Glossary

Glossary

ABMT Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant
Absolute Neutrophil Count The corrected number of neutrophils present in the white blood cell count. Also named Absolute Granulocyte Count. Formula: (% neutrophils + % bands) * WBC = ANC
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Leukemia of early cells of the lymphocyte series. Occurs more frequently in children
Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia Leukemia of very early granulocytes (myeloid cells). Occurs more frequently in adults. Several subtypes including acute (myelo-)monocyic leukemia and acute Promyelocytic leukemia
Adjuvant therapy Additional drug or other treatment designed to enhance the effect of the primary therapy.
AGC see Absolute Neutrophil Count
ALG see Anti-thymocyte globulin
ALL see Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
Allogeneic Originating from a donor (allo = other; Greek)
Allograft Stem cells from a donor to be used for transplant
Alopecia Loss of hair
AML see Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia
Amphotericin Drug to prevent or treat fungal and yeast infections. Mostly given by I.V.infusion; sometimes given by mouth
Anaphylaxis Acute allergic reaction with shortness of breath, rash, wheezing, and/or low blood pressure
ANC see Absolute Neutrophil Count
Anemia Too few red cells in the blood, leading to insufficient oxygen being carried to the tissues
Antibiotic Drug used to fight bacterial infections
Antibody Protein produced by the body, in response to a foreign substance, to fight the invading organism
Antiemetic Drug to prevent or treat nausea or vomiting
Antifungal Drugs to prevent or treat fungal infections
Antigen 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.
Anti-thymocyte Globulin Anti-T-lymphocyte agent, used in preparative regimens, or to treat prevent graft-versus-host disease. Also called ATG, or ALG (anti-lymphocyte globulin).
Antiviral Drug to prevent or treat viral infections
Apheresis Procedure to withdraw plasma or cells from the patient's/donor's blood with a machine. Can be used to obtain plasma, platelets, or stem cells for transfusion; also to remove diseased plasma or excessive white cells
Aplasia Empty bone marrow, resulting in very low blood counts
Aplastic Anemia Non-cancerous disease, in which the bone marrow is empty, and the blood counts are very low.
Approved Provider Healthcare provider (e.g., transplant center) that meets plan requirements to be considered for reimbursement
Ascites Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen outside the bowels (in the "peritoneal cavity") Often caused by liver failure
Aspergillus Type of fungus; may cause dangerous infections, primarily of lungs and sinus
Aspirate Removal by suction, as in bone-marrow aspirate
Assignment of benefits Option to have the insurance company make its payments directly to the provider (or to you)
ATG see Anti-thymocyte globulin
Autograft Bone marrow or blood stem cells removed from the body to be used for autologous transplant
Autologous From the patient him/herself; as in autologous stem-cell transplant (autos = self; Greek)
Benign Non-cancerous
Bilirubin Pigment produced when the liver processes waste products. A high bilirubin level causes jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
Biopsy Removal of tissue for examination under a microscope to make the proper diagnosis. May be obtained with a needle or with surgery
   
Blast cell Very early (immature) cells
Blast crisis Progression of disease in patient with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) to an more acute phase which resembles Acute Myeloblastic leukemia (AML) with the appearance of many very immature cells (blast cells) in bone marrow and blood
Blood type Specific proteins of red cells that are inherited from the parents, and are important to find compatible (matched) blood. Tested with antisera in the blood bank
BMT Bone marrow transplant
Bone marrow Spongy tissue in the cavities of bones, such as pelvis, vertebrae, ribs, and skull. Produces the cells that circulate in the blood
Busulfan Chemotherapy drug, often used in preparative regimen. Usually given by mouth; now also available for I.V. infusion (Myleran®)
Candida Most frequent type of yeast in human body (oral cavity and gut). May cause infections
Catheter Small, flexible plastic tube inserted into a portion of the body to administer or remove fluids
CBC Complete blood count. Determines numbers of red cells, white cells, and platelets in the blood
Central line see Central venous catheter
Central venous catheter Small, flexible plastic tube inserted into a large vein, through which drugs and blood products can be given, and blood samples withdrawn painlessly. Mostly inserted into a vein above the heart (subclavian vein), sometimes inserted into a vein in the groin Different types, such as HICKMAN®, GROSHONG®, etc.
