAY-dee-oh-AK-tiv puh-LAY-dee-um)
A radioactive form of palladium (a metallic element that resembles platinum). When used to treat prostate cancer, radioactive seeds (small pellets that contain radioactive palladium) are placed in the prostate. Cancer cells are killed by the energy given off as the radioactive material breaks down and becomes more stable.
radioactive seed(RAY-dee-oh-AK-tiv...)
A small, radioactive pellet that is placed in or near a tumor. Cancer cells are killed by the energy given off as the radioactive material breaks down and becomes more stable.
radioembolization(RAY-dee-oh-EM-boh-lih-ZAY-shun)
A type of radiation therapy used to treat liver cancer that is advanced or has come back. Tiny beads that hold the radioisotope yttrium Y 90 are injected into the hepatic artery (the main blood vessel that carries blood to the liver). The beads collect in the tumor and the yttrium Y 90 gives off radiation. This destroys the blood vessels that the tumor needs to grow and kills the cancer cells. Radioembolization is a type of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). Also called intra-arterial brachytherapy.
radiofrequency ablation(RAY-dee-oh-FREE-kwen-see uh-BLAY-shun)
A procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy abnormal cells. The radio waves travel through electrodes (small devices that carry electricity). Radiofrequency ablation may be used to treat cancer and other conditions.
radioimaging(RAY-dee-oh-IH-muh-jing)
A method that uses radioactive substances to make pictures of areas inside the body. The radioactive substance is injected into the body, and locates and binds to specific cells or tissues, including cancer cells. Images are made using a special machine that detects the radioactive substance.
radioimmunodiagnostics(RAY-dee-oh-IH-myoo-noh-DY-ug-NOS-tix)
The use of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies to help diagnose diseases, including cancer. The radiolabeled monoclonal antibody locates and binds to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Images are made using a special machine that detects the radioactive monoclonal antibody.
radioimmunoguided surgery(RAY-dee-oh-IH-myoo-noh-GIDE-ed SER-juh-ree)
A procedure that uses radioactive substances to locate tumors so that they can be removed by surgery.
radioimmunotherapeutics(RAY-dee-oh-IH-myoo-noh-THAYR-uh-PYOO-tix)
The use of radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies to treat diseases, including cancer. The radiolabeled monoclonal antibody locates and binds to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Radiation given off by the radioisotope may help kill the cancer cells.
radioimmunotherapy(RAY-dee-oh-IH-myoo-noh-THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of systemic radiation therapy in which a radioactive substance is linked to an antibody that locates and kills tumor cells when injected into the body.
radioisotope(RAY-dee-oh-I-suh-tope)
An unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable. Radioisotopes may occur in nature or be made in a laboratory. In medicine, they are used in imaging tests and in treatment. Also called radionuclide.
radiolabeled(RAY-dee-oh-LAY-buld)
Any compound that has been joined with a radioactive substance.
radiologic exam(RAY-dee-uh-LAH-jik ig-ZAM)
A test that uses radiation or other imaging procedures to find signs of cancer or other abnormalities.
radiologist(RAY-dee-AH-loh-jist)
A doctor who specializes in creating and interpreting pictures of areas inside the body. The pictures are produced with x-rays, sound waves, or other types of energy.
radiology(RAY-dee-AH-loh-jee)
The use of radiation (such as x-rays) or other imaging technologies (such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging) to diagnose or treat disease.
radionuclide(RAY-dee-oh-NOO-klide)
An unstable form of a chemical element that releases radiation as it breaks down and becomes more stable. Radionuclides may occur in nature or be made in a laboratory. In medicine, they are used in imaging tests and in treatment. Also called radioisotope.
radionuclide scanning(RAY-dee-oh-NOO-klide SKAN-ing)
A procedure that produces pictures (scans) of structures inside the body, including areas where there are cancer cells. Radionuclide scanning is used to diagnose, stage, and monitor disease. A small amount of a radioactive chemical (radionuclide) is injected into a vein or swallowed. Different radionuclides travel through the blood to different organs. A machine with a special camera moves over the person lying on a table and detects the type of radiation given off by the radionuclides. A computer forms an image of the areas where the radionuclide builds up. These areas may contain cancer cells. Also called scintigraphy.
radiopharmaceutical(RAY-dee-oh-FAR-muh-SOO-tih-kul)
A drug that contains a radioactive substance and is used to diagnose or treat disease, including cancer. Also called radioactive drug.
radiosensitization(RAY-dee-oh-SEN-sih-tih-ZAY-shun)
The use of a drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy.
radiosensitizer(RAY-dee-oh-SEN-sih-TY-zer)
A drug that makes tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy. Also called radiosensitizing agent.
radiosurgery(RAY-dee-oh-SER-juh-ree)
A type of external radiation therapy that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely give a single large dose of radiation to a tumor. It is used to treat brain tumors and other brain disorders that cannot be treated by regular surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Also called radiation surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, and stereotaxic radiosurgery.
radiotherapy(RAY-dee-oh-THAYR-uh-pee)
The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy). Systemic radiotherapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Also called irradiation and radiation therapy.
radon(RAY-don)
A radioactive gas that is released by uranium, a substance found in soil and rock. Breathing in too much radon can damage lung cells and may lead to lung cancer.
Raftilose Synergy 1(RAF-tih-lose SIH-ner-jee ...)
