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Oncology-related Terms Glossary
(Starting with "F")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oncology-related_terms




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False-negative test result

The false negative rate is the proportion of events that are being tested for which yield negative test outcomes with the test, i.e., the conditional probability of a negative test result given that the event being looked for has taken place. In statistical hypothesis testing, this fraction is given the letter β. The "power" (or the "sensitivity") of the test is equal to 1 minus β.

False-positive test result

The false positive rate is the proportion of absent events that yield positive test outcomes, i.e., the conditional probability of a positive test result given an absent event. The false positive rate is equal to the significance level. The specificity of the test is equal to 1 minus the false positive rate. In statistical hypothesis testing, this fraction is given the Greek letter α, and 1 − α is defined as the specificity of the test. Increasing the specificity of the test lowers the probability of type I errors, but raises the probability of type II errors (false negatives that reject the alternative hypothesis when it is true).

Familial adenomatous polyposis

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited condition in which numerous polyps form mainly in the epithelium of the large intestine. While these polyps start out benign, malignant transformation into colon cancer occurs when not treated.

Familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome

Dysplastic nevus syndrome (also known as "Familial atypical multiple mole–melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome", "familial melanoma syndrome," and "B-K mole syndrome") is a cutaneous condition described in certain families, and characterized by unusual nevi and multiple inherited melanomas.

Familial cancer

A cancer syndrome is a genetic predisposition to develop cancer. Genetic predisposition increases a person's chance to develop cancer during their lifetime, and at earlier stages in life. Most common types of cancer that can be genetically transmitted include breast, colorectal, gynecologic and endocrine cancers. However, cancer syndrome cases only account for 5 to 10% of all cancer cases.

Familial polyposis/FAP

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited condition in which numerous polyps form mainly in the epithelium of the large intestine. While these polyps start out benign, malignant transformation into colon cancer occurs when not treated.

Family history (medicine)

In medicine, a family history consists of information about disorders from which the direct blood relatives of the patient have suffered. Genealogy typically includes very little of the medical history of the family, but the medical history could be considered a specific subset of the total history of a family. Knowledge of your family history can help identify a predisposition to develop certain illnesses, and enable you to avoid triggers in your environment.

FAMMM syndrome

Dysplastic nevus syndrome (also known as "Familial atypical multiple mole–melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome", "familial melanoma syndrome," and "B-K mole syndrome") is a cutaneous condition described in certain families, and characterized by unusual nevi and multiple inherited melanomas.

Fanconi's anemia

Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disease with an incidence of 1 per 350,000 births, and a higher frequency in Ashkenazi Jews and Afrikaners in South Africa.

FA is the result of a genetic defect in a cluster of proteins responsible for DNA repair. As a result, 20% or more of FA patients develop cancer, most often acute myelogenous leukemia, and 90% develop bone marrow failure (the inability to produce blood cells) by age 40. About 60-75% of FA patients have congenital defects, commonly short stature, abnormalities of the skin, arms, head, eyes, kidneys, and ears, and developmental disabilities. Median age of death was 30 years in 2000.

Fanconi's syndrome

Fanconi syndrome (also known as Fanconi's syndrome) is a disease of the proximal renal tubules of the kidney in which glucose, amino acids, uric acid, phosphate and bicarbonate are passed into the urine, instead of being reabsorbed. Fanconi syndrome affects the proximal tubule, which is the first part of the tubule to process fluid after it is filtered through the glomerulus. It may be inherited, or caused by drugs or heavy metals.

Fatty-replaced breast tissue

Fatty-replaced breast tissue is a term used in mammography that refers to the replacement of breast tissue with fatty tissue. This commonly occurs as a woman ages.

Fecal occult blood test

Fecal occult blood (FOB) refers to blood in the feces that is not visibly apparent. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) checks for hidden (occult) blood in the stool (feces). Newer tests look for globin, DNA, or other blood factors including transferrin, while conventional stool guaiac tests look for heme.