CGy centiGray; unit of irradiation, also called rad
Chemotherapy Drugs used to treat cancer by destroying abnormal cells or slowing their growth
Chest X-ray View of the chest area which includes the heart, lungs, and ribs
Chronic Persisting for a long time
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Leukemia of mature lymphocytes. Mostly slowly progressive. Occurs mainly in older adults
Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Leukemia of the granulocytes. Starts with cells that still mature normally. After a certain period of time may transform into a more acute leukemia (blast crisis), frequently via a transition ("accelerated") phase
Clinical trial Study of the effectiveness of a drug or treatment
CLL see Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
CML see Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
CMV see Cytomegalovirus
CNS Central nervous system
Colony-stimulating factors Proteins (drugs) that stimulate the production and growth of certain types of blood cell. Examples are Neupogen® and Leukine®
Conditioning regimen see Preparative regimen
Co-payment Part of charges the patient is responsible to pay until a certain maximum amount is paid. Usually paid directly to the provider at time of service
Covered services Medical services considered eligible for coverage by your insurance plan
Cryopreservation Process to preserve by freezing, as in stem cell cryopreservation
CSF see Colony-stimulating factors
CT-scan Three-dimensional X-ray. Also called CAT-scan
Cyclophosphamide Chemotherapy drug frequently used in preparative regimen (Cytoxan®)
Cyclosporine Immuno-suppressive drug used for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease. Called Neoral® when used in oral form
Cytogenetics Study of chromosome. Important to establish diagnosis and estimate prognosis in many cases of leukemia. Also used to document engraftment
Cytomegalovirus Virus that may lie dormant for many years in patients who were infected in the past. Frequently causes infection in transplant patients. Probably mostly transferred by oral contact, but can also be transferred by blood products. Drugs to prevent or treat the infection exist
Diff see Differential
Differential Distribution of various types of white cells in the blood. Used to determine Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC)
DMSO Liquid used to prevent cell damage during cryopreservation. (Di-Methyl SulfOxide)
Dysplasia Change in the size, shape, or organization of cells
Edema Abnormal accumulation of fluid
EKG Electrocardiogram; tracing of the electrical activity of the heart
Electrolytes Minerals found in the blood, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, chloride, and magnesium
Engraftment Process of recovery of blood cells after transplant. Often expressed as day that ANC > 500/mm3 (0.5 x 109/l) or that white cells > 1,000/mm3. May be confirmed with tests that cells come from donor (allogeneic transplant)
Enzyme Protein capable of facilitating a chemical reaction
EOB Explanation of benefits; information your insurance company sends to you and to your provider explaining what is paid of billed charges. Also explains denials of payment and your rights to appeal
Experimental Terms in your insurance contract describing a possible category of excluded services under the plan. Each plan may have different criteria to define what it considers experimental and investigational. This can be challenged.
FACT Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. Organization that accredites stem-cell programs on the basis of a strict set of criteria.
FAHCT Foundation for the Accreditation of Hematopoietic Cell Therapy. Old name of FACT.