A substance that is used to improve the health of the digestive system and bones and is being studied in the prevention of colon cancer. Raftilose Synergy 1 is made by combining two substances that occur naturally in many plants, including chicory root, wheat, bananas, onion, and garlic. Raftilose Synergy 1 helps healthy bacteria grow in the intestines and helps the body absorb calcium and magnesium. Also called oligofructose-enriched inulin.
raloxifene(ral-OX-ih-feen)
The active ingredient in a drug used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of the disease or who have osteoporosis. It is also used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the prevention of breast cancer in certain premenopausal women and in the prevention and treatment of other conditions. Raloxifene blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the breast and increases the amount of calcium in bone. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM).
raloxifene hydrochloride(ral-OX-ih-feen HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women who are at high risk of the disease or who have osteoporosis. It is also used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. It is also being studied in the prevention of breast cancer in certain premenopausal women and in the prevention and treatment of other conditions. Raloxifene hydrochloride blocks the effects of the hormone estrogen in the breast and increases the amount of calcium in bone. It is a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Also called Evista.
raltitrexed
An anticancer drug that stops tumor cells from growing by blocking the ability of cells to make DNA. It belongs to the family of drugs called thymidylate synthase inhibitors. Also called ICI D1694.
ramucirumab(RA-myoo-SIR-yoo-mab)
A substance being studied in the treatment of breast cancer that has come back. It binds to receptors for a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This keeps VEGF from binding to the receptors and may stop the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of monoclonal antibody. Also called anti-VEGFR-2 fully human monoclonal antibody IMC-1121B and IMC-1121B.
randomization
When referring to an experiment or clinical trial, the process by which animal or human subjects are assigned by chance to separate groups that compare different treatments or other interventions. Randomization gives each participant an equal chance of being assigned to any of the groups.
randomized clinical trial
A study in which the participants are assigned by chance to separate groups that compare different treatments; neither the researchers nor the participants can choose which group. Using chance to assign people to groups means that the groups will be similar and that the treatments they receive can be compared objectively. At the time of the trial, it is not known which treatment is best. It is the patient's choice to be in a randomized trial.
ranpirnase
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of ribonuclease enzyme. Also called Onconase.
Rapamune(RAP-uh-MYOON)
A drug used to keep the body from rejecting organ and bone marrow transplants. Rapamune blocks certain white blood cells that can reject foreign tissues and organs. It also blocks a protein that is involved in cell division. It is a type of antibiotic, a type of immunosuppressant, and a type of serine/threonine kinase inhibitor. Rapamune was previously called rapamycin. Also called sirolimus.
rapamycin(RAP-uh-MY-sin)
A drug used to keep the body from rejecting organ and bone marrow transplants. Rapamycin blocks certain white blood cells that can reject foreign tissues and organs. It also blocks a protein that is involved in cell division. It is a type of antibiotic, a type of immunosuppressant, and a type of serine/threonine kinase inhibitor. Rapamycin is now called sirolimus.
rapid eye movement sleep
One of the five stages of sleep. During rapid eye movement sleep, the eyes move rapidly while closed and dreams occur. Rapid eye movement sleep is the lightest stage of sleep, during which a person may wake easily. During several hours of normal sleep, a person will go through several sleep cycles that include rapid eye movement sleep and the 4 stages of non-rapid eye movement (light to deep sleep). Also called REM sleep.
rapid hormone cycling
A procedure in which drugs that block the production of male hormones are alternated with male hormones and/or drugs that promote the production of male hormones. This procedure is being studied in the treatment of prostate cancer.
rapid-onset opioid(… OH-pee-OYD)
A substance that acts quickly to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids are like opiates, such as morphine and codeine, but are not made from opium. Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. A rapid-onset opioid is a type of alkaloid.
Raptiva(rap-TEE-vuh)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat psoriasis (a chronic skin disease). It is also being studied in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of the skin after a donor stem cell transplant. Raptiva binds to a molecule called LFA-1, and blocks the action of T cells (a type of white blood cell). It is a type of immunosuppressant. Also called efalizumab.
ras gene
A gene that has been found to cause cancer when it is altered (mutated). Agents that block its activity may stop the growth of cancer.
ras peptide(rass PEP-tide)
A short piece of the ras protein, which is made by the ras gene. The ras gene has been found to cause cancer when it is mutated (changed).
rasburicase(ras-BUR-ih-kays)
A drug used to treat high blood levels of uric acid in patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other types of cancer who are receiving certain types of cancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other medical conditions. Rasburicase is a type of recombinant enzyme and a type of urate-lowering drug. Also called Elitek and recombinant urate oxidase.
rattlesnake root
An eastern North American perennial herb. A substance obtained from the root of the plant has been used in some cultures to treat a number of medical problems. It is being studied in the treatment of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The scientific name is Cimicifuga racemosa. Also called black cohosh, black snakeroot, bugbane, and bugwort.
rauschpfeffer(ROWSH-FEH-fer)
An herb native to islands in the South Pacific. Substances taken from the root have been used in some cultures to relieve stress, anxiety, tension, sleeplessness, and problems of menopause. Rauschpfeffer may increase the effect of alcohol and of certain drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises users that rauschpfeffer may cause severe liver damage. The scientific name is Piper methysticum. Also called intoxicating pepper, kava kava, tonga, and yangona.
RAV12
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. It binds to a carbohydrate (sugar) molecule that is found on gastric, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast, and kidney cancer cells.
ravuconazole
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of infections caused by fungi. It belongs to the family of drugs called antifungal agents.
RBC
A cell that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Also called erythrocyte and red blood cell.
reagent(ree-AY-jent)
A substance used to carry out a laboratory test. Reagents may be used in a chemical reaction to detect, measure, or make other substances.
rebeccamycin
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antineoplastic antibiotics.
rebeccamycin analog(reh-BEH-kuh-MY-sin A-nuh-log)
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called antitumor antibiotics and topoisomerase inhibitors. Also called NSC 655649.
Recentin(reh-SEN-tin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Recentin may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called AZD2171 and cediranib maleate.
receptor(reh-SEP-ter)
A molecule inside or on the surface of a cell that binds to a specific substance and causes a specific physiologic effect in the cell.
recipient(reh-SIH-pee-ent)
In medicine, a person who receives blood, cells, tissue, or an organ from another person, such as in a blood transfusion or an organ transplant.
recombinant(ree-KOM-bih-nunt)
In genetics, describes DNA, proteins, cells, or organisms that are made by combining genetic material from two different sources. Recombinant substances are made in the laboratory and are being studied in the treatment of cancer and for many other uses.
recombinant adenovirus-p53(ree-KOM-bih-nunt A-den-oh-VY-rus ...)
