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

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






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P-32

Phosphorus-32 is a radioactive isotope of phosphorus. The nucleus of phosphorous-32 contains 15 protons and 17 neutrons, two more neutrons than the most common isotope of phosphorous, phosphorus-30. Phosphorous-32 only exists in small quantities on Earth as it has a short half life and so decays rapidly.

P-value

In statistical significance testing, the p-value is the probability of obtaining a test statistic at least as extreme as the one that was actually observed, assuming that the null hypothesis is true. One often "rejects the null hypothesis" when the p-value is less than 0.05 or 0.01, corresponding respectively to a 5% or 1% chance of rejecting the null hypothesis when it is true (Type I error). When the null hypothesis is rejected, the result is said to be statistically significant.

P53 gene

p53 (also known as protein 53 or tumor protein 53), is a tumor suppressor protein that in humans is encoded by the TP53 gene. p53 is important in multicellular organisms, where it regulates the cell cycle and, thus, functions as a tumor suppressor that is involved in preventing cancer. As such, p53 has been described as "the guardian of the genome", the "guardian angel gene", and the "master watchman", referring to its role in conserving stability by preventing genome mutation.

Paclitaxel

Paclitaxel is a mitotic inhibitor used in cancer chemotherapy. It was discovered in a U.S. National Cancer Institute program at the Research Triangle Institute in 1967 when Monroe E. Wall and Mansukh C. Wani isolated it from the bark of the Pacific yew tree, Taxus brevifolia and named it taxol. When it was developed commercially by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) the generic name was changed to paclitaxel and the BMS compound is sold under the trademark TAXOL. In this formulation, paclitaxel is dissolved in Cremophor EL and ethanol, as a delivery agent. A newer formulation, in which paclitaxel is bound to albumin, is sold under the trademark Abraxane.

Paget's disease of bone

Paget's disease of the bone (other terms are Paget's disease, osteitis deformans, osteodystrophia deformans) is a chronic disorder that typically results in enlarged and deformed bones. The disease is named after Sir James Paget, the British surgeon who first described it in 1877. This paper appeared in the Transactions of the Medical and Surgical Society of London without illustrations; a plate showing his first patient is on display in the pathology museum at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London. The original article and the illustration have been reunited, together with a modern commentary on Paget's disease, and can be read on-line . The excessive breakdown and formation of bone tissue that occurs with Paget's disease can cause bone to weaken, resulting in bone pain, arthritis, deformities, and fractures.

Paget's disease of the nipple

Paget's disease of the breast (also known as Paget's disease of the nipple ) is a malignant condition that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema, with skin changes involving the nipple of the breast.

Palatine uvula/therapy

The uvula is the conic projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers (musculus uvulae).

Palliative care

Palliative care (from Latin palliare, to cloak) is a specialized area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Unlike hospice care, palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life. Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient's life.

Palmar plantar erythrodysesthesia

Chemotherapy-induced acral erythema (also known as "palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia" or "hand-foot syndrome") is reddening, swelling, numbness and desquamation on palms and soles that can occur after chemotherapy in patients with cancer. These skin changes usually are well demarcated. Acral erythema typically disappears within a few weeks after discontinuation of the offending drug.

Pamidronate

Pamidronic acid (INN) or pamidronate disodium (USAN), pamidronate disodium pentahydrate is a nitrogen containing bisphosphonate, used to prevent osteoporosis. It is marketed by Novartis under the brand name Aredia.

Pancoast's tumor

A Pancoast tumor, also called a pulmonary sulcus tumor or superior sulcus tumor, is a tumor of the pulmonary apex. It is a type of lung cancer defined primarily by its location situated at the top end of either the right or left lung. It typically spreads to nearby tissues such as the ribs and vertebrae. Most Pancoast tumors are non-small cell cancers.

Pancreatectomy

In medicine, a pancreatectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the pancreas. Several types of pancreatectomy exist, including pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple procedure), distal pancreatectomy, segmental pancreatectomy, and total pancreatectomy. These procedures are used in the management of several conditions involving the pancreas, such as benign pancreatic tumors, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatitis.

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant neoplasm of the pancreas. It is estimated that in 2010 more than 43,000 individuals in the United States have been diagnosed with this condition, and 36,800 have died from the disease. The prognosis is poor, with fewer than 5% of those diagnosed still alive five years after diagnosis. Complete remission is still rare.

Pancreatic duct

The pancreatic duct, or duct of Wirsung (also, the Major pancreatic duct due to the existence of an accessory pancreatic duct), is a duct joining the pancreas to the common bile duct to supply pancreatic juices which aid in digestion provided by the "exocrine pancreas". The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct just prior to the ampulla of Vater, after which both ducts perforate the medial side of the second portion of the duodenum at the major duodenal papilla.

Pancreatic enzyme

Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down polymeric macromolecules into their smaller building blocks, in order to facilitate their absorption by the body. Digestive enzymes are found in the digestive tract of animals (including humans) where they aid in the digestion of food as well as inside the cells, especially in their lysosomes where they function to maintain cellular survival. Digestive enzymes are diverse and are found in the saliva secreted by the salivary glands, in the stomach secreted by cells lining the stomach, in the pancreatic juice secreted by pancreatic exocrine cells, and in the intestinal (small and large) secretions, or as part of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Pancreatic juice

Pancreatic juice is a liquid secreted by the pancreas, which contains a variety of enzymes, including trypsinogen, chymotrypsinogen, elastase, carboxypeptidase, pancreatic lipase, and amylase.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that can occur in two very different forms. Acute pancreatitis is sudden while chronic pancreatitis "is characterized by recurring or persistent abdominal pain with or without steatorrhea or diabetes mellitus."

Pap smear/test

The Papanicolaou test (also called Pap smear, Pap test, cervical smear, or smear test) is a screening test used in gynecology to detect premalignant and malignant (cancerous) processes in the ectocervix. Significant changes can be treated, thus preventing cervical cancer. The test was invented by and named after the prominent Greek doctor Georgios Papanikolaou. An anal Pap smear is an adaptation of the procedure to screen and detect anal cancers.

Papillary thyroid cancer

Papillary thyroid cancer or papillary thyroid carcinoma is the most common type of thyroid cancer, representing 75% to 85% of all thyroid cancer cases. It occurs more frequently in women and presents in the 30-40 year age group. It is also the predominant cancer type in children with thyroid cancer, and in patients with thyroid cancer who have had previous radiation to the head and neck.

Papillary tumor

A papillary tumor is a tumor shaped like a small mushroom, with its stem attached to the epithelial layer (inner lining) of an organ.