FK506 see Tacrolimus
Foley catheter Flexible plastic tube inserted into the bladder to provide continuous urinary drainage
Fungus Organisms that are bigger than bacteria, and are normally present in mouth and gut. Can lead to very serious infections in patients with immune deficiencies. Related to yeasts and molds
Gastrointestinal Refers to stomach and intestines
G-CSF Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (Neupogen®); stimulates the growth and maturation of early granulocytes
GM-CSF Granulocyte-macrophage stimulating factor (Leukine®); stimulates the growth and maturation of early granulocytes and monocytes
Graft rejection Process by which the donated stem cells are rejected by the patient's body
Graft-versus-Host Disease Condition that can occur following an allogeneic stem cell transplant, in which some of the donor's stem cells attack the patient's tissues and organs
Granulocyte Sub-class of white cells, so named because of the presence of granules in the cell. These cells protect the body against bacterial infection. Also called Neutrophils or Polys
GROSHONG® (catheter) see Central venous catheter
Growth factor see Colony-stimulating factor
GvHD see Graft-versus-host disease
Hematocrit Part of the blood made up of red cells (expressed as percentage)
Hematology Study and science of blood and blood-forming tissues, and their disorders
Hemoglobin Protein in the blood that carries the oxygen (expressed as grams per deciliter)
Hemorrhage Bleeding
Hemorrhagic cystitis Bleeding from the urinary bladder because of an inflammation caused by cyclophosphamide or a virus
Hepatitis Inflammation of the liver
HICKMAN® (catheter) see Central venous catheter
HLA see Human Leukocyte Antigens
Human Leukocyte Antigens Genetic "fingerprint" on human white cells (and platelets), composed of proteins that play a critical role in activating the body's immune system to respond to foreign organisms. Inherited from both parents. Determined by HLA-typing, which can be performed with antisera and with DNA techniques
Herpes virus Class of virus that cause cold sores and other infections
Hyperalimentation Intravenous feeding that provides patients with all essential nutrients when they are unable to feed themselves. Also called hyperal, TPN or CHA
Iliac crest Hip bone in which a large amount of bone marrow is concentrated and which can be reached with large needles
Immune system Body's defense network againts infections and foreign substances
Immunocompromised Condition in which the immune system is not functioning normally
Immunoglobulin Antibody
Immunosuppression Condition in which the patient's immune system is functioning at a lower than normal level. Sometimes done on purpose (e.g., to allow donor stem cells to engraft), often as side effect of transplant or therapy for side effects
In-networkprovider Provider (person or facility) that is part of a managed-care provider network
Intravenous Through (or into) a vein; also called I.V.
Interstitial Pneumonitis Inflammation involving the inter-alveolar areas of the lungs; often caused by viruses (e.g. CMV), but may also be caused by irradiation and drugs.
Investigational see Experimental
Jaundice Yellowing of the skin and eyes. Mostly caused by liver disease
Laminar air-flow room Isolation room with an air-filtering system in which the entire back-wall of the patient's room is one big filter. The air will come out in a "laminar" :fashion, causing little turbulence
Length of stay (LOS) Number of days in the hospital
Leukocyte White blood cell
LFT's see Liver function tests
Liver function tests Laboratory tests from a blood specimen that give information about liver function. For example: bilirubin, SGOT, SGPT, GGT, Alkaline phosphatase
Lymphocyte Type of white cell that fights infections by producing antibodies and regulating the immune system response
Malignant Cancerous
Managed Care Term to describe various approaches to provide and pay for healthcare in an attempt to limit fees for health services and control or manage those services.
Medically necessary Term relating to an evaluation process used by insurance companies to decide whether requested health care services will be covered.
Metastatic Spread of disease from the organ or tissue of origin to another part of the body
Mini-transplant see Non-Myeloablative Transplant.
Mobilization Process to increase the number of stem cells in the blood stream. May be accomplished by the daily injections of CSF, or by a combination of chemotherapy and CSF
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 Type of white cell that fight against infection by eating and killing bacteria and fungi
Mucositis Inflammation, ulceration, and sloughing of the lining cells of the mouth and/or throat Usually side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation; may also be caused by herpes virus.
MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging; three-dimensional X-ray
MUGA-scan Multiple Gated Pool scan; nuclear medicine test to assess the function of the left ventricle of the heart
NCI National Cancer Institute
Neutropenia Low level of granulocytes in the blood. Mostly considered to exist when ANC < 500/mm3
Neutrophils see Granulocytes
NMDP National Marrow Donor Program. Federally supported organization that has the largest registry of volunteer (unrelated) stem cell donors. Located in Minneapolis, MN
NPO Do not take anything by mouth
Non-Myeloablative Transplant Allogeneic stem-cell transplant that uses a less aggressive, less toxic, preparative regimen.