A substance that has been studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Recombinant adenovirus-p53 is a weakened adenovirus that carries the p53 gene into tumor cells, causing them to die. It is a type of gene therapy. Also called ACN53, rAd/p53, and SCH-58500.
recombinant fowlpox-CEA-MUC-1-TRICOM vaccine(ree-KOM-bih-nunt … vak-SEEN)
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a chicken virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called falimarev.
recombinant fowlpox-TRICOM vaccine(ree-KOM-bih-nunt …vak-SEEN)
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a chicken virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called rF-TRICOM.
recombinant human interleukin-11(ree-KOM-bih-nunt HYOO-mun in-ter-LOO-kin...)
A drug used to increase the number of blood cells, especially platelets, in some cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Recombinant human interleukin-11 is a form of interleukin-11 (a cytokine normally made by support cells in the bone marrow) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called Neumega, oprelvekin, and rhIL-11.
recombinant human interleukin-2(ree-KOM-bih-nunt HYOO-mun in-ter-LOO-kin...)
A drug used to treat some types of cancer. It is a form of interleukin-2, a cytokine made by leukocytes (white blood cells), that is made in the laboratory. Recombinant human interleukin-2 increases the activity and growth of white blood cells called T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called aldesleukin and Proleukin.
recombinant human methionyl stem cell factor(ree-KOM-bih-nunt HYOO-mun meh-THY-oh-nil stem sel FAK-ter)
A substance that causes blood stem cells (cells from which other types of cells develop) to change into different types of blood cells and increases the number and actions of these cells in the blood. It is being studied in the treatment of myelodysplasia. Recombinant human methionyl stem cell factor is a type of recombinant stem cell growth factor. Also called ancestim, r-metHuSCF, and Stemgen.
recombinant interferon alfa-2b(ree-KOM-bih-nunt in-ter-FEER-on AL-fuh…)
A drug used to treat some infections caused by viruses and several types of cancer. These include hairy cell leukemia, melanoma, and follicular lymphoma. It is a form of interferon alfa (a substance normally made by cells of the immune system) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called IFN alpha-2B, interferon alfa-2b, and Intron A.
recombinant tissue plasminogen activator(ree-KOM-bih-nunt TIH-shoo plaz-MIN-oh-jen AK-tih-vay-tur)
A form of tissue plasminogen activator that is made in the laboratory. It helps dissolve blood clots and is used to treat heart attacks, strokes, and clots in the lungs. It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of systemic thrombolytic agent. Also called Activase, Alteplase, and r-tPA.
recombinant urate oxidase(ree-KOM-bih-nunt YOOR-ayt OK-sih-days)
A drug used to treat high blood levels of uric acid in patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other types of cancer who are receiving certain types of cancer treatment. It is also being studied in the treatment of other medical conditions. Recombinant urate oxidase is a type of recombinant enzyme and a type of urate-lowering drug. Also called Elitek and rasburicase.
recombinant vaccinia-CEA-MUC-1-TRICOM vaccine(ree-KOM-bih-nunt vak-SIN-ee-uh … vak-SEEN)
A cancer vaccine made with a form of vaccinia virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins, including the tumor markers called CEA and MUC-1, that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called inalimarev and PANVAC-V.
recombinant vaccinia-TRICOM vaccine(ree-KOM-bih-nunt vak-SIH-nee-uh … vak-SEEN)
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a vaccinia virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called rV-TRICOM and vaccinia-TRICOM vaccine.
reconstructive surgeon(REE-kun-STRUK-tiv SER-jun)
A doctor who can surgically reshape or rebuild (reconstruct) a part of the body, such as a woman's breast after surgery for breast cancer.
reconstructive surgery(REE-kun-STRUK-tiv SER-juh-ree)
Surgery that is done to reshape or rebuild (reconstruct) a part of the body changed by previous surgery.
recover(ree-KUH-ver)
To become well and healthy again.
recreational therapy(...THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of therapy that uses activities to help meet the physical and emotional needs of patients with an illness or disability and help them develop skills for daily living. These activities include arts and crafts, music, spending time with animals, sports, and drama. Recreational therapy is being studied as a way to relieve distress in cancer patients who are being treated for pain.
rectal(REK-tul)
By or having to do with the rectum. The rectum is the last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus.
rectal cancer(REK-tul KAN-ser)
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the rectum (the last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus).
rectal reconstruction(REK-tul REE-kun-STRUK-shun)
Surgery to rebuild the rectum (the last several inches of the large intestine before the anus) using a section of the colon. This may be done when the rectum has been removed to treat cancer or other diseases.
rectitis(rek-TY-tis)
Inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the rectum (the last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus). Also called proctitis.
rectum(REK-tum)
The last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus.
recur
To come back or to return.
recurrence(ree-KER-ents)
Cancer that has recurred (come back), usually after a period of time during which the cancer could not be detected. The cancer may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or to another place in the body. Also called recurrent cancer.
recurrence risk
In genetics, the likelihood that a hereditary trait or disorder present in one family member will occur again in other family members. This is distinguished from recurrence risk for cancer, which is the chance that a cancer that has been treated will recur.
recurrent cancer(ree-KER-ent KAN-ser)
Cancer that has recurred (come back), usually after a period of time during which the cancer could not be detected. The cancer may come back to the same place as the original (primary) tumor or to another place in the body. Also called recurrence.
red blood cell
A cell that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Also called erythrocyte and RBC.
red cedar(...SEE-der)
A type of evergreen tree with hard fragrant wood that is a member of the cypress family. The oil from the wood is used in soaps, shampoos, bath salts, perfumes, aromatherapy, and to keep insects away. The scientific name is Juniperus virginiana. Also called cedarwood and Eastern red cedar.
red clover
Trifolium pratense. A plant with flowers that has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It is being studied in the relief of menopausal symptoms and may have anticancer effects. Also called purple clover, Trifolium pratense, and wild clover.
red date
The fruit of the jujube plant. It has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems.
red elm
The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called gray elm, Indian elm, slippery elm, sweet elm, Ulmus fulva, and Ulmus rubra.
reduction(reh-DUK-shun)
A chemical reaction that takes place when a substance comes into contact with hydrogen or another reducing substance.