Papilledema

Papilledema (or papilloedema) is optic disc swelling that is caused by increased intracranial pressure. The swelling is usually bilateral and can occur over a period of hours to weeks. Unilateral presentation is extremely rare.

Paracentesis

Paracentesis is a medical procedure involving needle drainage of fluid from a body cavity, most commonly the peritoneal cavity in the abdomen. A related procedure is thoracocentesis, which is needle drainage of the chest cavity. Pericardiocentesis involves taking fluid in the area of the pericardium.

Parageusia

Parageusia is the medical term for a bad taste in the mouth.One common form of parageusia is a metallic taste of food. This can be a side effect of several medications, such as acetazolamide, eszopiclone, zopiclone, metronidazole, or etoposide.

Paramyxovirus

Paramyxoviruses (from Greek para-, beyond, -myxo-, mucus or slime, plus virus, from Latin poison, slime) are viruses of the Paramyxoviridae family of the Mononegavirales order; they are negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses responsible for a number of human and animal diseases.

Paraneoplastic syndrome

A paraneoplastic syndrome is a disease or symptom that is the consequence of the presence of cancer in the body, but is not due to the local presence of cancer cells. These phenomena are mediated by humoral factors (by hormones or cytokines) excreted by tumor cells or by an immune response against the tumor. Paraneoplastic syndromes are typical among middle aged to older patients, and they most commonly present with cancers of the lung, breast, ovaries or lymphatic system (a lymphoma). Sometimes the symptoms of paraneoplastic syndromes show even before the diagnosis of a malignancy.

Parathyroid gland

The parathyroid glands are small endocrine glands in the neck that produce parathyroid hormone. Humans usually have four parathyroid glands, which are usually located on the rear surface of the thyroid gland, or, in rare cases, within the thyroid gland itself or in the chest. Parathyroid glands control the amount of calcium in the blood and within the bones.

Parathyroid hormone

Parathyroid hormone (PTH), parathormone or parathyrin, is secreted by the parathyroid glands as a polypeptide containing 84 amino acids. It acts to increase the concentration of calcium (Ca2+) in the blood, whereas calcitonin (a hormone produced by the parafollicular cells (C cells) of the thyroid gland) acts to decrease calcium concentration. PTH acts to increase the concentration of calcium in the blood by acting upon parathyroid hormone receptor in three parts of the body: PTH half-life is approximately 4 minutes. It has a molecular mass of 9.4 kDa.

Parenchyma

Parenchyma is a term used to describe a bulk of a substance. It is used in different ways in animals and in plants.

Paresthesias

Paresthesia, spelled "paraesthesia" in British English, is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of a person's skin with no apparent long-term physical effect. It is more generally known as the feeling of "pins and needles" or of a limb "falling asleep". The manifestation of paresthesia may be transient or chronic.

Paricalcitol

Paricalcitol (marketed by Abbott Laboratories under the trade name Zemplar), also called 19-nor-1,25-(OH)2-vitamin D2 or 19-nor-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2, is an analog of 1,25-dihydroxyergocalciferol, the active form of vitamin D2. It is used for the prevention and treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic renal failure.

Parietal pericardium

The pericardium (from the Greek περι, "around" and κάρδιον, "heart" /perikardion/) is a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease, Parkinson's, idiopathic parkinsonism, primary parkinsonism, PD or paralysis agitans) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It results from the death by unknown causes of the dopamine-containing cells of the substantia nigra, which is a region of the midbrain. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related, including shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement and difficulty with walking and gait. Later, cognitive and behavioural problems may arise, with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep and emotional problems. PD is more common in the elderly with most cases occurring after the age of 50 years.

Paroxetine hydrochloride

Paroxetine (also known by the trade names Aropax, Paxil, Seroxat) is an SSRI antidepressant. Marketing of the drug began in 1992 by the pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham, now GlaxoSmithKline. Paroxetine is used to treat major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder in adult outpatients.

Partial cystectomy

Cystectomy is a medical term for surgical removal of all or part of the urinary bladder. It may also be rarely used to refer to the removal of a cyst, or the gallbladder. The most common condition warranting removal of the urinary bladder is bladder cancer. After the bladder has been removed, an Ileal conduit urinary diversion is necessary. An alternative to this method is to construct a pouch from a section of ileum or colon, which can act as a form of replacement bladder, storing urine until the patient desires to release it, which can be achieved by either abdominal straining or self catheterisation. Future treatment for this condition may involve a full replacement with an artificial bladder.

Partial nephrectomy

Nephrectomy is the surgical removal of a kidney.

Partial remission

Remission is the state of absence of disease activity in patients known to have incurable chronic illness. It is commonly used to refer to absence of active cancer or inflammatory bowel disease when these diseases are expected to manifest again in the future. A partial remission may be defined for cancer as 50% or greater reduction in the measurable parameters of tumor growth as may be found on physical examination, radiologic study, or by biomarker levels from a blood or urine test. A complete remission is defined as complete disappearance of all such manifestations of disease. Each disease or even clinical trial can have its own definition of a partial remission.

Paterson-Kelly syndrome

Plummer-Vinson syndrome (PVS), also called Paterson-Brown-Kelly syndrome or sideropenic dysphagia presents as a triad of dysphagia (due to esophageal webs), glossitis, and iron deficiency anemia. It most usually occurs in postmenopausal women.

Pathological staging

Pathological staging is a method used to determine the stage of cancer. Tissue samples are removed during surgery or a biopsy. The stage is determined based on how the cells in the samples look under a microscope.

Patient-controlled analgesia

Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) is any method of allowing a person in pain to administer their own pain relief. The infusion is programmable by the prescriber. If it is programmed and functioning as intended, the machine is unlikely to deliver an overdose of medication.

PDQ

Physician Data Query is the US National Cancer Institute's (NCI) comprehensive cancer database. It contains peer-reviewed summaries on cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine; a registry of more than 6,000 open and 17,000 closed cancer clinical trials from around the world; and a directory of professionals who provide genetics services.

Peau d'orange

The French term peau d'orange means "orange peel skin", or more literally, "skin of an orange". It is used in medicine to describe anatomy with the appearance and dimpled texture of an orange peel. Examples include the skin of the breast in inflammatory breast cancer, or breaks in Bruch's Membrane called angioid streaks, which are common in pseudoxanthoma elasticum, or in elephantiasis caused by thread-like, microscopic parasitic worms (filariasis). Peau d'orange can be also seen with myxedema of Grave's disease, where the term refers more to the texture than the color.