Oncology Study of cancer
Packed Red Blood Cell Red blood cells collected from one individual that are packed into a small volume for transfusion into a patient
Pancytopenia Deficiency of all types of blood cells
PBSC see Peripheral blood stem cells
PBSCT Peripheral blood stem cell transplant
Peripheral blood stem cells Stem cells obtained from the blood stream through an apheresis procedure. Process of "mobilization" increases the number of peripheral blood stem cells that can be collected
Petechiae Small red spots on the skin (like flea-bites) that usually indicate a low platelet count
Photopheresis Treatment in which white blood cells are exposed to ultraviolet light in the presence of a sensitizing agent. Used for skin lymphomas and for graft-versus-host Disease.
Plasma Fluid and protein-containing portion of the blood
Platelets Type of blood cell. Important to control bleeding; smallest cell element in the blood.
Pluripotent stem cell Earliest stem cells; can mature into all cell types in the blood, but also maintain their own numbers
Polycythemia Increase in the total number of red cells in the bloodstream
Polys see Granulocytes
Pre-certification Requirement to receive prior approval for hospital admission and certain other services. Feature of many managed care health plans
Pre-existing condition Refers to a clause in your insurance contract which may exclude coverage for certain disease(s) because they were present before the plan went into effect.
Preparative regimen Chemotherapy and/or Radiation therapy given prior to a stem cell transplant. Duration varies between 2 and 10 days. Goals are to kill malignant cells, create space for the new stem cells, and break the immune system of the patient (allogeneic transplants only). Also called conditioning regimen
Prognosis Predicted or likely outcome
Protocol Plan of treatment
Purging Process by which certain types of cells are removed from stem cells prior to infusion into the patient. In autologous transplantation, stem cells may be purged to remove lingering cancer cells. In allogeneic transplants, donor stem cells may be purged to remove T-lymphocytes that cause graft-versus-host disease
Randomization Assignment of a patient to a treatment protocol that is decided at random. This may be done when a new treatment is being compared to a standard one
RBC see Red blood cells
Red blood cells Cells in the blood that transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. A deficiency of red cells causes anemia
Relapse Recurrence of the disease following treatment
Remission (complete) Condition in which no cancerous cells can be detected by a microscope, and the patient appears to be disease-free
Remission (partial) Means that be all methods used to measure the existence of tumor, there has been at least a 50% regression of the disease following treatment
Sepsis Presence of micro-organisms in the blood stream leading to clinical symptoms (low blood pressure, fever etc)
Sicca syndrome Dryness of eyes and mouth; may be caused by graft-versus-host disease
Stem Cell "Mother" cell from which all types of blood cell originate
Steroids Class of drugs commonly used to decrease nausea after chemotherapy, and fight graft-versus-host disease. Specific drugs are Solumedrol® given i.v., and prednisone given by mouth
Stomatitis see Mucositis
Subclavian catheter see Central venous catheter
Syngeneic Originating from an identical-twin donor
Tacrolimus Immunosuppressive drug used to prevent graft-versus-host disease (Prograf®) . Alternative for cyclosporine
TBI see Total body Irradiation
T-cell depletion see Purging
T-lymphocytes Sub-class of lymphocytes. Considered to be responsible for graft-versus-host disease
Thrombocyte see Platelets
Thrombocytopenia Low level of platelets in the blood; increases risk of bleeding
Total Body Irradiation Treatment in which the entire body receives irradiation. Mostly given over several days.
Total parenteral nutrition see Hyperalimentation
TPN see Hyperalimentation
Transplant-lite see Non-Myeloablative Transplant
Tumor burden Size of the tumor or number of abnormal cells in the organ or tissue
Urokinase Intravenous thrombolytic agent used to restore patency to central venous catheters
Veno-occlusive disease Complication of transplant in which the small blood vessels that carry blood through the liver become swollen and clogged. May lead to abdominal pain, jaundice, and ascites
Virus Tiny micro-organism that invades cells, alters their genetic machinery, and turns them into factories for production of more of the virus
VOD see Veno-occlusive disease
WBC White blood cells
Xerostomia Dryness of the mouth caused by malfunctioning salivary glands

*HICKMAN & GROSHONG are registered trademarks of C.R. Bard, Inc, and it's related company, BCR, Inc.