Reed-Sternberg cell
A type of cell that appears in people with Hodgkin disease. The number of these cells increases as the disease advances.
reference interval(REH-frents IN-ter-vul)
In medicine, a set of values that a doctor uses to interpret a patient’s test results. The reference interval for a given test is based on test results for 95% of the healthy population. Sometimes patients whose test results are outside of the reference interval may be healthy, and some patients whose test results are within the reference interval may have a health problem. The reference interval for a test may be different for different groups of people (for example, men and women). Also called normal range, reference range, and reference values.
reference range(REH-frents RAYNJ)
In medicine, a set of values that a doctor uses to interpret a patient’s test results. The reference range for a given test is based on test results for 95% of the healthy population. Sometimes patients whose test results are outside of the reference range may be healthy, and some patients whose test results are within the reference range may have a health problem. The reference range for a test may be different for different groups of people (for example, men and women). Also called normal range, reference interval, and reference values.
reference values(REH-frents VAL-yooz)
In medicine, a set of values that a doctor uses to interpret a patient’s test results. The reference values for a given test is based on test results for 95% of the healthy population. Sometimes patients whose test results are outside of the reference values may be healthy, and some patients whose test results are within the reference values may have a health problem. The reference values for a test may be different for different groups of people (for example, men and women). Also called normal range, reference interval, and reference range.
referral(reh-FER-ul)
In medicine, the act of a doctor in which a patient is sent to another doctor for additional healthcare services.
reflux
The backward flow of liquid from the stomach into the esophagus.
refractory
In medicine, describes a disease or condition that does not respond to treatment.
refractory cancer
Cancer that does not respond to treatment. The cancer may be resistant at the beginning of treatment or it may become resistant during treatment. Also called resistant cancer.
Regenecare(reh-JEH-neh-KAYR)
A substance being studied in the treatment of certain types of skin rash and skin pain in cancer patients. The ingredients of Regenecare are collagen, aloe vera, vitamin E, and lidocaine. It may help stop bleeding, form new blood vessels, keep the skin moist, and relieve pain and itching. It is a type of topical anesthetic and a type of wound repair agent.
regeneration
In biology, regrowth of damaged or destroyed tissue or body part.
regimen
A treatment plan that specifies the dosage, the schedule, and the duration of treatment.
regional
In oncology, describes the body area right around a tumor.
regional anesthesia(... A-nes-THEE-zhuh)
A temporary loss of feeling or awareness in a part of the body, such as an arm or a leg, caused by special drugs or other substances called anesthetics. The patient stays awake but has no feeling in the part of the body treated with the anesthetic.
regional cancer
Refers to cancer that has grown beyond the original (primary) tumor to nearby lymph nodes or organs and tissues.
regional chemotherapy(REE-juh-nul KEE-moh-THAYR-uh-pee)
Treatment with anticancer drugs directed to a specific area of the body.
regional enteritis(REE-juh-nul EN-teh-RY-tis)
Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the small intestine and colon. Regional enteritis increases the risk for colorectal cancer and small intestine cancer. Also called Crohn disease.
regional lymph node
In oncology, a lymph node that drains lymph from the region around a tumor.
regional lymph node dissection
A surgical procedure to remove some of the lymph nodes that drain lymph from the area around a tumor. The lymph nodes are then examined under a microscope to see if cancer cells have spread to them.
registered dietitian(...dy-eh-TIH-shun)
A health professional with special training in the use of diet and nutrition to keep the body healthy. A registered dietitian may help the medical team improve the nutritional health of a patient.
Reglan(REG-lun)
A drug that increases the motility (movements and contractions) of the stomach and upper intestine. It is used to treat certain stomach problems and nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is a type of antiemetic and a type of motility agent. Also called metoclopramide.
regression
A decrease in the size of a tumor or in the extent of cancer in the body.
regulatory T cell(REH-gyoo-luh-TOH-ree T sel)
A type of immune cell that blocks the actions of some other types of lymphocytes, to keep the immune system from becoming over-active. Regulatory T cells are being studied in the treatment of cancer. A regulatory T cell is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called suppressor T cell, T reg, and T-regulatory cell.
rehabilitation(REE-huh-BIH-lih-TAY-shun)
In medicine, a process to restore mental and/or physical abilities lost to injury or disease, in order to function in a normal or near-normal way.
rehabilitation specialist(REE-huh-BIH-lih-TAY-shun SPEH-shuh-list)
A healthcare professional who helps people recover from an illness or injury and return to daily life. Examples of rehabilitation specialists are physical therapists and occupational therapists.
relapse
The return of signs and symptoms of cancer after a period of improvement.
relative odds(REH-luh-tiv …)
A measure of the odds of an event happening in one group compared to the odds of the same event happening in another group. In cancer research, relative odds are most often used in case-control (backward looking) studies to find out if being exposed to a certain substance or other factor increases the risk of cancer. For example, researchers may study a group of individuals with cancer (cases) and another group without cancer (controls) to see how many people in each group were exposed to a certain substance or factor. They calculate the odds of exposure in both groups and then compare the odds. A relative odds of one means that both groups had the same odds of exposure and, therefore, the exposure probably does not increase the risk of cancer. A relative odds of greater than one means that the exposure may increase the risk of cancer, and a relative odds of less than one means that the exposure may reduce the risk of cancer. Also called odds ratio.
relative risk(REH-luh-tiv …)
A measure of the risk of a certain event happening in one group compared to the risk of the same event happening in another group. In cancer research, relative risk is used in prospective (forward looking) studies, such as cohort studies and clinical trials. A relative risk of one means there is no difference between two groups in terms of their risk of cancer, based on whether or not they were exposed to a certain substance or factor, or how they responded to two treatments being compared. A relative risk of greater than one or of less than one usually means that being exposed to a certain substance or factor either increases (relative risk greater than one) or decreases (relative risk less than one) the risk of cancer, or that the treatments being compared do not have the same effects. Also called risk ratio.
relative survival rate(REH-luh-tiv ser-VY-vul …)
A way of comparing survival of people who have a specific disease with those who don’t. The percentage of survivors is usually determined at specific times, such as 2 years and 5 years after diagnosis or treatment. The relative survival rate shows whether the disease shortens life.
relaxation technique
A method used to reduce tension and anxiety, and control pain.