PEG-interferon alfa-2a

Pegylated interferon alfa-2a (pegylated with a branched 40 kDa PEG chain; commercial name Pegasys) is an antiviral drug discovered at the pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche; it has a dual mode of action - both antiviral and on the immune system. The addition of polyethylene glycol to the interferon, through a process known as pegylation, enhances the half-life of the interferon when compared to its native form.

PEG-interferon alfa-2b

Pegylated interferon alfa-2b is a treatment for hepatitis C developed by Schering-Plough, brand name is Peg Intron.

Pegaspargase

Pegaspargase is a modified enzyme used as an antineoplastic agent. It is a form of L-asparaginase which has undergone PEGylation.

Pegfilgrastim

Pegfilgrastim is a PEGylated form of the recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) analog, filgrastim. Like GCSF, the pegylated form serves to stimulate the level of white blood cells (neutrophils).

PEITC

Isothiocyanate is the chemical group –N=C=S, formed by substituting sulfur for oxygen in the isocyanate group. Many natural isothiocyanates from plants are produced by enzymatic conversion of metabolites called glucosinolates. These natural isothiocyanates, such as allyl isothiocyanate, are also known as mustard oils. An artificial isothiocyanate, phenylisothiocyanate, is used for amino acid sequencing in the Edman degradation.

Pelvic exenteration

Pelvic exenteration (or pelvic evisceration) is a radical surgical treatment that removes all organs from a person's pelvic cavity. The urinary bladder, urethra, rectum, and anus are removed.

Pemetrexed disodium

Pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) is a chemotherapy drug manufactured and marketed by Eli Lilly and Company. Its indications are the treatment of pleural mesothelioma as well as non-small cell lung cancer.

Penicillamine

Penicillamine is a pharmaceutical of the chelator class. It is sold under the trade names of Cuprimine and Depen. The pharmaceutical form is D-penicillamine, as L-penicillamine is toxic (it inhibits the action of pyridoxine). It is a metabolite of penicillin, although it has no antibiotic properties.

Pentosan polysulfate

Pentosan polysulfate (sold under the name Elmiron by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, inc.) is the only oral medication approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, also known as painful bladder syndrome.

Pentostatin

Pentostatin (deoxycoformycin) is an anticancer chemotherapeutic drug.

Pentoxifylline

Pentoxifylline (INN) is a drug sold by Aventis under the brand name Trental. Its chemical name is 1-(5-oxohexyl)-3, 7-dimethylxanthine. Pentoxifylline is a xanthine derivative. Other brand names include Pentox, Pentoxil, and Flexital.

Peptide

Peptides (from the Greek πεπτός, "digested" from πέσσειν "to digest") are short polymers of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. They have the same peptide bonds as those in proteins, but are commonly shorter in length. The shortest peptides are dipeptides, consisting of two amino acids joined by a single peptide bond. There can also be tripeptides, tetrapeptides, pentapeptides, etc. Peptides have an amino end and a carboxyl end, unless they are cyclic peptides. A polypeptide is a single linear chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds. Protein molecules consist of one or more polypeptides put together typically in a biologically functional way and sometimes have non-peptide groups attached, which can be called prosthetic groups or cofactors.

Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography

Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTHC or PTC) is a radiologic technique used to visualize the anatomy of the biliary tract. A contrast medium is injected into a bile duct in the liver, after which X-rays are taken. It allows access to the biliary tree in cases where endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) has been unsuccessful. Initially reported in 1937, the procedure became popular in 1952.

Perfusion

In physiology, perfusion is the process of nutritive delivery of arterial blood to a capillary bed in the biological tissue. The word is derived from the French verb "perfuser" meaning to "pour over or through."

Pericardial effusion

Pericardial effusion ("fluid around the heart") is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardial cavity. Because of the limited amount of space in the pericardial cavity, fluid accumulation will lead to an increased intrapericardial pressure and this can negatively affect heart function. When there is a pericardial effusion with enough pressure to adversely affect heart function, this is called cardiac tamponade. Pericardial effusion usually results from a disturbed equilibrium between the production and re-absorption of pericardial fluid, or from a structural abnormality that allows fluid to enter the pericardial cavity.

Perifosine

Perifosine (also KRX-0401) is a drug candidate being developed for a variety of cancer indications. It is an alkylphospholipid (octadecyl-(1,1-dimethyl-4-piperidylio) phosphate) Perifosine is structurally related to miltefosine. It acts as an Akt inhibitor and a PI3K inhibitor.

Peripheral blood lymphocyte therapy

Donor lymphocyte (or leukocyte) infusion (DLI) or buffy coat fusion is a form of adoptive immunotherapy used after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of or trauma to the nerve or the side-effects of systemic illness.

Peripheral stem cell transplantation

Peripheral stem cell transplantation is a method of replacing blood-forming cells destroyed by cancer treatment. Immature blood cells (stem cells) in the circulating blood that are similar to those in the bone marrow are given to the patient after treatment. This helps the bone marrow recover and continue producing healthy blood cells. Transplantation may be autologous (an individual's own blood cells saved earlier), allogeneic (blood cells donated by someone else), or syngeneic (blood cells donated by an identical twin). Also called peripheral stem cell support.

Peristalsis

Peristalsis is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles which propagates in a wave down the muscular tube, in an anterograde fashion. In humans, peristalsis is found in the contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract. Earthworms use a similar mechanism to drive their locomotion. The word is derived from New Latin and comes from the Greek peristallein, "to wrap around," from peri-, "around" + stallein, "to place".

Peritoneal cancer

Primary peritoneal cancer or carcinoma is also known as: serous surface papillary carcinoma, primary peritoneal carcinoma, extra-ovarian serous carcinoma, primary serous papillary carcinoma, psammomacarcinoma. It was historically classified under "carcinoma of unknown primary" (CUP). ("PPCa") is a cancer of the cells lining the peritoneum, or abdominal cavity.

Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia (also known as Biermer's anemia, Addison's anemia, or Addison–Biermer anemia) is one of many types of the larger family of megaloblastic anemias. It is caused by loss of gastric parietal cells, and subsequent inability to absorb vitamin B12.

Pertuzumab

Pertuzumab (also called 2C4, trade name Omnitarg) is a monoclonal antibody. The first of its class in a line of agents called "HER dimerization inhibitors". By binding to HER2, it inhibits the dimerization of HER2 with other HER receptors, which is hypothesized to result in slowed tumor growth. Pertuzumab is currently being developed by Genentech.