Fenretinide

Fenretinide (4-hydroxy(phenyl)retinamide) (INN) is a synthetic retinoid deriverative. Retinoids are substances related to vitamin A. It has been investigated for potential use in the treatment of cancer, as well as in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, acne, psoriasis, and has been found to also slow the production and accumulation of a toxin that leads to vision loss in Stargardt's patients.

Fentanyl

Fentanyl (also known as fentanil, brand names Sublimaze, Actiq, Durogesic, Duragesic, Fentora, Onsolis, Instanyl, Abstral, and others) is a potent synthetic narcotic analgesic with a rapid onset and short duration of action. It is a strong agonist at the μ-opioid receptors. Historically it has been used to treat chronic breakthrough pain and is commonly used before procedures as an anesthetic in combination with a benzodiazepine.

Fiber/Fibrous

Fiber, also spelled fibre, is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread. They are very important in the biology of both plants and animals, for holding tissues together. Human uses for fibers are diverse. They can be spun into filaments, string or rope, used as a component of composite materials, or matted into sheets to make products such as paper or felt. Fibers are often used in the manufacture of other materials. The strongest engineering materials are generally made as fibers, for example carbon fiber and Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene.

Fibrin sealant

Fibrin glue (also called fibrin sealant) is a synthetic substance used to create a fibrin clot. It is made up of fibrinogen and thrombin that are injected through one head into the site of a fibrin tear. Thrombin acts as an enzyme and converts the fibrogen into fibrin between 10 and 60 seconds and acts as a tissue adhesive. It may also contain aprotinin, fibronectin and plasminogen. This glue can be used for repairing dura tears, bronchial fistulas and for achieving hemostasis after spleen and liver trauma. It is also employed in "no sutures" corneal transplantation.

Fibroblast

A fibroblast is a type of cell that synthesizes the extracellular matrix and collagen, the structural framework (stroma) for animal tissues, and plays a critical role in wound healing. Fibroblasts are the most common cells of connective tissue in animals.

Fibroid

Fibromas (or fibroid tumors or fibroids) are benign tumors that are composed of fibrous or connective tissue. They can grow in all organs, arising from mesenchyme tissue. The term "fibroblastic" or "fibromatous" is used to describe tumors of the fibrous connective tissue. When the term fibroma is used without modifier, it is usually considered benign, with the term fibrosarcoma reserved for malignant tumors.

Fibromatosis

The term fibromatosis refers to a group of benign soft tissue tumors (fibromas) which have certain characteristics in common, including absence of cytologic and clinical malignant features, a histology consistent with proliferation of well-differentiated fibroblasts, an infiltrative growth pattern, and aggressive clinical behavior with frequent local recurrence.

Fibrosarcoma

Fibrosarcoma (fibroblastic sarcoma) is a malignant tumor derived from fibrous connective tissue and characterized by immature proliferating fibroblasts or undifferentiated anaplastic spindle cells.Usually in males ages 30 to 40. Originates in fibrous tissues of the bone. Invades long or flat bones such as femur, tibia, and mandible. It also involves periosteum and overlying muscle.

Fibrosis

Fibrosis is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue in a reparative or reactive process. This is as opposed to formation of fibrous tissue as a normal constituent of an organ or tissue. Scarring is confluent fibrosis that obliterates the architecture of the underlying organ or tissue.

Fifth cranial nerve

The trigeminal nerve (the fifth cranial nerve, also called the fifth nerve, or simply CNV or CN5) is responsible for sensation in the face. Sensory information from the face and body is processed by parallel pathways in the central nervous system.

Filgrastim

Filgrastim is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) analog used to stimulate the proliferation and differentiation of granulocytes. It is produced by recombinant DNA technology. The gene for human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor is inserted into the genetic material of Escherichia coli. The G-CSF then produced by E. coli is only slightly different from G-CSF naturally made in humans.