Relenza(reh-LEN-zuh)
A drug used to prevent and to treat influenza virus infections. It blocks the release of the virus from infected cells. It is a type of antiviral agent. Also called zanamivir.
religion(rih-LIH-jun)
A set of beliefs and practices that center on questions about the meaning of life and may involve the worship of a supreme being.
Relistor(REH-lih-stor)
A drug used to relieve certain side effects caused by treatment with opiods (pain killers similar to morphine), such as constipation (hard, dry stools), itching, and low urine flow. Relistor binds to opioid receptors outside the brain and may block the side effects of opioid drugs without affecting their ability to relieve pain. Relistor is a type of peripheral opioid receptor antagonist. Also called methylnaltrexone bromide.
REM sleep
One of the five stages of sleep. During REM sleep, the eyes move rapidly while closed and dreams occur. REM sleep is the lightest stage of sleep, during which a person may wake easily. During several hours of normal sleep, a person will go through several sleep cycles that include REM sleep and the 4 stages of non-REM (light to deep sleep). Also called rapid eye movement sleep.
Remeron
A drug used to treat depression. It belongs to the family of drugs called antidepressant agents. Also called mirtazapine.
remission
A decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some, but not all, signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer still may be in the body.
remission induction therapy(ree-MIH-shun in-DUK-shun THAYR-uh-pee)
Initial treatment with anticancer drugs to decrease the signs or symptoms of cancer or make them disappear.
remote brachytherapy(...BRA-kee-THAYR-uh-pee)
A type of internal radiation treatment in which the radioactive source is removed between treatments. Also called high-dose-rate remote brachytherapy and high-dose-rate remote radiation therapy.
renal artery(REE-nal AR-tuh-ree)
The main blood vessel that supplies blood to a kidney and its nearby adrenal gland and ureter. There is a renal artery for each kidney.
renal capsule(REE-nul KAP-sul)
The fibrous connective tissue that surrounds each kidney.
renal cell adenocarcinoma(REE-nul sel A-den-oh-KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
The most common type of kidney cancer. It begins in the lining of the renal tubules in the kidney. The renal tubules filter the blood and produce urine. Also called hypernephroma, renal cell cancer, and renal cell carcinoma.
renal cell cancer(REE-nul sel KAN-ser)
The most common type of kidney cancer. It begins in the lining of the renal tubules in the kidney. The renal tubules filter the blood and produce urine. Also called hypernephroma, renal cell adenocarcinoma, and renal cell carcinoma.
renal cell carcinoma(REE-nul sel KAR-sih-NOH-muh)
The most common type of kidney cancer. It begins in the lining of the renal tubules in the kidney. The renal tubules filter the blood and produce urine. Also called hypernephroma, renal cell adenocarcinoma, and renal cell cancer.
renal collecting tubule(REE-nul KAH-lek-ting TOO-byool)
The last part of a long, twisting tube that collects urine from the nephrons (cellular structures in the kidney that filter blood and form urine) and moves it into the renal pelvis and ureters. Also called collecting duct.
renal failure(REE-nul 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 or severe renal failure happens suddenly (for example, after an injury) and may be treated and cured. Chronic renal failure develops over many years, may be caused by conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, and cannot be cured. Chronic renal failure may lead to total and long-lasting renal failure, called end-stage renal disease (ESRD). A person in ESRD needs dialysis (the process of cleaning the blood by passing it through a membrane or filter) or a kidney transplant. Also called kidney failure.
renal fascia(REE-nul FA-shuh)
A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called Gerota's capsule and Gerota's fascia.
renal function test(REE-nul FUNK-shun...)
A test in which blood or urine samples are checked for the amounts of certain substances released by the kidneys. A higher- or lower-than-normal amount of a substance can be a sign that the kidneys are not working the way they should. Also called kidney function test.
renal glomerulus(REE-nul gluh-MER-yoo-lus)
A tiny, round cluster of blood vessels within the kidneys. It filters the blood to reabsorb useful materials and remove waste as urine.
renal pelvis(REE-nul PEL-vus)
The area at the center of the kidney. Urine collects here and is funneled into the ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder.
renal tubular acidosis(REE-nul TOO-byoo-ler A-sih-DOH-sis)
A rare disorder in which structures in the kidney that filter the blood are impaired, producing urine that is more acid than normal.
Renova
A topical preparation of tretinoin that is used to treat acne. Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A.
replicate
To make a copy or duplicate of something.
replication cycle(reh-plih-KAY-shun...)
In biology, refers to the reproduction cycle of viruses. A repliction cycle begins with the infection of a host cell and ends with the release of mature progeny virus particles.
reproductive cell
An egg or sperm cell. Each mature reproductive cell carries a single set of 23 chromosomes.
reproductive system(REE-proh-DUK-tiv SIS-tem)
The organs involved in producing offspring. In women, this system includes the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, the uterus, the cervix, and the vagina. In men, it includes the prostate, the testes, and the penis.
research base(reh-SERCH bays)
Refers to the institutions, clinical staff, and patients that can take part in a clinical trial.
research study(reh-SERCH STUH-dee)
A scientific study of nature that sometimes includes processes involved in health and disease. For example, clinical trials are research studies that involve people. These studies may be related to new ways to screen, prevent, diagnose, and treat disease. They may also study certain outcomes and certain groups of people by looking at data collected in the past or future.
resectable(ree-SEK-tuh-bul)
Able to be removed by surgery.
resected
Removed by surgery.
resection(ree-SEK-shun)
Surgery to remove tissue or part or all of an organ.
resectoscope(reh-SEK-toh-skope)
A thin, tube-like instrument used to remove tissue from inside the body. A resectoscope has a light and lens for viewing. It also has a tool to remove tissue using an electrical current. It is inserted through the urethra to treat prostate disease in men and through the vagina and cervix to treat abnormal uterine bleeding in women.
residual disease
Cancer cells that remain after attempts to remove the cancer have been made.
resin(REH-zin)
A thick substance that comes from plants or can be made in the laboratory from certain chemicals. Resins do not dissolve in water, and are used in plastics, varnishes, printing inks, medicine, and to make fabrics stiff.
resiquimod(reh-SIH-kwih-mod)
A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of skin cancer. When put on the skin, resiquimod causes some immune cells to make certain chemicals that may help them kill tumor cells. It is also being studied to find out if adding it to a tumor vaccine improves the antitumor immune response. It is a type of imidazoquinoline and a type of immunomodulator.