PET scan

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule. Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis. In modern scanners, three dimensional imaging is often accomplished with the aid of a CT X-ray scan performed on the patient during the same session, in the same machine.

Petechiae

A petechia is a small (1-2mm) red or purple spot on the body, caused by a minor hemorrhage (broken capillary blood vessels).

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome

Peutz–Jeghers syndrome, also known as hereditary intestinal polyposis syndrome, is an autosomal dominant genetic disease characterized by the development of benign hamartomatous polyps in the gastrointestinal tract and hyperpigmented macules on the lips and oral mucosa. Peutz–Jeghers syndrome has an incidence of approximately 1 in 25,000 to 300,000 births

Phagocyte

Phagocytes are the white blood cells that protect the body by ingesting (phagocytosing) harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells. Their name comes from the Greek phagein, "to eat" or "devour", and "-cyte", the suffix in biology denoting "cell", from the Greek kutos, "hollow vessel". They are essential for fighting infections and for subsequent immunity. Phagocytes are important throughout the animal kingdom and are highly developed within vertebrates. One litre of human blood contains about six billion phagocytes. Phagocytes were first discovered in 1882 by Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov while he was studying starfish larvae. Mechnikov was awarded the 1908 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery. Phagocytes occur in many species; some amoebae behave like macrophage phagocytes, which suggests that phagocytes appeared early in the evolution of life.

Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics, sometimes abbreviated as PK, (from Ancient Greek pharmakon "drug" and kinetikos "to do with motion"; see chemical kinetics) is a branch of pharmacology dedicated to the determination of the fate of substances administered externally to a living organism. In practice this discipline is applied mainly to drug substances, though in principle it concerns itself with all manner of compounds ingested or otherwise delivered externally to an organism, such as nutrients, metabolites, hormones, toxins, etc.

Phase I trial

Phase I trials are the first stage of testing in human subjects. Normally, a small (20-100) group of healthy volunteers will be selected. This phase includes trials designed to assess the safety (pharmacovigilance), tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of a drug. These trials are often conducted in an inpatient clinic, where the subject can be observed by full-time staff. The subject who receives the drug is usually observed until several half-lives of the drug have passed. Phase I trials also normally include dose-ranging, also called dose escalation, studies so that the appropriate dose for therapeutic use can be found. The tested range of doses will usually be a fraction of the dose that causes harm in animal testing. Phase I trials most often include healthy volunteers. However, there are some circumstances when real patients are used, such as patients who have terminal cancer or HIV and lack other treatment options. "The reason for conducting the trial is to discover the point at which a compound is too poisonous to administer." Volunteers are paid an inconvenience fee for their time spent in the volunteer centre. Pay ranges from a small amount of money for a short period of residence, to a larger amount of up to approx $6000 depending on length of participation.

Phase II trial

Once the initial safety of the study drug has been confirmed in Phase I trials, Phase II trials are performed on larger groups (20-300) and are designed to assess how well the drug works, as well as to continue Phase I safety assessments in a larger group of volunteers and patients. When the development process for a new drug fails, this usually occurs during Phase II trials when the drug is discovered not to work as planned, or to have toxic effects.

Phase III trial

Phase III studies are randomized controlled multicenter trials on large patient groups (300–3,000 or more depending upon the disease/medical condition studied) and are aimed at being the definitive assessment of how effective the drug is, in comparison with current 'gold standard' treatment. Because of their size and comparatively long duration, Phase III trials are the most expensive, time-consuming and difficult trials to design and run, especially in therapies for chronic medical conditions.

Phase IV trial

Phase IV trial is also known as Post-Marketing Surveillance Trial. Phase IV trials involve the safety surveillance (pharmacovigilance) and ongoing technical support of a drug after it receives permission to be sold. Phase IV studies may be required by regulatory authorities or may be undertaken by the sponsoring company for competitive (finding a new market for the drug) or other reasons (for example, the drug may not have been tested for interactions with other drugs, or on certain population groups such as pregnant women, who are unlikely to subject themselves to trials). The safety surveillance is designed to detect any rare or long-term adverse effects over a much larger patient population and longer time period than was possible during the Phase I-III clinical trials. Harmful effects discovered by Phase IV trials may result in a drug being no longer sold, or restricted to certain uses: recent examples involve cerivastatin (brand names Baycol and Lipobay), troglitazone (Rezulin) and rofecoxib (Vioxx).

Phenylacetate

Phenylacetic acid (abr. PAA and synonyms are: α-toluic acid, benzeneacetic acid, alpha tolylic acid, 2-phenylacetic acid) is an organic compound containing a phenyl functional group and a carboxylic acid functional group. It is a white solid with a disagreeable odor. Because it is used in the illicit production of phenylacetone (used in the manufacture of meth/amphetamines), it is subject to controls in the United States.

Phenylbutyrate

Sodium phenylbutyrate is an orphan drug, marketed by Ucyclyd Pharma (Hunt Valley, USA) under the trade name Buphenyl and by Swedish Orphan International (Sweden) as Ammonaps.

Pheochromocytoma

A pheochromocytoma or phaeochromocytoma (PCC) is a neuroendocrine tumor of the medulla of the adrenal glands (originating in the chromaffin cells), or extra-adrenal chromaffin tissue that failed to involute after birth and secretes excessive amounts of catecholamines, usually adrenaline (epinephrine) if in the adrenal gland and not extra-adrenal, and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). Extra-adrenal paragangliomas (often described as extra-adrenal pheochromocytomas) are closely related, though less common, tumors that originate in the ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system and are named based upon the primary anatomical site of origin.

Pheresis

Plasmapheresis (from the Greek πλάσμα - plasma, something molded, and ἀφαίρεσις - aphairesis, taking away) is the removal, treatment, and return of (components of) blood plasma from blood circulation. It is thus an extracorporeal therapy (a medical procedure which is performed outside the body). The method can also be used to collect plasma for further manufacturing into a variety of medications.

Philadelphia chromosome

Philadelphia chromosome or Philadelphia translocation is a specific chromosomal abnormality that is associated with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). It is the result of a reciprocal translocation between chromosome 9 and 22, and is specifically designated t(9;22)(q34;q11). The presence of this translocation is a highly sensitive test for CML, since 95% of people with CML have this abnormality (the remainder have either a cryptic translocation that is invisible on G-banded chromosome preparations, or a variant translocation involving another chromosome or chromosomes as well as the long arm of chromosomes 9 and 22). However, the presence of the Philadelphia (Ph) chromosome is not sufficiently specific to diagnose CML, since it is also found in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL, 25–30% in adult and 2–10% in pediatric cases) and occasionally in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

Photodynamic therapy

Photodynamic therapy (PDT), matured as a feasible medical technology in the 1980s at several institutions throughout the world, is used to eradicate premalignant and early-stage cancer and reduce the tumour size in end-stage cancers involving three key components: a photosensitizer, light (wavelength appropriate for the photosensitzer), and tissue oxygen. The light causes the photosensitizer to cause the oxygen to damage and kill the tissues exposed to the light.

