Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) An aggressive (
fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too
many lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are
found in the blood and bone marrow. Also called acute
Adjuvant therapy Treatment given a;er completion of
a patient’s initial therapy to increase the chance of long-term survival. Adjuvant therapy may be chemotherapy,
radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and/
or biological therapy.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) A rare type of
non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which usually arises from T
cells (see T cell). ;e cells accumulate in the lymph nodes,
skin, bones, so; tissues, lungs, or liver. In some cases, the
anaplastic large cell lymphoma cells have the protein ALK
(see Anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase) on their
Anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase (ALK) ;e
ALK gene makes the ALK protein, which is found on the
surface of some cells. ;e protein can initiate a variety
of signaling pathways (see Signaling pathway/signaling
network), causing proliferation of the cells on which it is
found. ;e ALK gene is altered in several types of cancer,
including some non–small cell lung carcinomas (see Non–
small cell lung carcinoma); some neuroblastomas; and some
lymphomas, in particular, anaplastic large cell lymphomas
(see Anaplastic large cell lymphoma).
Angiogenesis ;e process of growing new blood vessels
from the existing vasculature. Angiogenesis is important for
numerous normal body functions, as well as tumor growth
B cell A type of immune cell that makes proteins, called
antibodies, which bind to microorganisms and other foreign
substances, and help ;ght infections. A B cell is a type of
white blood cell. Also called B lymphocyte.
Biomarker A biological molecule found in blood or other
body ;uids or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal
process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker may be
used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for
a disease or condition. Also called molecular marker and
Biomedical Inflation Biomedical in;ation is calculated
using the annual change in the Biomedical Research and
Development Price Index (BRDPI), which indicates how
much the NIH budget must change to maintain purchasing
power. In general, the biomedical in;ation rate outpaces the
economy-wide in;ation rate.
Body mass index (BMI) Calculated as a person’s weight in
kilograms divided by height in meters. BMI provides an
indicator of body fatness for most people, and it is o;en
used to determine whether a person is underweight, of
healthy weight, overweight, or obese.
BRAF ;e BRAF protein is generated from the BRAF gene.
It is found inside certain cell types, where it is involved in
sending signals that direct cell proliferation. Mutations in
the BRAF gene have been associated with various cancers,
including some non-Hodgkin lymphomas, colorectal
cancers, melanomas, thyroid cancers, and lung cancers.
Breast cancer Cancer that forms in tissues of the breast. ;e
most common type of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma,
which begins in the lining of the milk ducts (thin tubes
that carry milk from the lobules of the breast to the nipple).
Another type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which
begins in the lobules (milk glands) of the breast. Invasive
breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread from where it
began in the breast ducts or lobules to surrounding normal
tissue. Breast cancer occurs in both men and women,
although male breast cancer is rare.
Bruton tyrosine kinase (B TK) ;e BTK protein is generated
from the BTK gene. It is found inside certain cell types—
in particular, B cells (see B cell)—where it is involved
in signaling pathways (see Signaling pathway/signaling
network) that promote cell survival and multiplication.
;ese signaling pathways are very important for
survival of cancers arising in B cells, including chronic
lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma (see
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Mantle cell lymphoma,
Burkitt lymphoma An aggressive (fast-growing), rare type of
non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which arises from B cells (see B
cell). ;ere are three clinical subtypes of Burkitt lymphoma.
;e type seen in the United States is a sporadic subtype
that most frequently a;ects children. ;e endemic subtype
associated with infection with Epstein-Barr virus is most
common among children in Africa. Infection with human
immunode;ciency virus (HIV) predisposes to a third
Burkitt lymphoma subtype.
Cancer A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide
without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer
cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the
blood and lymph systems. ;ere are several main types of
cancer. Carcinomas begin in the skin or in tissues that line
or cover internal organs. Sarcomas begin in bone, cartilage,
fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive
tissue. Leukemias arise in blood-forming tissue, such as the
bone marrow, and cause large numbers of abnormal blood
cells to be produced and enter the blood. Lymphomas and
multiple myeloma originate in the cells of the immune
system. Central nervous system cancers arise in the tissues
of the brain and spinal cord. Also called malignancy.
Carcinogen Any substance that causes cancer.