resistant cancer
Cancer that does not respond to treatment. The cancer may be resistant at the beginning of treatment, or it may become resistant during treatment. Also called refractory cancer.
resorption
A process in which a substance, such as tissue, is lost by being destroyed and then absorbed by the body.
respirator(RES-pih-RAY-ter)
In medicine, a machine used to help a patient breathe. Also called ventilator.
respiratory syncytial virus(RES-pih-ruh-TOR-ee sin-SIH-shul VY-rus)
A virus that causes respiratory infections with cold-like symptoms. Also called RSV.
respiratory system(RES-pih-ruh-TOR-ee SIS-tem)
The organs that are involved in breathing. These include the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Also called respiratory tract.
respiratory therapist(RES-pih-ruh-TOR-ee THAYR-uh-pist)
A health professional trained to evaluate and treat people who have breathing problems or other lung disorders.
respiratory therapy(RES-pih-ruh-TOR-ee THAYR-uh-pee)
Exercises and treatments that help improve or restore lung function.
respiratory tract(RES-pih-ruh-TOR-ee trakt)
The organs that are involved in breathing. These include the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Also called respiratory system.
response(reh-SPONTS)
In medicine, an improvement related to treatment.
response rate(reh-SPONTS...)
The percentage of patients whose cancer shrinks or disappears after treatment.
resting
In biology, refers to a cell that is not dividing.
resveratrol(rez-VEER-uh-trol)
A substance found in the skins of grapes and in certain other plants, fruits, and seeds. It is made by various plants to help defend against invading fungi, stress, injury, infection, and too much sunlight. It is being studied in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. It is a type of antioxidant and a type of polyphenol.
retch(RECH)
The action of the stomach and esophagus to try to vomit (eject some or all of the contents of the stomach). Retching that does not cause vomiting is called dry heaves.
reticular dermis(reh-TIH-kyoo-ler DER-mis)
The thick bottom layer of the dermis (the inner layer of the skin). The reticular dermis has blood vessels and connective tissue that supports the skin. Hair follicles, oil and sweat glands, and other structures are also found in the reticular dermis.
Retin-A
A topical preparation of tretinoin that is used to treat acne. Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A.
Retin-A-Micro
A topical preparation of tretinoin that is used to treat acne. Tretinoin is a form of vitamin A.
retina(RET-ih-nuh)
The light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye that receive images and sends them as electric signals through the optic nerve to the brain.
retinoblastoma(REH-tih-noh-blas-TOH-muh)
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the retina (the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). Retinoblastoma usually occurs in children younger than 5 years. It may be hereditary or nonhereditary (sporadic).
retinoic acid(REH-tih-NOH-ik A-sid)
A nutrient that that body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Retinoic acid is made in the body from vitamin A and helps cells to grow and develop, especially in the embryo. A form of retinoic acid made in the laboratory is put on the skin to treat conditions such as acne and is taken by mouth to treat acute promyelocytic leukemia (a fast-growing cancer in which there are too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow). Retinoic acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of other types of cancer. Also called all-trans retinoic acid, ATRA, tretinoin, and vitamin A acid.
retinoid
Vitamin A or a vitamin A-like compound.
retinol(REH-tih-nol)
A nutrient that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Retinol helps in vision, bone growth, reproduction, growth of epithelium (cells that line the internal and external surfaces of the body), and fighting infections. It is fat-soluble (can dissolve in fats and oils). Retinol is found in liver, egg yolks, and whole milk dairy products from animals and in fish oils. It can also be made in the body from a substance found in some fruits and vegetables, such as cantaloupes, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Retinol is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Also called vitamin A.
retinyl palmitate
A drug that is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.
retromolar trigone(reh-troh-MOH-ler TRY-gone)
The small area behind the wisdom teeth.
retroperitoneal(REH-troh-PAYR-ih-toh-NEE-ul)
Having to do with the area outside or behind the peritoneum (the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers most of the organs in the abdomen).
retropubic prostatectomy(reh-troh-PYOO-bik PROS-tuh-TEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the prostate through an incision made in the wall of the abdomen.
retrospective(REH-troh-SPEK-tiv)
Looking back at events that have already taken place.
retrospective cohort study(REH-troh-SPEK-tiv KOH-hort STUH-dee)
A research study in which the medical records of groups of individuals who are alike in many ways but differ by a certain characteristic (for example, female nurses who smoke and those who do not smoke) are compared for a particular outcome (such as lung cancer). Also called historic cohort study.
retrospective study(REH-troh-SPEK-tiv STUH-dee)
A study that compares two groups of people: those with the disease or condition under study (cases) and a very similar group of people who do not have the disease or condition (controls). Researchers study the medical and lifestyle histories of the people in each group to learn what factors may be associated with the disease or condition. For example, one group may have been exposed to a particular substance that the other was not. Also called case-control study.
retroviral vector
RNA from a virus that is used to insert genetic material into cells.
retrovirus(REH-troh-VY-rus)
A type of virus that has RNA instead of DNA as its genetic material. It uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to become part of the host cells’ DNA. This allows many copies of the virus to be made in the host cells. The virus that causes AIDS, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a type of retrovirus.
reverse transcription(ree-VERS tran-SKRIP-shun)
In biology, the process in cells by which an enzyme makes a copy of DNA from RNA. The enzyme that makes the DNA copy is called reverse transcriptase and is found in retroviruses, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Reverse transcription can also be carried out in the laboratory.
ReVia(reh-VEE-uh)
A drug that blocks the action of opiates (drugs used to treat pain). It may be used in the treatment of intravenous opiate addiction or alcohol dependence. ReVia is also being studied in the treatment of breast cancer. It may block the effects of the hormone estrogen, which causes some breast cancer cells to grow, or block the blood flow to tumors. It is a type of opiate antagonist. Also called naltrexone, naltrexone hydrochloride, and Vivitrol.
Revlimid(REV-lih-mid)
A drug that is similar to thalidomide, and is used to treat multiple myeloma and certain types of anemia. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Revlimid belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called CC-5013 and lenalidomide.