Finasteride

Finasteride (marketed by Merck under the trademark names Proscar and Propecia, also available under several generic names) is a synthetic antiandrogen that inhibits type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Finasteride was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992 under the brand name Proscar, as treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In 1997, the FDA approved finasteride to treat male pattern baldness (MPB) under the brand name Propecia.

Fine-needle aspiration

Needle aspiration biopsy (NAB), also known as fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC), fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) and fine needle aspiration (FNA), is a diagnostic procedure sometimes used to investigate superficial (just under the skin) lumps or masses. In this technique, a thin, hollow needle is inserted into the mass to extract cells that, after being stained, will be examined under a microscope. Fine needle aspiration biopsies are very safe, minor surgical procedures. Often, a major surgical (excisional or open) biopsy can be avoided by performing a needle aspiration biopsy instead. In 1981, the first fine needle aspiration biopsy in the United States of America was done at Maimonides Medical Center, eliminating the need for surgery and hospitalization. Today, this procedure is widely used in the diagnosis of cancer.

First-line therapy

A first-line treatment or first-line therapy is a therapy recommended for the initial treatment of a disease, sign or symptom, usually on the basis of empirical evidence for its efficacy.

FK463

Micafungin (trade name Mycamine) is an echinocandin antifungal drug developed by Astellas Pharma. It inhibits the production of beta-1,3-glucan, an essential component of fungal cell walls. Micafungin is administered intravenously. It received final approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration on March 16, 2005, and gained approval in the European Union on April 25, 2008.

Flavonoid

Flavonoids (or bioflavonoids) (from the Latin word flavus meaning yellow), also collectively known as Vitamin P and citrin, are a class of plant secondary metabolites or yellow pigments having a structure similar to that of flavones.

Flavopiridol

Alvocidib (INN; also known as Flavopiridol or HMR-1275) is a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor under clinical development for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. It has been studied also for the treatment of arthritis.

Flecainide

Flecainide acetate is a class Ic antiarrhythmic agent used to prevent and treat tachyarrhythmias (abnormal fast rhythms of the heart). It is used to treat a variety of cardiac arrhythmias including paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (episodic irregular heartbeat originating in the upper chamber of the heart), paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (episodic rapid but regular heartbeat originating in the atrium), and ventricular tachycardia (rapid rhythms of the lower chambers of the heart). Flecainide works by regulating the flow of sodium in the heart, causing prolongation of the cardiac action potential.

Flow cytometry

Flow cytometry (abbreviated: FCM) is a technique for counting and examining microscopic particles, such as cells and chromosomes, by suspending them in a stream of fluid and passing them by an electronic detection apparatus. It allows simultaneous multiparametric analysis of the physical and/or chemical characteristics of up to thousands of particles per second. Flow cytometry is routinely used in the diagnosis of health disorders, especially blood cancers, but has many other applications in both research and clinical practice. A common variation is to physically sort particles based on their properties, so as to purify populations of interest.

Floxuridine

Floxuridine is an oncology drug that belongs to the class known as antimetabolites. The drug is most often used in the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Fluconazole

Fluconazole is a triazole antifungal drug used in the treatment and prevention of superficial and systemic fungal infections. In a bulk powder form, it appears as a white crystalline powder, and it is very slightly soluble in water and soluble in alcohol. It is commonly marketed under the trade name Diflucan or Trican (Pfizer). In Mexico it is sold over the counter as Alfumet. It is marketed under the brand name Candivast in the Persian Gulf area.

Flucytosine

Flucytosine, or 5-fluorocytosine, a fluorinated pyrimidine analogue, is a synthetic antimycotic drug. It is structurally related to the cytostatic fluorouracil and to floxuridine. It is available in oral and in some countries also in injectable form. A common brand name is Ancobon.

Fludarabine

Fludarabine or fludarabine phosphate (Fludara) is a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of hematological malignancies.

