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

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






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M protein

M protein is a virulence factor that can be produced by certain species of Streptococcus. M protein is strongly anti-phagocytic and is a major virulence factor. It binds to serum factor H, destroying C3 convertase and preventing opsonization by C3b. However plasma B cells can generate antibodies against M protein which will help in opsonization and further off destruction of the microorganism by the macrophages and neutrophilis. Cross-reactivity of anti-M protein antibodies with heart muscle is the basis for rheumatic fever.

Macroglobulinemia

Macroglobulinemia is the presence of increased levels of macroglobulins in the circulating blood. A plasma cell dyscrasia resembling leukemia with cells of lymphocytic, plasmacytic, or intermediate morphology, which secrete an immunoglobulin M monoclonal component. There is diffuse infiltration of bone marrow and also, in many cases, of the spleen, liver, or lymph nodes. The circulating macroglobulin produces symptoms of hyperviscosity syndrome: weakness, fatigue, bleeding disorders, and visual disturbances. Peak incidence is in the sixth and seventh decades. (Dorland, 28th ed)

Macrophage

Macrophages (Greek: big eaters, from makros "large" + phagein "eat"; abbr. MΦ) are white blood cells produced by the differentiation of monocytes in tissues. Human macrophages are about 21 micrometres (0.00083 in) in diameter. Monocytes and macrophages are phagocytes. Macrophages function in both non-specific defense (innate immunity) as well as help initiate specific defense mechanisms (adaptive immunity) of vertebrate animals. Their role is to phagocytose (engulf and then digest) cellular debris and pathogens, either as stationary or as mobile cells. They also stimulate lymphocytes and other immune cells to respond to pathogens.

Mafosfamide

Mafosfamide (INN) is an oxazaphosphorine (cyclophosphamide-like) alkylating agent under investigation as a chemotherapeutic. Several Phase I trials have been completed.

Magnetic resonance imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures. MRI makes use of the property of Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to image nuclei of atoms inside the body.

Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging

Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging is a noninvasive imaging method that provides information about cellular activity (metabolic information). It is used along with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which provides information about the shape and size of the tumor (spatial information). Also called 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging.

Magnetic-targeted carrier

Magnetic-targeted carriers are tiny beads made from particles of iron and carbon that can be attached to an anticancer drug. A magnet applied from outside the body then can direct the drug to the tumor site. This can keep a larger dose of the drug at the tumor site for a longer period of time, and help protect healthy tissue from the side effects of chemotherapy.

Maintenance therapy

Maintenance therapy is a medical therapy that is designed to help a primary treatment succeed. For example, maintenance chemotherapy may be given to people who have a cancer in remission in an attempt to prevent a relapse. This form of treatment is also a common approach for the management of many incurable, chronic diseases such as periodontal disease, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Malabsorption syndrome

Malabsorption is a state arising from abnormality in absorption of food nutrients across the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Malignancy/Malignant

Malignancy (from the Latin roots mal- = "bad" and -ignis = "fire") is the tendency of a medical condition, especially tumors, to become progressively worse and to potentially result in death. Malignancy in cancers is characterized by anaplasia, invasiveness, and metastasis. Malignant is a corresponding adjectival medical term used to describe a severe and progressively worsening disease. The term is most familiar as a description of cancer. A malignant tumor may be contrasted with a non-cancerous benign tumor in that a malignancy is not self-limited in its growth, is capable of invading into adjacent tissues, and may be capable of spreading to distant tissues (metastasizing), while a benign tumor has none of those properties.

Malignant ascites

Malignant ascites is a condition in which fluid containing cancer cells collects in the abdomen. Generally the condition is treated with paracentesis to drain the excess fluid, but it can be treated with home drainage catheters like Bard Access Systems' Aspira Drainage System.

Malignant fibrous cytoma

Malignant fibrous cytoma is a soft tissue sarcoma that usually occurs in the limbs, most commonly the legs, and may also occur in the abdomen. Also called malignant fibrous histiocytoma.