RevM10 gene
An antiviral gene that is being studied in the treatment of cancer in patients who have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Reye syndrome(RAY SIN-drome)
A rare disease that damages the brain and liver and causes death if not treated. It occurs most often in children younger than 15 years who have had a fever-causing virus, such as chickenpox or flu. Taking aspirin during a viral illness may increase the risk of Reye syndrome.
rF-TRICOM
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a chicken virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called recombinant fowlpox-TRICOM vaccine.
RFT5-dgA immunotoxin(... IH-myoo-noh-TOK-sin)
A monoclonal antibody linked to a toxic substance. It is being studied in the treatment of melanoma that has spread to distant parts of the body. RFT5-dgA immunotoxin is made in the laboratory. It can find and kill certain white blood cells that prevent the immune system from killing cancer cells. Also called IgG-RFT5-dgA.
rhabdoid tumor
A malignant tumor of either the central nervous system (CNS) or the kidney. Malignant rhabdoid tumors of the CNS often have an abnormality of chromosome 22. These tumors usually occur in children younger than 2 years.
rhabdomyosarcoma(RAB-doh-MY-oh-sar-KOH-muh)
Cancer that forms in the soft tissues in a type of muscle called striated muscle. Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur anywhere in the body.
rheumatism
A group of disorders marked by inflammation or pain in the connective tissue structures of the body. These structures include bone, cartilage, and fat.
rheumatoid arthritis(ROO-muh-TOYD ar-THRY-tis)
An autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, and may cause severe joint damage, loss of function, and disability. The disease may last from months to a lifetime, and symptoms may improve and worsen over time.
Rheumatrex(ROO-muh-trex)
A drug used to treat some types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and severe skin conditions, such as psoriasis. Rheumatrex stops cells from making DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antimetabolite. Also called amethopterin, methotrexate, and MTX.
rhIL-11
A drug used to increase the number of blood cells, especially platelets, in some cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. rhIL-11 is a form of interleukin-11 (a cytokine normally made by support cells in the bone marrow) that is made in the laboratory. It is a type of biological response modifier. Also called Neumega, oprelvekin, and recombinant human interleukin-11.
rhinoscope(RY-noh-skope)
A thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the nose. A rhinoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue. Also called nasoscope.
rhinoscopy(ry-NOS-koh-pee)
Examination of the inside of the nose using a rhinoscope. A rhinoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called nasoscopy.
rhizoxin
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It comes from a fungus and is similar to vinca alkaloid drugs. It belongs to the family of drugs called antimitotic agents.
rhubarb(ROO-barb)
The root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The scientific name is Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale. Also called Chinese rhubarb, da-huang, Indian rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.
ribavirin
A drug used to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in the lungs.
riboflavin(RY-boh-FLAY-vin)
A nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function and stay healthy. Riboflavin helps make red blood cells, helps some enzymes work properly, and keeps skin, nails, and hair healthy. It is found in milk, eggs, malted barley, organ meats, yeast, and leafy vegetables. Riboflavin is water-soluble (can dissolve in water) and must be taken in every day. Not enough riboflavin can cause anemia (a low number of red blood cells), mouth sores, and skin problems. Amounts of riboflavin may be higher in the blood of patients with some types of cancer. Also called vitamin B2.
ribonucleic acid(RY-boh-noo-KLAY-ik A-sid)
One of two types of nucleic acid made by cells. Ribonucleic acid contains information that has been copied from DNA (the other type of nucleic acid). Cells make several different forms of ribonucleic acid, and each form has a specific job in the cell. Many forms of ribonucleic acid have functions related to making proteins. Ribonucleic acid is also the genetic material of some viruses instead of DNA. Ribonucleic acid can be made in the laboratory and used in research studies. Also called RNA.
ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor(RY-boh-NOO-klee-oh-tide ree-DUK-tayz in-HIH-bih-ter)
A family of anticancer drugs that interfere with the growth of tumor cells by blocking the formation of deoxyribonucleotides (building blocks of DNA).
Richter syndrome(RIK-ter SIN-drome)
A rare condition in which chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) changes into a fast-growing type of lymphoma. Symptoms of Richter syndrome include fever, loss of weight and muscle mass, and other health problems. Also called Richter transformation.
Richter transformation(RIK-ter TRANZ-for-MAY-shun)
A rare condition in which chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) changes into a fast-growing type of lymphoma. Symptoms of Richter transformation include fever, loss of weight and muscle mass, and other health problems. Also called Richter syndrome.
rickets(RIH-kets)
A condition in children in which bones become soft and deformed because they don’t have enough calcium and phosphorus. It is caused by not having enough vitamin D in the diet or by not getting enough sunlight. In adults, this condition is called osteomalacia. Also called infantile rickets, juvenile rickets, and rachitis.
rifampin
A drug used in the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to the family of drugs called antibiotics.
Rilutek(RY-loo-tek)
A drug used to treat a nerve disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is also being studied in the treatment of melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Rilutek blocks the release of a substance that melanoma cells need to grow. It is a type of glutamate release inhibitor. Also called riluzole.
riluzole(RY-loo-zole)
A drug used to treat a nerve disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is also being studied in the treatment of melanoma (a type of skin cancer). Riluzole blocks the release of a substance that melanoma cells need to grow. It is a type of glutamate release inhibitor. Also called Rilutek.
risedronate(ris-ED-roe-nate)
A substance that is being studied in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. It belongs to the family of drugs called bone resorption inhibitors.
risk assessment
The quantitative or qualitative assessment of an individual’s risk of carrying a certain gene mutation, or developing a particular disorder, or of having a child with a certain disorder; sometimes done by using mathematical or statistical models incorporating such factors as personal health history, family medical history and ethnic background.
risk factor(... FAK-ter)
Something that increases the chance of developing a disease. Some examples of risk factors for cancer are age, a family history of certain cancers, use of tobacco products, being exposed to radiation or certain chemicals, infection with certain viruses or bacteria, and certain genetic changes.
