Glossary

Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant
A transplant in which a patient receives bone marrow/stem cells taken from a healthy donor

Angiogenesis
The formation of blood vessels, which is vital to tumor growth

Antibody
A protein created to bind to and destroy a specific antigen  

Antigen
Any substance, such as a virus or bacteria, that produces an immune response against it

Apoptosis
Programmed cell death that occurs when cells are no longer needed

Autologous Stem Cell Transplant
A transplant in which bone marrow/stem cells are taken from a patient, then transfused back into the patient after he or she is treated with high-dose chemotherapy

B Cell
A type of white blood cell that produces antibodies to help fight infection

BCL-2
A protein that regulates the natural death of cells when they are no longer needed in the body

Biopsy
Removal of cells or tissue to be examined for disease

Bone Marrow
Spongey tissue in the center of the bone where blood cells, including red and white blood cells and platelets, are made

BTK
Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that helps transmit signals from the cell surface to the nucleus and plays a crucial role in the development of many B-cell lymphomas

Checkpoint Inhibitor
A drug that helps to prevent cancer cells from evading detection by the body’s immune system

Chemotherapy
Drug treatments meant to kill or stop division of cancer cells

CHOP
Chemotherapy drug combination cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone

Clinical Trial
A study that evaluates new treatments and procedures in order to advance medical knowledge and improve health outcomes

CLL
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a cancer in which immature lymphocytes are found in abundance in the blood or bone marrow

CR
Complete remission, when all signs of cancer disappear in response to treatment

CTCL
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a T-cell lymphoma that primarily affects the skin and tends to be less aggressive compared to subtypes that can affect the whole body

DLBCL
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a fast-growing cancer of abnormal B cells

Efficacy
A measure used in research to report how well an intervention has worked, as opposed to effectiveness, which is a real-world measure of how well an intervention works

Epidemiology
The distribution and cause of a disease

Epigenetics
Mechanisms that control the on and off gene “switches” that can drive tumor cell growth

Follicular Lymphoma
A slow-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma of abnormal B cells

Genome
An organism’s complete set of genetic information

Germinal Center
A cluster of dividing B cells found within lymph nodes and composed primarily of B cells that mutate in order to tailor their antibodies to attack offending antigens

Hereditary
Passed from parent to child

Hodgkin Lymphoma
A usually painless lymphoma that involves swelling of the lymph nodes and other organs. Marked by the presence of large, malignant B cells with more than one nucleus (also known as Reed-Sternberg cells), this lymphoma type is less common than non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occurs most often in young adults and in people older than 60

Immunotherapy
Treatment that activates or uses a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer

Indolent
Slow-growing

Lymphocyte
A type of white blood cell found in the immune system

Malignant Cell
A cell that is cancerous

Mantle Cell Lymphoma
A rare non-Hodgkin lymphoma that occurs when B cells on the outer edge of lymph node follicles (the mantle zone) become malignant

Metastasis
The spread of cancer from the original site to other tissues

MRD
Minimal residual disease, the small number of cancer cells that may be left within a patient’s blood or bone marrow after treatment that have the potential to grow and cause the patient to relapse

NGS
Next-generation sequencing, which allows for detection of several different DNA mutations at once in a way that is faster and cheaper than previously-used sequencing technology

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
A usually painless lymphoma marked by swelling of the lymph nodes and other organs and derived from malignant B cells or T cells. This type of lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin lymphoma and encompasses many different subtypes

Oral Agent
A drug treatment given in pill form to be taken by mouth

OS
Overall survival, the length of time that patients diagnosed with a disease are still alive

Pathogenesis
The origin and development of a disease

PET-CT
Positron emission tomography and computed tomography scans, nuclear imaging techniques used to pinpoint and diagnose disease

PFS
Progression-free survival, the length of time that patients live with a cancer without it worsening

Precision Medicine
Targeting the genetic source of a patient’s cancer in order to tailor treatment options to each patient’s specific genetic or molecular profile

Prognostic Marker
A characteristic that may predict the course of a disease and its response to treatment

Proliferation
An increase in the number of cells due to an imbalance between cell death and division

PTCL
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, abnormal growth of mature T-cell lymphocytes

R-CHOP
Chemotherapy drug combination rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone

Red Blood Cell
A cell that carries oxygen to the tissues and carbon dioxide to the lungs

Refractory
Disease that does not respond to treatment

Relapse
The return of a disease or its symptoms following a positive outcome or remission

RT
Richter’s transformation, in which a patient’s chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) transforms into a more aggressive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

Secondary Malignancy
A new cancer that develops as a result of a patient’s treatment for another cancer

Somatic Mutation
A mutation acquired during a lifetime, rather than inherited

Systemic
Affecting the entire body

Targeted Therapy
Treatment that interferes with specific elements involved in cancer cell growth and survival

T Cell
A type of white blood cell found in the immune system that attacks foreign antigens and helps coordinate the immune response

White Blood Cell
An immune system cell made inside the bone marrow that protects the body from foreign invaders