Fludeoxyglucose F 18

Fludeoxyglucose (18F) (INN) or fluorodeoxyglucose (18F), commonly abbreviated 18F-FDG or FDG, is a radiopharmaceutical used in the medical imaging modality positron emission tomography (PET). Chemically, it is 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose, a glucose analog, with the positron-emitting radioactive isotope fluorine-18 substituted for the normal hydroxyl group at the 2' position in the glucose molecule.

Fludrocortisone

Fludrocortisone (also called 9α-fluorocortisol) is a synthetic corticosteroid with moderate glucocorticoid potency and much greater mineralocorticoid potency. The brand name in the U.S. is Florinef.

Fluoroscope/Fluoroscopy

Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique commonly used by physicians to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope. In its simplest form, a fluoroscope consists of an X-ray source and fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed. However, modern fluoroscopes couple the screen to an X-ray image intensifier and CCD video camera allowing the images to be recorded and played on a monitor.

Fluorouracil

Fluorouracil (5-FU or f5U) (sold under the brand names Adrucil, Carac, Efudex and Fluoroplex) is a drug that is a pyrimidine analog which is used in the treatment of cancer. It is a suicide inhibitor and works through irreversible inhibition of thymidylate synthase. It belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. It is typically administered with leucovorin.

Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine (also known by the tradenames Prozac, Sarafem) is an antidepressant of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. It is manufactured and marketed by Eli Lilly and Company. In combination with olanzapine it is known as symbyax.

Flutamide

Flutamide is an oral nonsteroidal antiandrogen drug primarily used to treat prostate cancer. It competes with testosterone and its powerful metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) for binding to androgen receptors in the prostate gland. By doing so, it prevents them from stimulating the prostate cancer cells to grow. Flutamide has been largely replaced by a newer member of this class, bicalutamide, due to a better side-effect profile. Flutamide may also be used to treat excess androgen levels in women - especially those with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrom (PCOS). It is marketed by Schering-Plough under the brand name Eulexin. It is also known as Flutamin.

FOBT

Fecal occult blood (FOB) refers to blood in the feces that is not visibly apparent. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) checks for hidden (occult) blood in the stool (feces). Newer tests look for globin, DNA, or other blood factors including transferrin, while conventional stool guaiac tests look for heme.

Folate

Folic acid (also known as vitamin B9, vitamin Bc or folacin) and folate (the naturally occurring form), as well as pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folic acid is itself not biologically active, but its biological importance is due to tetrahydrofolate and other derivatives after its conversion to dihydrofolic acid in the liver.

Folate antagonist

Antifolates are drugs which impair the function of folic acids. Many are used in cancer chemotherapy, some are used as antibiotics or antiprotozoal agents.

A well known example is methotrexate. This is a folic acid analogue, and owing to structural similarity with it binds and inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), and thus prevents the formation of tetrahydrofolate. Tetrahydrofolate is essential for purine and pyrimidine synthesis, and this leads to inhibited production of DNA, RNA and proteins (as tetrahydrofolate is also involved in the synthesis of amino acids serine and methionine).

FOLFOX

FOLFOX is a chemotherapy regimen for treatment of colorectal cancer, made up of the drugs

  • FOL– Folinic acid (leucovorin)
  • F – Fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • OX – Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
  • Folic acid

  • Folic acid (also known as vitamin B9, vitamin Bc or folacin) and folate (the naturally occurring form), as well as pteroyl-L-glutamic acid, pteroyl-L-glutamate, and pteroylmonoglutamic acid are forms of the water-soluble vitamin B9. Folic acid is itself not biologically active, but its biological importance is due to tetrahydrofolate and other derivatives after its conversion to dihydrofolic acid in the liver.
  • Follicular large cell lymphoma

    Follicular large-cell lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) with large cells that look cleaved (split) or non-cleaved under the microscope. It is an indolent (slow-growing) type of lymphoma.