Photothermal therapy

Photothermal therapy (PTT) is an experimental use of electromagnetic radiation (most often in the form of infrared) that is proposed to treat various medical conditions, including cancer. The basic model for its use is derived in part from photodynamic therapy, in which a photosensitizer is excited with specific band light. This activation brings the sensitizer to an excited state where it then releases vibrational energy (heat). The heat is the actual method of therapy that kills the targeted cells.

Photofrin

Porfimer sodium, sold as Photofrin, is a photosensitizer used in photodynamic therapy and radiation therapy and for palliative treatment of obstructing endobronchial non-small cell lung carcinoma and obstructing esophageal cancer.

Photopheresis

In medicine, photopheresis or extracorporeal photopheresis is a form of apheresis and photodynamic therapy in which blood is treated with photoactivable drugs which are then activated with ultraviolet light. Photopheresis is currently standard therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In this procedure, buffy coat (WBC + platelets) is separated from whole blood, chemically treated with 8-methoxypsoralen (instilled into collection bag or given per os in advance), exposed to ultraviolet light, and returned to the patient.

Phyllodes tumor

Phyllodes tumors (from Greek: phullon leaf), also cystosarcoma phyllodes, cystosarcoma phylloides and phylloides tumor, are typically large, fast growing masses that form from the periductal stromal cells of the breast. They account for less than 1% of all breast neoplasms.

Physician Data Query

Physician Data Query is the US National Cancer Institute's (NCI) comprehensive cancer database. It contains peer-reviewed summaries on cancer treatment, screening, prevention, genetics, and supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine; a registry of more than 6,000 open and 17,000 closed cancer clinical trials from around the world; and a directory of professionals who provide genetics services.

Phytic acid

Phytic acid (known as inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6), or phytate when in salt form) is the principal storage form of phosphorus in many plant tissues, especially bran and seeds. Phytate is not digestable to humans or nonruminant animals, however, so it is not a source of either inositol or phosphate if eaten directly. Morever, it chelates and thus makes unabsorbable certain important minor minerals such as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, also macro minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Phytoestrogen

Phytoestrogens are xenoestrogens which means foreign substances functioning as the primary female sex hormone (see estrogen) not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogonic plants. Also called "dietary estrogens", are a diverse group of naturally occurring nonsteroidal plant compounds that, because of their structural similarity with estradiol (17-β-estradiol), have the ability to cause estrogenic or/and antiestrogenic effects. The plants use the phytoestrogens as part of their natural defence against the overpopulation of the herbivore animals by controlling the male fertility .

Phytosterol

Phytosterols (also called plant sterols) are a group of steroid alcohols, phytochemicals naturally occurring in plants. Phytosterols occur naturally in small quantities in vegetable oils, especially sea buckthorn oil (1640 mg/100g oil), corn oil (968 mg/100g), and soybean oil (327 mg/100g oil). One such phytosterol complex, isolated from vegetable oil, is cholestatin, composed of campesterol, stigmasterol, and brassicasterol, and is marketed as a dietary supplement. They are white powders with mild, characteristic odor, insoluble in water and soluble in alcohols. They have applications in medicine and cosmetics and as a food additive taken to lower cholesterol.

Pilocarpine

Pilocarpine is a parasympathomimetic alkaloid obtained from the leaves of tropical American shrubs from the genus Pilocarpus. It is a non-selective muscarinic receptor agonist in the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts therapeutically at the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M3 due to its topical application, e.g., in glaucoma and xerostomia.

Pilocytic

Pilocytic astrocytoma or juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma or cystic cerebellar astrocytoma (and its variant juvenile pilomyxoid astrocytoma) is a neoplasm of the brain that occurs more often in children and young adults (in the first 20 years of life). They usually arise in the cerebellum, near the brainstem, hypothalamic region, or the optic chiasm, but they may occur in any area where astrocytes are present, including the cerebral hemispheres and the spinal cord. These tumors are usually slow growing. The neoplasms are associated with the formation of a single (or multiple) cyst(s), and can become very large.

Pineoblastoma

Pinealoblastoma is a tumor of the pineal gland. Retinoblastoma can be characterized as "bilateral" when it presents on both sides. It can also be characterized as "trilateral" when it presents with pinealoblastoma.

Pineocytoma

Pineocytoma, also known as a pinealocytoma, is a benign, slowly-growing tumor of the pineal gland. Unlike the similar condition pineal gland cyst, it is uncommon.

Piperacillin-tazobactam

Piperacillin is an extended spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic of the ureidopenicillin class. It is normally used together with a beta-lactamase inhibitor such as tazobactam. The combination drug of piperacillin and tazobactam is commercially available as e.g. Tazocin, Zosyn or Brodactam and as Trezora. The combination has activity against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens and anaerobes, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Pirfenidone

Pirfenidone is an experimental drug being developed by InterMune Inc. for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. As of May 2010, it is in Phase III clinical trials. The proposed trade name is Esbriet. In May 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve the use of pirfenidone for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, requesting additional clinical trials. On December 17, 2010 Intermune announced that an advisory panel to the European Medicines Agency recommended approval of the drug.

Pixantrone

Pixantrone (6,9-bis[(2-aminoethyl)amino]benzo[g]isoquinoline-5,10-dione; rINN) is an experimental antineoplastic drug, an analogue of mitoxantrone with less toxic effects on cardiac tissue. It acts as a topoisomerase II poison and intercalating agent. The code name BBR 2778 refers to pixantrone dimaleate, the actual substance commonly used in clinical trials.

Plasmacytoma

Plasmacytoma refers to a malignant plasma cell tumor growing within soft tissue or within the skeleton. The skeletal forms usually have other occult tumors and frequently disseminate to multiple myeloma over the course of 5–10 years. The soft tissue forms most often occur in the upper respiratory tract, rarely disseminate, and are cured by resection. Most but not all cases produce paraproteinemia. Solitary tumors in bone can be treated by radiotherapy.

Plasmapheresis

Plasmapheresis (from the Greek πλάσμα - plasma, something molded, and ἀφαίρεσις - aphairesis, taking away) is the removal, treatment, and return of (components of) blood plasma from blood circulation. It is thus an extracorporeal therapy (a medical procedure which is performed outside the body). The method can also be used to collect plasma for further manufacturing into a variety of medications.

