Acute- having severe symptoms and a short
Alkaline phosphatase- an enzyme produced
by the liver or bone. An elevated level of alkaline phosphatase
in the blood may indicate a liver or bone problem.
ABMT- autologous bone marrow transplant.
Adjuvant therapy- additional drug or other
treatment designed to enhance the effectiveness of the primary
Alopecia- loss of hair.
Anemia- too few red blood cells in the bloodstream,
resulting in insufficient oxygen to tissues and organs.
Anaphalaxis- acute allergic reaction shortness
of breath, rash, wheezing, hypotension.
Antibiotic- a drug used to fight bacterial
Antibody- a protein produced by the body,
in response to a foreign substance, that fights the invading organism.
Antiemetic- a drug used to control nausea
Antigen- a substance that evokes a response
from the body's immune system resulting in the production of antibodies
or other defensive action by white blood cells.
Apheresis- a painless procedure by which
blood is withdrawn from a patient's arm and circulated through
a machine that removes certain components and returns the remaining
components to the patient. This procedure is used to remove platelets
from platelet donors' blood, or stem cells from patients undergoing
a peripheral stem cell harvest.
Aplasia- a failure to develop or form. In
bone marrow "aplasia," the marrow cavity is empty.
Ascites- accumulation of fluid in the stomach
Ataxia- loss of balance.
Autologous- bone marrow transplant transplant
in which the patient's own bone marrow, rather than marrow from
a donor, is infused during transplant to provide the body with
a source of stem cells.
Autograft- bone marrow removed from the patient
to be used in an autologous BMT.
Bacteria- microscopic organisms that invade
human cells, multiply rapidly, and produce toxins that interfere
with normal cell functions.
Baseline test- test which measures an organ's
normal level of functioning. Used to determine if any changes
in organ function occur following treatment.
Bilirubin- a pigment produced when the liver
processes waste products. A high bilirubin level causes yellowing
of the skin.
Biopsy- removal of tissue for examination
under a microscope, sometimes required to enable the doctor to
make a proper diagnosis.
Blast cell- immature cell.
Bone marrow- spongy tissue in the cavities
of large bones, where the body's blood cells are produced.
Bone marrow aspiration- procedure used to
remove a sample of bone marrow, usually from the rear hip bone,
for examination under the microscope.
Cardiac- pertaining to the heart.
Catheter- small, flexible plastic tube inserted
into a portion of the body to administer or remove fluids.
CBC- complete blood count. Determines whether
the proper number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets
are present in the patient's blood.
Central line- see central venous catheter.
Central venous catheter- small, flexible
plastic tube inserted into the large vein above the heart, through
which drugs and blood products can be given, and blood samples
withdrawn painlessly (also called central line; Hickman® catheter).
Chemo-responsive- responds to chemotherapy,
e.g., a tumor is chemo-responsive if it shrinks in size following
Chemotherapy- drug or combination of drugs
designed to kill cancerous cells.
Chronic- persisting for a long time.
Clinical trial- a study of the effectiveness
of a drug or treatment. Phase I trials: new treatments are tested
in small numbers of patients that have shown activity in preclinical
tests. Phase II trials: determines whether a drug has anti tumor
activity and estimates the responce rate in a defined population.
Phase III trial: if significant activity is observed in any disease
during a Phase II trial, a Phase III trial is developed to compare
the new drug with standard or other experimental treatments.
CNS- central nervous system.
Colony stimulating factor- proteins that
stimulate the production and growth of certain types of blood
Conditioning- see preparative regimen.
Conjunctivitis- eye inflammation.
Contracture- shortening of muscle, skin and
other soft tissue, usually in the limbs. May occur in patients
with chronic graft-versus-host disease.
CSF- see colony stimulating factor.
CT-Scan- also called a CAT-scan or CT-X-ray.
A three dimensional x-ray.
Dermatitis- a skin rash.
Dysplasia- alteration in the size, shape
and organization of cells or tissues.
-ectomy- surgical removal.
Edema- abnormal accumulation of fluid, e.g.,
pulmonary edema refers to a build-up of fluid in the lungs.
EKG- test to determine the pattern of a patient's
Electrolyte- minerals found in the blood
such as sodium potassium that must be maintained within a certain
range to prevent organ malfunction.
-emia- of the blood; usually refers to a
blood disorder, e.g., leukemia or anemia Emesis vomit.
Engraftment- when bone marrow infused during
a BMT "takes" or is accepted by the patient, and begins
producing blood cells.
Enzyme- a protein that is capable of facilitating
a chemical reaction.
Eosinophil- a type of white blood cell that
protects against infection.
Foley catheter- flexible plastic tube inserted
into the bladder to provide continuous urinary drainage.
Fungus- a primitive life form that can cause
infection in the body. Fungi that sometimes cause post-transplant
infections are the Candida and Aspergillus fungi.
Gastritis- inflammation of the stomach.
Gastrointestinal- refers to the stomach and
G-CSF- granulocyte colony stimulating factor.
A protein that stimulates the growth and maturation of granulocytes.
GM-CSF granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating
factor- A protein that stimulates the growth and maturation of
a wide variety of white blood cells.
Graft rejection- when donated bone marrow
infused during a BMT is rejected by the patient's body or doesn't
Granulocyte- a sub class of white blood cells,
so named because of the presence of granules in the cell. These
cells protect the body against bacterial infections.
Growth factor- see colony stimulating factor.
Hematocrit- the percentage of the blood made
up of red blood cells.
Hematology- the study of blood and its disorders.
Hemoglobin- the part of red blood cells that
carries oxygen to tissues.