risk ratio(… RAY-shee-oh)
A measure of the risk of a certain event happening in one group compared to the risk of the same event happening in another group. In cancer research, risk ratios are used in prospective (forward looking) studies, such as cohort studies and clinical trials. A risk ratio of one means there is no difference between two groups in terms of their risk of cancer, based on whether or not they were exposed to a certain substance or factor, or how they responded to two treatments being compared. A risk ratio of greater than one or of less than one usually means that being exposed to a certain substance or factor either increases (risk ratio greater than one) or decreases (risk ratio less than one) the risk of cancer, or that the treatments being compared do not have the same effects. Also called relative risk.
ritonavir(ry-TOH-nuh-veer)
A drug used to treat infection with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS). It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Ritonavir blocks the ability of HIV to make copies of itself and may block the growth of cancer cells. It is a type of anti-HIV agent and a type of protease inhibitor. Also called Norvir.
ritual(RIH-chuh-wul)
An action or series of actions that is repeated, often in a religious or social setting. In medicine, it may describe a repeated action (such as hand washing) done to relieve feelings of fear, dread, and uneasiness in people who have an obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Rituxan(rih-TUK-sun)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Rituxan binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B-cells, and may kill cancer cells. Also called rituximab.
rituximab(rih-TUK-sih-mab)
A monoclonal antibody used to treat certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Rituximab binds to the protein called CD20, which is found on B-cells, and may kill cancer cells. Also called Rituxan.
RK-0202
A substance that is being studied in the prevention of oral mucositis in patients receiving radiation therapy or chemotherapy for head and neck cancer.
RMP-7
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 lobradimil.
RNA
One of two types of nucleic acid made by cells. RNA contains information that has been copied from DNA (the other type of nucleic acid). Cells make several different forms of RNA, and each form has a specific job in the cell. Many forms of RNA have functions related to making proteins. RNA is also the genetic material of some viruses instead of DNA. RNA can be made in the laboratory and used in research studies. Also called ribonucleic acid.
Ro 31-7453
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may prevent cancer cells from dividing. It belongs to the family of drugs called cell cycle inhibitors.
Ro 50-3821
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of anemia in patients who are receiving chemotherapy. It is a form of erythropoietin (a substance produced in the kidneys that stimulates the production of red blood cells) that has been changed in the laboratory. Also called methoxypolyethylene glycol epoetin beta.
rofecoxib(ROH-feh-COK-sib)
A drug that was being used for pain relief and was being studied for its ability to prevent cancer and to prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Rofecoxib was taken off the market in the U.S. because of safety concerns. Also called Vioxx.
Roman chamomile(ROH-mun KA-muh-mile)
A type of chamomile plant with daisy-like white flowers that is found in Europe, North America, and Argentina. The dried flowers are used in teas to calm and relax, to improve sleep, and to help with stomach problems. Its essential oil (scented liquid taken from plants) is used in perfumes, shampoos, face creams, lotions, and aromatherapy. The scientific names are Chamaemelum nobile and Anthemis nobilis. Also called English chamomile.
romidepsin(ROH-mih-DEP-sin)
A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. Romidepsin is a type of depsipeptide and histone deacetylase inhibitor. Also called FR901228 and Istodax.
romiplostim(roh-mih-PLOH-stim)
A drug used to treat patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who do not get better with other forms of treatment. In ITP, platelets (cells that cause blood clots to form) are destroyed by the immune system. Romiplostim is being studied as a way to treat low platelet counts caused by chemotherapy. It binds to the thrombopoietin receptor and causes the bone marrow to make more platelets. Romiplostim is also being studied in the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (a group of diseases in which the bone marrow does not make enough healthy blood cells). It is a type of thrombopoietin agonist. Also called AMG 531 and Nplate.
ropivacaine(roh-PIH-vuh-kayn)
A drug used to control pain and to cause a temporary loss of feeling in one part of the body, during and after surgery. It is also being studied for pain control after cancer surgery. It is a type of local anesthetic. Also called Naropin and ropivacaine hydrochloride.
ropivacaine hydrochloride(roh-PIH-vuh-kayn HY-droh-KLOR-ide)
A drug used to control pain and to cause a temporary loss of feeling in one part of the body, during and after surgery. It is also being studied for pain control after cancer surgery. It is a type of local anesthetic. Also called Naropin and ropivacaine.
rosiglitazone(roh-sig-LIH-tuh-zone)
The active ingredient in a drug that helps control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Rosiglitazone stops cells from growing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of thiazolidinedione and a type of antiangiogenesis agent.
rosiglitazone maleate(roh-sig-LIH-tuh-zone MAY-lee-AYT)
A drug that helps control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood and is being studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer. Rosiglitazone maleate stops cells from growing and may prevent the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of thiazolidinedione and a type of antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Avandia.
RPI.4610
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of kidney cancer. It may prevent the growth of blood vessels from surrounding tissue to the tumor. It belongs to the families of drugs called VEGF receptor and angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called Angiozyme.
RPR 109881A
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called taxanes.
RSR13
A substance being studied for its ability to increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy. It is a type of radiosensitizer. Also called efaproxiral.
RSV
A virus that causes respiratory infections with cold-like symptoms. Also called respiratory syncytial virus.
RTA 744
A substance being studied in the treatment of adult brain tumors. RTA 744 crosses the blood-brain barrier and blocks an enzyme needed for cancer growth. It is a type of topoisomerase inhibitor. Also called topoisomerase II inhibitor RTA 744.
RU 486
A drug used to end early pregnancies. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer and other conditions. RU 486 blocks the action of progesterone, a hormone that helps some cancers grow. It is a type of antiprogesterone. Also called Mifeprex and mifepristone.
Rubex(ROO-bex)
A drug that is used to treat many types of cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Rubex comes from the bacterium Streptomyces peucetius. It damages DNA and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of anthracycline antitumor antibiotic. Also called Adriamycin PFS, Adriamycin RDF, doxorubicin, doxorubicin hydrochloride, and hydroxydaunorubicin.
rV-TRICOM
A cancer vaccine made with a form of a vaccinia virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called recombinant vaccinia-TRICOM vaccine and vaccinia-TRICOM vaccine.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) 300 W. 10th Ave. Columbus, OH 43210 Phone: 1-800-293-5066 | Email: jamesline@osumc.edu