Words to Know
image-guided radiation therapy
Also called IGRT. A procedure that uses a computer to create a picture of a tumor to help guide the radiation beam during radiation therapy. The pictures are made using CT, ultrasound, X-ray or other imaging techniques. Image-guided radiation therapy makes radiation therapy more accurate and causes less damage to healthy tissue.
A test that uses the binding of antibodies to antigens to identify and measure certain substances. Immunoassays may be used to diagnose disease. Also, test results can provide information about a disease that may help in planning treatment (for example, when estrogen receptors are measured in breast cancer).
A technique used to identify specific molecules in different kinds of tissue. The tissue is treated with antibodies that bind the specific molecule. These are made visible under a microscope by using a color reaction, a radioisotope, colloidal gold or a fluorescent dye. Immunohistochemistry is used to help diagnose diseases, such as breast cancer, and to detect the presence of microorganisms. It is also used in basic research to understand how cells grow and differentiate (become more specialized).
Suppression of the body's immune system and its ability to fight infections and other diseases. Immunosuppression may be deliberately induced with medicines, as in preparation for bone marrow or other organ transplantation, to prevent rejection of the donor tissue. It may also result from certain diseases or from anticancer medicines.
Treatment to boost or restore the ability of the immune system to destroy cancer, infections and other diseases. Also used to lessen certain side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments. Agents used in immunotherapy include monoclonal antibodies, growth factors and vaccines. These agents may also have a direct antitumor effect. Multiple studies are underway to find immunotherapy treatments that will be effective at treating breast cancer. Also called biological response modifier therapy, biological therapy, biotherapy, and BRM therapy.