Plenaxis

Abarelix is an injectable gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH antagonist). It is primarily used in oncology to reduce the amount of testosterone made in patients with advanced symptomatic prostate cancer for which no other treatment options are available. It belongs to the family of drugs called Gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists.

Pleomorphic

Pleomorphism is the occurrence of two or more structural forms during a life cycle, especially of certain plants.

Pleural effusion

Pleural effusion is excess fluid that accumulates in the pleura, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs. Excessive amounts of such fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs during respiration.

Pleurodesis

Pleurodesis is a medical procedure in which the pleural space is artificially obliterated. It involves the adhesion of the two pleura.

Plexiform neurofibroma

A solitary neurofibroma (also known as a "Plexiform neurofibroma," "Solitary nerve sheath tumor," and "Sporadic neurofibroma") may be 2 to 20mm in diameter, is soft, flaccid, and pinkish-white, and frequently this soft small tumor can be invaginated, as if through a ring in the skin by pressure with the finger, a maneuver called "button-holing."

Plexopathy

Plexopathy is a disorder affecting a network of nerves, blood vessels, or lymph vessels. The region of nerves it affects are at the brachial or lumbosacral plexus. Symptoms include pain, loss of motor control, and sensory deficits.

Ploidy

Ploidy is the number of sets of chromosomes in a biological cell. Human sex cells (sperm and egg) have one complete set of chromosomes from the male or female parent. Sex cells, also called gametes, combine to produce somatic cells. Somatic cells therefore have twice as many chromosomes. The haploid number (n) is the number of chromosomes in a gamete. A somatic cell has twice that many chromosomes (2n).

Plummer-Vinson syndrome

Plummer-Vinson syndrome (PVS), also called Paterson-Brown-Kelly syndrome or sideropenic dysphagia presents as a triad of dysphagia (due to esophageal webs), glossitis, and iron deficiency anemia. It most usually occurs in postmenopausal women.

Pluripotent

In cell biology, pluripotency refers to a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm (interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood, urogenital), or ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system). Pluripotent stem cells can give rise to any fetal or adult cell type. However, alone they cannot develop into a fetal or adult animal because they lack the potential to contribute to extraembryonic tissue, such as the placenta.

Pluripotent stem cell

In cell biology, pluripotency refers to a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers: endoderm (interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs), mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood, urogenital), or ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system). Pluripotent stem cells can give rise to any fetal or adult cell type. However, alone they cannot develop into a fetal or adult animal because they lack the potential to contribute to extraembryonic tissue, such as the placenta.

PNET

Primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET) is a neural crest tumor. It is a rare tumor, usually occurring in children under 10 years old. It has a survival rate of less than 40%.

Pneumonectomy

A pneumonectomy (or pneumectomy) is a surgical procedure to remove a lung. Removal of just one lobe of the lung is specifically referred to as a lobectomy, and that of a segment of the lung as a wedge resection (or segmentectomy).

Poly-ICLC

Poly ICLC is an immunostimulant. It consists of carboxymethylcellulose, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid, and poly-L-lysine double-stranded RNA. It is a ligand for toll like receptor-3.

Polymerase chain reaction

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a scientific technique in molecular biology to amplify a single or a few copies of a piece of DNA across several orders of magnitude, generating thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.

Polymorphism

Polymorphism in biology occurs when two or more clearly different phenotypes exist in the same population of a species — in other words, the occurrence of more than one form or morph. In order to be classified as such, morphs must occupy the same habitat at the same time and belong to a panmictic population (one with random mating).

Polyneuritis

Peripheral neuropathy is the term for damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which may be caused either by diseases of or trauma to the nerve or the side-effects of systemic illness.

Polyp

A polyp in zoology is one of two forms found in the phylum Cnidaria, the other being the medusa. Polyps are approximately cylindrical in shape and elongated at the axis of the body. In solitary polyps, the aboral end is attached to the substrate by means of a disc-like holdfast called the pedal disc, while in colonies of polyps it is connected to other polyps, either directly or indirectly. The oral end contains the mouth, and is surrounded by a circlet of tentacles.

Polypectomy

Polypectomy is the medical term for the removal of a polyp. Polypectomy can be performed by excision if the polyp is external (on the skin). Gastrointestinal polyps can be removed endoscopically through colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or surgically if the polyp is too large to be removed endoscopically.

Polyphenol

Polyphenols are a structural class of natural, synthetic, and semisynthetic organic chemicals characterized by the presence of large multiples of phenol units (right). The number and characteristics of these phenol substructures underlie the unique physical, chemical, and biologic (metabolic, toxic, therapeutic, etc.) properties of particular members of the class. The term polyphenol derives from poly-, from the ancient Greek word πολύς (polus, meaning "many, much") and the word phenol which refers to a chemical structure/substructure formed by attaching to an aromatic phenyl or benzenoid ring an alcohol-type hydroxyl (-OH) group (giving rise to the "-ol" suffix). The term "polyphenol" has been in use since 1894.

Polyphenon E

Polyphenon is the trademark applied to a series of high grade green tea polyphenol extracts manufactured by the Mitsui Norin Co., Ltd. of Japan. The extracts are in part the result of a water based extraction method which begins with green tea leaves, and then involves successive steps which concentrate the polyphenols catechins thought to be responsible for the health benefits of green tea.

Polyposis

A polyp is an abnormal growth of tissue projecting from a mucous membrane. If it is attached to the surface by a narrow elongated stalk it is said to be pedunculated. If no stalk is present it is said to be sessile. Polyps are commonly found in the colon, stomach, nose, sinus(es), urinary bladder and uterus. They may also occur elsewhere in the body where mucous membranes exist like the cervix and small intestine.

Pons/Pontine

Named after the Latin word for "bridge" or the 16th-century Italian anatomist and surgeon Costanzo Varolio (pons Varolii), the pons is a structure located on the brain stem. It is superior to (up from) the medulla oblongata, inferior to (down from) the midbrain, and ventral to (in front of) the cerebellum. In humans and other bipeds this means it is above the medulla, below the midbrain, and anterior to the cerebellum. This white matter includes tracts that conduct signals from the cerebrum down to the cerebellum and medulla, and tracts that carry the sensory signals up into the thalamus.

Porfimer sodium

Porfimer sodium, sold as Photofrin, is a photosensitizer used in photodynamic therapy and radiation therapy and for palliative treatment of obstructing endobronchial non-small cell lung carcinoma and obstructing esophageal cancer.