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma

Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) is a type of soft tissue sarcoma that has been regarded as the most common soft tissue sarcoma of late adult life, most commonly occurring between age 50-70. Currently, most authorities question whether it should be considered a distinct entity. In rare cases MFH does occur in children, but it is usually in a less aggressive form. However, malignant tumors have occurred in children as young as 13. It occurs more often in Caucasians than those of African or Asian descent. Its male:female predominance is 2:1.

Malignant meningioma

Malignant meningioma is a rare, fast-growing tumor that forms in one of the inner layers of the meninges (thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord). Malignant meningioma often spreads to other areas of the body.

Malignant mesothelioma

Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor

A malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (also known as "Malignant schwannoma," "Neurofibrosarcoma," and "Neurosarcoma") is a form of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding nerves. Given its origin and behavior it is classified as a sarcoma. About half the cases are diagnosed in people with neurofibromatosis; the lifetime risk for an MPNST in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 is 8-13%. MPNST with rhabdomyoblastomatous component are called Malignant triton tumors.

Malondialdehyde

Malondialdehyde is the organic compound with the formula CH2(CHO)2. The structure of this species is more complex than this formula suggests. This reactive species occurs naturally and is a marker for oxidative stress.

MALT lymphoma

MALT lymphoma (MALToma) is a form of lymphoma involving the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), frequently of the stomach, but virtually any mucosal site can be afflicted. It is a cancer originating from B cells in the marginal zone of the MALT, and is also called extranodal marginal zone B cell lymphoma.

Mammary

A mammary gland is an organ in mammals that produces milk to feed young offspring. It is an exocrine gland that is an enlarged and modified sweat gland, and gives mammals their name. In ruminants such as cows, goats, and deer, the mammary glands are contained in their udders. The mammary glands of other mammals that have more than two breasts, such as dogs and cats, are sometimes called dugs.

Mammogram/Mammography

Mammography is the process of using low-dose amplitude-X-rays (usually around 0.7 mSv) to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. Mammography is believed to reduce mortality from breast cancer. Remaining aware of breast changes and physician examination are considered essential parts of regular breast care.

Mammotome

A mammotome is a vacuum assisted breast biopsy device that uses image guidance such as x-ray, ultrasound and/or MRI to perform breast biopsies. A Mammotome biopsy can be done on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic, removes only a small amount of healthy tissue, and doesn't require sutures (stitches) because the incision is very small.

Marimastat

Marimastat was a proposed antineoplastic drug developed by British Biotech. It acted as a broad-spectrum matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor.

Mast cell

A mast cell (also known as mastocyte and labrocyte) is a resident cell of several types of tissues and contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin. Although best known for their role in allergy and anaphylaxis, mast cells play an important protective role as well, being intimately involved in wound healing and defense against pathogens.

Mastectomy

In medicine, mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. Mastectomy is usually done to treat breast cancer; in some cases, women and some men believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, to prevent cancer rather than treat it. It is also the medical procedure carried out to remove breast cancer tissue in males. Alternatively, certain patients can choose to have a wide local excision, also known as a lumpectomy, an operation in which a small volume of breast tissue containing the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue is removed to conserve the breast. Both mastectomy and lumpectomy are what are referred to as "local therapies" for breast cancer, targeting the area of the tumor, as opposed to systemic therapies such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or immunotherapy.

Mastocytoma

A mastocytoma or mast cell tumor is a type of tumor consisting of mast cells. It is found in humans and many animal species; in human medicine it also can refer to an accumulation or nodule of mast cells that resembles a tumor.

Matrix metalloproteinase

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are zinc-dependent endopeptidases; other family members are adamalysins, serralysins, and astacins. The MMPs belong to a larger family of proteases known as the metzincin superfamily.

Mechlorethamine

Mechlorethamine also known as chlormethine, mustine and HN2 is a nitrogen mustard sold under the brand name Mustargen. It is the prototype of alkylating agents, a group of anticancer chemotherapeutic drug. It works by binding to DNA, crosslinking two strands and preventing cell duplication. It binds to the N7 nitrogen on the DNA base guanine. As the chemical is a blister agent, its use is strongly restricted within the Chemical Weapons Convention where it is classified as a Schedule 1 substance.