Hemorrhagic cystitis- bladder ulcers.
Hepat(o)- pertaining to the liver.
Hepatitis- inflammation of the liver.
Hickman® catheter- see central venous line.
HLA- see human leukocyte antigen.
Human leukocyte- antigen a genetic "fingerprint"
on white blood cells and platelets, composed of proteins that
play a critical role in activating the body's immune system to
respond to foreign organisms.
Hypertension- high blood pressure.
Hypo- a deficiency, less than usual.
Hypotension- low blood pressure.
Iliac crest- the hip bone in which a large
quantity of bone marrow is concentrated.
Immune system- the body's defense network
against infection and foreign particles.
Immunocompromised- a condition in which the
immune system is not functioning normally.
Immunoglobulin- an antibody.
Immunosuppression- a condition in which the
patients immune system is functioning at a lower than normal level.
Intravenous- through a vein.
Jaundice- yellowing of the skin and eyes.
A sign that the liver is not functioning properly.
Karnofsky score- a measure of the patirnt's
overall physical health following a BMT, judged by his or her
level of activity.
Laminar air flow unit- an air-filtering system
used at some transplant facilities to remove particulate matter
and fungi from the air.
Leukocyte- white blood cell.
Lymphocyte- a type of white blood cell that
helps protect the body against invading organisms by producing
antibodies and regulating the immune system response.
Macrophage- a type of white blood cell that
assists in the body's fight against bacteria and infection by
engulfing and destroying invading organisms.
Mediastinum- The folds of the pleura and
intervening space between the right and left lund.
Metabolite- a by-product of the breakdown
of either food or medication by the body.
Metastatic- spread of a disease from the
organ or tissue of origin to another part of the body.
Monoclonal antibody- antibodies that are
all identical, derived from a single "clone." Sometimes
used in "purging," a process by which certain cells
are removed from bone marrow before infusion into patients.
Monocyte- a type of white blood cell that
assists in the fight against bacteria and fungi that invade the
Morbidity- sickness; side effects and symptoms
of a treatment or disease.
MRI- magnetic resonance imaging. A method
of taking pictures of body tissue using magnetic fields and radio
Mucositis- mouth sores.
Neuro- pertaining to the nervous system.
Neutropenia- a deficiency of neutrophils.
Neutrophil- a type of white blood cell that
is the body's primary defense against harmful bacteria.
NPO- do not take anything by mouth.
Oncology- the study of cancer.
Packed red blood cells- red blood cells collected
from one individual that are packed into a small volume for transfusion
into a patient.
Palliative- provides relief.
Pancytopenia- a deficiency of all types of
Paracentesis- puncture of cavity with removal
Peritoneal Cavity- part of body containing
all the abdominal organs exclusive of the kidneys.
Peritoneum- membrane lining the peritoneal
-penia- deficiency, e.g., neutropenia means
a deficiency of a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil.
Peripheral neuropathy- injury to the nerves
that supply sensation to the arms and legs.
Petechiae- small red spots on the skin that
usually indicate a low platelet count.
Phlebitis- inflammation of a vein.
Plasma- the fluid and protein-containing
portion of the blood.
Platelets- the smallest cell elements in
the blood, needed to control bleeding.
Pleura- membrane surounding the lung. There
are two pleurae, right and left.
Pleurectomy- removal of part of the pleura.
Pleurocentesis- surgical puncture of the
pleural cavity through which fluid may be removed.
Pneumonectomy- removal of a lung.
Polycythemia- an increase in the total number
of red blood cells in the bloodstream.
Prognosis- the predicted or likely outcome.
Prophylactic- preventive measure or medication.
Protocol- the plan of treatment.
Pulmonary- pertaining to the lungs
RBC- red blood cell.
Red blood cell- cells that pick up oxygen
from the lungs and transport it to tissues throughout the body.
Relapse- recurrence of the disease following
Remission- complete condition in which no
cancerous cells can be detected by a microscope, and the patient
appears to be disease -free.
Remission- partial generally means that by
all methods used to measure the existence of a tumor, there has
been at least a 50 percent regression of the disease following
Renal- pertaining to the kidney.
Sepsis- the presence of organisms in the
SGOT- an enzyme produced by the liver. Elevated
levels of SGOT in the blood indicate a liver problem.
SGPT- an enzyme produced by the liver. Elevated
levels of SGPT in the blood indicate a liver problem.
Solid tumor- a cancer that originates in
organ or tissue other than bone marrow or the lymph system.
Stem cell- "mother" blood cells
from which several different types of blood cells evolve. Steroid-
in bone marrow transplantation, a drug commonly used in combination
with other drugs to prevent and control graft-versus- host disease.
Stomatitis- mouth sores.
Subclavian catheter- see central venous catheter.
T-cell- a type of white blood cell that can
distinguish which cells belong in a person's body and which do
TBI- total body irradiation.
Thrombocyte- see platelet
Tumor- uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells
in an organ or tissue.
Tumor burden- the size of the tumor or number
of abnormal cells in the organ or tissue.
Ultrasound- a technique for taking a picture
of internal organs or other structures using sound waves.
Veno-occlusive disease- a disease that sometimes
occurs following high-dose chemotherapy and/or radiation, in which
the blood vessels that carry blood through the liver become swollen
Virus- a tiny parasitelike agent that invades
organisms, such as human cells, and alters their genetic machinery,
turning them into factories for production of more of the virus.
VOD- see veno-occlusive disease.
WBC- white blood cell count.
Whole blood- blood that has not been separated
into its various components.
Xerostomia- dryness of the mouth caused by
malfunctioning salivary glands.