Port-a-cath

In medicine, a port (or portacath) is a small medical appliance that is installed beneath the skin. A catheter connects the port to a vein. Under the skin, the port has a septum through which drugs can be injected and blood samples can be drawn many times, usually with less discomfort for the patient than a more typical "needle stick".

Positive axillary lymph node

A positive axillary lymph node is a lymph node in the area of the armpit (axilla) to which cancer has spread. This spread is determined by surgically removing some of the lymph nodes and examining them under a microscope to see whether cancer cells are present.

Positron emission tomography scan

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique which produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule. Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis. In modern scanners, three dimensional imaging is often accomplished with the aid of a CT X-ray scan performed on the patient during the same session, in the same machine.

Precancerous/Premalignant

A precancerous condition (or premalignant condition) is a disease, syndrome, or finding that, if left untreated, may lead to cancer. It is a generalized state associated with a significantly increased risk of cancer.

Precancerous dermatitis/dermatosis

Bowen's disease (BD) (also known as "squamous cell carcinoma in situ") is a neoplastic skin disease, it can be considered as an early stage or intraepidermal form of squamous cell carcinoma. It was named after Dr John T. Bowen, the doctor who first described it in 1912. Erythroplasia of Queyrat is a form of squamous cell carcinoma in situ arising on the glans or prepuce, possibly induced by HPV.

Prednisolone

Prednisolone is the active metabolite of prednisone.

Prednisone

Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is particularly effective as an immunosuppressant drug. It is used to treat certain inflammatory diseases and (at higher doses) some types of cancer, but has significant adverse effects. Because it suppresses the immune system, it leaves patients more susceptible to infections.

Preleukemia

The myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS, formerly known as "preleukemia") are a diverse collection of hematological (blood-related) medical conditions that involve ineffective production (or dysplasia) of the myeloid class of blood cells. MDS has been found in humans, cats and dogs.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma

A primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL) is a primary intracranial tumor appearing mostly in patients with severe immunosuppression (typically patients with AIDS). PCNSLs represent around 20% of all cases of lymphomas in HIV infections (other types are Burkitt's lymphomas and immunoblastic lymphomas). Primary CNS lymphoma is highly associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection (> 90%) in immunodeficient patients (such as those with AIDS and those iatrogenically immunosuppressed), and does not have a predilection for any particular age group. Mean CD4+ count at time of diagnosis is ~50/uL.

Primary myelofibrosis

Myelofibrosis, also known as myeloid metaplasia, chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis, osteomyelofibrosis and primary myelofibrosis is a disorder of the bone marrow. It is currently classified as a myeloproliferative disease in which the proliferation of an abnormal type of bone marrow stem cell results in fibrosis, or the replacement of the marrow with collagenous connective tissue fibers.

Primary tumor

A primary tumor is a tumor growing at the anatomical site where tumor progression began and proceeded to yield a cancerous mass.

Pro-oxidant

Pro-oxidants are chemicals that induce oxidative stress, either through creating reactive oxygen species or inhibiting antioxidant systems. The oxidative stress produced by these chemicals can damage cells and tissues, for example an overdose of the analgesic paracetamol (acetaminophen) can cause fatal damage to the liver, partly through its production of reactive oxygen species.

Probenecid

Probenecid (Benuryl, Benemid, Probalan) is a uricosuric drug that increases uric acid excretion in the urine. It is primarily used in treating gout and hyperuricemia.

Procarbazine

Procarbazine (Matulane (US), Natulan (Canada), Indicarb (India) is an antineoplastic chemotherapy drug for the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma and certain brain cancers (such as Glioblastoma multiforme). It is a member of a group of medicines called alkylating agents. It gained FDA Approved in July 1969. The drug is metabolized and activated in the liver. It also inhibits MAO thus increasing the effects of sympathomimetics, TCAs, and tyramine.

Prochlorperazine

Prochlorperazine (Compazine, Stemzine, Buccastem, Stemetil, Phenotil) is a dopamine (D2) receptor antagonist that belongs to the phenothiazine class of antipsychotic agents that are used for the antiemetic treatment of nausea and vertigo. It is also a highly-potent typical antipsychotic, 10-20x more potent than chlorpromazine. It is also used to treat migraine headaches.

Proctoscopy

Proctoscopy is a common medical procedure in which an instrument called a proctoscope (also known as a rectoscope, although the latter may be a bit longer) is used to examine the anal cavity, rectum or sigmoid colon. A proctoscope is a short, straight, rigid, hollow metal tube, and usually has a small light bulb mounted at the end. It is approximately 5 inches or 15 cm long, while a rectoscope is approximately 10 inches or 25 cm long. During proctoscopy, the proctoscope is lubricated and inserted into the rectum, and then the obturator is removed, allowing an unobstructed view of the interior of the rectal cavity. This procedure is normally done to inspect for hemorrhoids or rectal polyps and might be mildly uncomfortable as the proctoscope is inserted further into the rectum. Modern fibre-optic proctoscopes allow more extensive observation with less discomfort.

Proctosigmoidoscopy

Sigmoidoscopy From Greek doscopy, to look inside, is the minimally invasive medical examination of the large intestine from the rectum through the last part of the colon. There are two types of sigmoidoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, which uses a flexible endoscope, and rigid sigmoidoscopy, which uses a rigid device. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is generally the preferred procedure. A sigmoidoscopy is similar to, but not the same as, a colonoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy only examines up to the sigmoid, the most distal part of the colon, while colonoscopy examines the whole large bowel.

Progression-free survival (PFS)

Progression-free survival or PFS is a term used to describe the length of time during and after medication or treatment during which the disease being treated (usually cancer) does not get worse. It is sometimes used as a metric to study health of a person with a disease to try to determine how well a new treatment is working.

Progressive disease

Progressive disease is a physical ailment whose natural course in most cases is the worsening, growth, or spread of the disease. This may happen until death, serious debility, or organ failure occurs. Though the time distinctions are imprecise, diseases can be rapidly progressive (typically days to weeks) or slowly progressive (months to years). Virtually all slowly progressive diseases are also chronic diseases in terms of time course; many of these are also referred to as degenerative diseases. Not all chronic diseases are progressive: a chronic, non-progressive disease may be referred to as a static condition.

Proliferative index

The proliferative index is a measure of the number of cells in a tumor that are dividing (proliferating). May be used with the S-phase fraction to give a more complete understanding of how fast a tumor is growing.