MEDI-507

Siplizumab (MEDI-507) is a novel monoclonal antibody with a human IgG1, kappa directed to CD2. The agent has shown potent immunomodulatory effects, selectively suppressing the function of T and NK cells, and is currently being tested as a possible treatment for psoriasis and in the prevention of graft-versus-host disease.

Medial supraclavicular lymph node

A medial supraclavicular lymph node is a lymph node located above the collar bone and between the center of the body and a line drawn through the nipple to the shoulder.

Median survival time

Estimators that are commonly used to describe prognoses include:

  • Progression-free survival - the length of time during and after medication or treatment during which the disease being treated (usually cancer) does not get worse.
  • Survival rate - indicating the percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive for a given period of time after diagnosis.
  • Survival time - the remaining duration of life. If not else specified, it is generally starting from the time of diagnosis.

Mediastinal pleura

Different portions of the parietal pleura have received special names which indicate their position: thus, that portion which lines the inner surfaces of the ribs and Intercostales is the costal pleura; that clothing the convex surface of the diaphragm is the diaphragmatic pleura; that which rises into the neck, over the summit of the lung, is the cupula of the pleura (cervical pleura); and that which is applied to the other thoracic viscera is the mediastinal pleura.

Mediastinoscopy

Mediastinoscopy is a procedure that enables visualization of the contents of the mediastinum, usually for the purpose of obtaining a biopsy. Mediastinoscopy is often used for staging of lymph nodes of lung cancer or for diagnosing other conditions affecting structures in the mediastinum such as sarcoidosis or lymphoma.

Mediastinum

The mediastinum is a non-delineated group of structures in the thorax, surrounded by loose connective tissue. It is the central compartment of the thoracic cavity. It contains the heart, the great vessels of the heart, esophagus, trachea, phrenic nerve, cardiac nerve, thoracic duct, thymus, and lymph nodes of the central chest.

Medroxyprogesterone

Medroxyprogesterone (MP) is a pregnane that acts as a progestin. An acylated derivative, medroxyprogesterone 17-acetate (MPA) is clinically used as a drug. Compared to MPA, MP is approximately 100 fold less potent as a progestin. MP is also a metabolite of MPA.

Medullary breast carcinoma

Medullary breast carcinoma is a rare type of breast cancer that often can be treated successfully. It is marked by lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) in and around the tumor that can be seen when viewed under a microscope.

Medullary thyroid cancer

Medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is a form of thyroid carcinoma which originates from the parafollicular cells (C cells), which produce the hormone calcitonin.

Medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant primary brain tumor that originates in the cerebellum or posterior fossa.

Megestrol

Megestrol is a progesterone derivative with antineoplastic properties used in the treatment of advanced carcinoma of the breast and endometrium. When given in relatively high doses, Megestrol can substantially increase appetite in most individuals, even those with advanced cancer. It is also used to boost appetite in individuals with other cancers or HIV/AIDS.

Meiosis

Meiosis is a special type of cell division necessary for sexual reproduction. In animals, meiosis produces gametes like sperm and egg cells, while in other organisms like fungi it generates spores. Meiosis begins with one diploid cell containing two copies of each chromosome—one from the organism's mother and one from its father—and produces four haploid cells containing one copy of each chromosome. Each of the resulting chromosomes in the gamete cells is a unique mixture of maternal and paternal DNA, ensuring that offspring are genetically distinct from either parent. This gives rise to genetic diversity in sexually reproducing populations, which enables them to adapt during the course of evolution.

Melanocyte

Melanocytes are melanin-producing cells located in the bottom layer (the stratum basale) of the skin's epidermis, the middle layer of the eye (the uvea), the inner ear, meninges, bones, and heart. Melanin is a pigment that is responsible primarily for the color of skin.

Melanoma

Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can occur in any part of the body that contains melanocytes.

Melanoma vaccine

The term cancer vaccine refers to a vaccine that either prevents infections with cancer-causing viruses, treats existing cancer or prevents the development of cancer in certain high risk individuals. (The ones that treat existing cancer are known as therapeutic cancer vaccines.)different types of cancer

Melphalan

Melphalan hydrochloride (trade name Alkeran) is a chemotherapy drug belonging to the class of nitrogen mustard alkylating agents.