    Follicular thyroid cancer

    Follicular thyroid cancer accounts for 15% of thyroid cancer which occurs more commonly in women of over 50 years old. Thyroglobulin (Tg) can be used as a tumor marker for well-differentiated follicular thyroid cancer.

    Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde is an organic compound with the formula CH2O. It is the simplest aldehyde, hence its systematic name methanal.

    FR901228

    Romidepsin (INN, trade name Istodax), codenamed FK228 and FR901228, is an anticancer agent undergoing clinical trials as a treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), peripheral T-cell lymphoma, and a variety of other cancers. Romidepsin is a natural product obtained from the bacteria Chromobacterium violaceum, and works by blocking enzymes known as histone deacetylases and inducing apoptosis in tumor cells. It is sometimes referred to as depsipeptide, after the class of molecules to which it belongs.

    Fractionation

    Fractionation is a separation process in which a certain quantity of a mixture (solid, liquid, solute, suspension or isotope) is divided up in a number of smaller quantities (fractions) in which the composition changes according to a gradient. Fractions are collected based on differences in a specific property of the individual components. A common trait in fractionations is the need to find an optimum between the amount of fractions collected and the desired purity in each fraction. Fractionation makes it possible to isolate more than two components in a mixture in a single run. This property sets it apart from other separation techniques.

    Free radical

    Radicals (often referred to as free radicals) are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. Free radicals may have positive, negative or zero charge. Even though they have unpaired electrons, by convention, metals and their ions or complexes with unpaired electrons are not radicals. With some exceptions, the unpaired electrons cause radicals to be highly chemically reactive. Radicals, if allowed to run free in the body, are believed to be involved in degenerative diseases and cancers.

    Fulguration

    Fulguration, also called electrofulguration, is a procedure to destroy tissue (such as a tumor) using an electric current.

    Fulvestrant

    Fulvestrant, also known as ICI 182,780, is a drug treatment of hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer in postmenopausal women with disease progression following anti-estrogen therapy. It is an estrogen receptor antagonist with no agonist effects, which works both by down-regulating and by degrading the estrogen receptor. It is administered as a once-monthly injection.

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging

    Functional MRI or functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) is a type of specialized MRI scan. It measures the hemodynamic response (change in blood flow) related to neural activity in the brain or spinal cord of humans or other animals. It is one of the most recently developed forms of neuroimaging. Since the early 1990s, fMRI has come to dominate the brain mapping field due to its relatively low invasiveness, absence of radiation exposure, and relatively wide availability.

    Fundus

    Fundus (Latin for "bottom") is an anatomical term referring to the portion of an organ opposite from its opening. Examples include: Fundus (stomach), Fundus of gallbladder, Fundus (uterus), Fundus (eye),Fundus of the urinary bladder, Fundus (seabed), Fundus (brain), Fundus (diencephalon).

    Fungating lesion

    A fungating lesion is a type of skin lesion that is marked by ulcerations (breaks on the skin or surface of an organ) and necrosis (death of living tissue) and that usually has a bad smell. This kind of lesion may occur in many types of cancer, including breast cancer, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma, and especially in advanced disease.

    Fusion protein

    Fusion proteins or chimeric proteins are proteins created through the joining of two or more genes which originally coded for separate proteins. Translation of this fusion gene results in a single polypeptide with functional properties derived from each of the original proteins. Recombinant fusion proteins are created artificially by recombinant DNA technology for use in biological research or therapeutics. Chimeric mutant proteins occur naturally when a complex mutation, such as a chromosomal translocation, tandem duplication, or retrotransposition creates a novel coding sequence containing parts of the coding sequences from two different genes. Naturally occurring fusion proteins are commonly found in cancer cells, where they may function as oncoproteins. The bcr-abl fusion protein is a well-known example of an oncogenic fusion protein, and is considered to be the primary oncogenic driver of chronic myelogenous leukemia.

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    Published - April 2011







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