Prolymphocytic leukemia

Prolymphocytic leukemia is divided into two types according the kind of cell involved: B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia and T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia. It is usually classified as a kind of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Promegapoietin

Promegapoietin is a drug given during chemotherapy to increase blood cell regeneration. It is a colony-stimulating factor that stimulates megakaryocyte production.

Promyelocytic leukemia

Acute promyelocytic leukemia is a subtype of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. It is also known as acute progranulocytic leukemia; APL; AML with t(15;17)(q22;q12), PML-RARA and variants; FAB subtype M3 and M3 variant.

Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis (Greek "προφυλάσσω" to guard or prevent beforehand) is any medical or public health procedure whose purpose is to prevent, rather than treat or cure a disease. In general terms, prophylactic measures are divided between primary prophylaxis (to prevent the development of a disease) and secondary prophylaxis (whereby the disease has already developed and the patient is protected against worsening of this process).

Prospective cohort study

A prospective cohort study is a cohort study that follows over time a group of similar individuals (cohorts) who differ with respect to certain factors under study, to determine how these factors affect rates of a certain outcome. For example, one might follow a cohort of middle-aged truck drivers who vary in terms of smoking habits, to test the hypothesis that the 20-year incidence rate of lung cancer will be highest among heavy smokers, followed by moderate smokers, and then nonsmokers.

Prostate-specific antigen (test)

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. PSA is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer and in other prostate disorders. A blood test to measure PSA is considered the most effective test currently available for the early detection of prostate cancer, but this effectiveness has also been questioned.

Prostatectomy

A prostatectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the prostate gland. Abnormalities of the prostate, such as a tumour, or if the gland itself becomes enlarged for any reason, can restrict the normal flow of urine along the urethra.

Prostatic acid phosphatase

Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), also prostatic specific acid phosphatase (PSAP), is an enzyme produced by the prostate. It may be found in increased amounts in men who have prostate cancer or other diseases.

Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia

Prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) is a microscopic lesion in the prostate which is thought to be a precursor to prostate cancer. It is often found in tissue samples or operation specimens of the prostate. PIN itself does not invade the surrounding tissue, neither does it form a tumor mass or cause any symptoms. PIN may disappear, remain unchanged, or progress to prostate cancer, often over as many as ten years. The magnitude of the risk for prostate cancer in men with PIN and the optimal follow-up stategy remain controversial.

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland, in men. A prostatitis diagnosis is assigned at 8% of all urologist and 1% of all primary care physician visits in the United States.

Protease inhibitor

Protease inhibitors (PIs) are a class of drugs used to treat or prevent infection by viruses, including HIV and Hepatitis C. PIs prevent viral replication by inhibiting the activity of proteases, e.g.HIV-1 protease, enzymes used by the viruses to cleave nascent proteins for final assembly of new virons.

Protein kinase C

Protein kinase C also known as PKC (EC 2.7.11.13) is a family of enzymes that are involved in controlling the function of other proteins through the phosphorylation of hydroxyl groups of serine and threonine amino acid residues on these proteins. PKC enzymes in turn are activated by signals such as increases in the concentration of diacylglycerol or Ca2+. Hence PKC enzymes play important roles in several signal transduction cascades.

Proteoglycan

Proteoglycans are glycoproteins that are heavily glycosylated. The basic proteoglycan unit consists of a "core protein" with one or more covalently attached glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chain(s). The point of attachment is a Ser residue to which the glycosaminoglycan is joined through a tetrasaccharide bridge (For example: chondroitin sulfate-GlcA-Gal-Gal-Xyl-PROTEIN). The Ser residue is generally in the sequence -Ser-Gly-X-Gly- (where X can be any amino acid residue), although not every protein with this sequence has an attached glycosaminoglycan. The chains are long, linear carbohydrate polymers that are negatively charged under physiological conditions, due to the occurrence of sulfate and uronic acid groups. Proteoglycans occur in the connective tissue.

Proteomics

Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells. The term "proteomics" was first coined in 1997 to make an analogy with genomics, the study of the genes. The word "proteome" is a blend of "protein" and "genome", and was coined by Marc Wilkins in 1994 while working on the concept as a PhD student. The proteome is the entire complement of proteins, including the modifications made to a particular set of proteins, produced by an organism or system. This will vary with time and distinct requirements, or stresses, that a cell or organism undergoes.

PS-341

Bortezomib (INN, originally codenamed PS-341; marketed as Velcade by Millennium Pharmaceuticals) is the first therapeutic proteasome inhibitor to be tested in humans. It is approved in the U.S. for treating relapsed multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma. In multiple myeloma, complete clinical responses have been obtained in patients with otherwise refractory or rapidly advancing disease.

PSA

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. PSA is present in small quantities in the serum of men with healthy prostates, but is often elevated in the presence of prostate cancer and in other prostate disorders. A blood test to measure PSA is considered the most effective test currently available for the early detection of prostate cancer, but this effectiveness has also been questioned.

Psammoma body

A psammoma body is a round collection of calcium, seen microscopically. The term is derived from the Greek word psammos meaning "sand."

Pseudomyxoma peritonei

Pseudomyxoma Peritonei is an uncommon tumor known for its production of mucin in the abdominal cavity. If left untreated, mucin will eventually build up to the point where it compresses vital structures: the colon, the liver, kidneys,stomach, spleen, pancreas, etc.

Psoralen

Psoralen (also called psoralene) is the parent compound in a family of natural products known as furocoumarins. It is structurally related to coumarin by the addition of a fused furan ring, and may be considered as a derivative of umbelliferone. Psoralen occurs naturally in the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia, as well as in the common Fig, celery, parsley and West Indian satinwood. It is widely used in PUVA (=Psoralen +UVA) treatment for psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Many furocoumarins are extremely toxic to fish, and some are indeed used in streams in Indonesia to catch fish.

Ptosis

Ptosis (from the Greek word πτῶσις "falling, a fall") refers to droopiness of a body part. Specifically, it can refer to:

  • Ptosis (eyelid) (the most common usage of the term)
  • Ptosis (breasts)
  • Enteroptosis (intestine)
  • Gastroptosis (stomach)
  • Nephroptosis or renal ptosis (kidney)
  • Visceroptosis (internal organs)

Pulmonary sulcus tumor

A Pancoast tumor, also called a pulmonary sulcus tumor or superior sulcus tumor, is a tumor of the pulmonary apex. It is a type of lung cancer defined primarily by its location situated at the top end of either the right or left lung. It typically spreads to nearby tissues such as the ribs and vertebrae. Most Pancoast tumors are non-small cell cancers.

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Published - April 2011







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