MEN1 syndrome

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1 syndrome) or Wermer's syndrome is part of a group of disorders that affect the endocrine system.

Meningioma

Meningiomas are the second most common primary neoplasm of the central nervous system, arising from the arachnoid "cap" cells of the arachnoid villi in the meninges. These tumors are usually benign in nature; however, they can be malignant.

Menopausal hormone therapy

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a system of medical treatment for surgically menopausal, perimenopausal and to a lesser extent postmenopausal women. It is based on the idea that the treatment may prevent discomfort caused by diminished circulating estrogen and progesterone hormones. It involves the use of one or more of a group of medications designed to artificially boost hormone levels. The main types of hormones involved are estrogens, progesterone or progestins, and sometimes testosterone. It often referred to as "treatment" rather than therapy.

Mercaptopurine

Mercaptopurine (also called 6-mercaptopurine, 6-MP or its brand name Purinethol) is an immunosuppressive drug.

Mercury

Mercury, also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum, is a chemical element with the symbol Hg (Latinized Greek: hydrargyrum, from "hydr-" meaning watery or runny and "argyros" meaning silver) and atomic number 80. Mercury is the only metal that is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure; the only other element that is liquid under these conditions is bromine. With a freezing point of −38.83 °C and boiling point of 356.73 °C, mercury has one of the broadest ranges of its liquid state of any metal. A heavy, silvery d-block metal, mercury is also one of the five metallic chemical elements that are liquid at or near room temperature and pressure, the others being caesium, francium, gallium, and rubidium.

Merkel cell cancer

Merkel cell carcinoma (also known as a "Cutaneous apudoma," "Primary neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin," "Primary small cell carcinoma of the skin," and "Trabecular carcinoma of the skin" ) is a rare and highly aggressive cancer in which malignant cancer cells develop on or just beneath the skin and in hair follicles.

Mesenchymal

Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including: osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells) and adipocytes (fat cells). This has been shown in ex vivo cultures and in vitro or in vivo.

Mesna

Mesna (INN) is an organosulfur compound. It is used in cancer chemotherapy involving cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide as an adjuvant. It is marketed by Baxter as Uromitexan and Mesnex. MESNA is an acronym for 2-Mercaptoethane sulfonate Na (Na being the symbol for sodium).

Mesonephroma

Clear cell adenocarcinoma or mesonephroma is a rare type of adenocarcinoma. It usually affects cells in the female genital tract. Vaginal clear cell adenoma is common in women in their late teens and early 20's whose mothers took diethylstilbestrol (DES) during pregnancy.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

Metaplasia

Metaplasia (Greek: "change in form") is the reversible replacement of one differentiated cell type with another mature differentiated cell type. The change from one type of cell to another may generally be a part of normal maturation process or caused by some sort of abnormal stimulus. In simplistic terms, it is as if the original cells are not robust enough to withstand the new environment, and so they change into another type more suited to the new environment. If the stimulus that caused metaplasia is removed or ceases, tissues return to their normal pattern of differentiation. Metaplasia is not synonymous with dysplasia and is not directly considered carcinogenic. It is also contrasted with heteroplasia, which is the abnormal growth of cytologic and histologic elements without a stimulus.

Metaplastic carcinoma

Metaplastic carcinoma is a general term used to describe cancer that begins in cells that have changed into another cell type (for example, a squamous cell of the esophagus changing to resemble a cell of the stomach). In some cases, metaplastic changes alone may mean there is an increased chance of cancer developing at the site.

Metastasectomy

In oncology, metastasectomy is the surgical removal of metastases, which are secondary cancerous growths that have spread from cancer originating in another organ in the body.

Metastasis/Metastatic cancer

Metastasis, or metastatic disease (sometimes abbreviated mets), is the spread of a disease from one organ or part to another non-adjacent organ or part. It was previously thought that only malignant tumor cells and infections have the capacity to metastasize; however, this is being reconsidered due to new research. The word metastasis means "displacement" in Greek, from μετά, meta, "next", and στάσις, stasis, "placement". The plural is metastases.

Meteorism

Tympanites (from the Greek τύμπανο, "drum"), also known as meteorism, is a medical condition in which excess gas accumulates in the gastrointestinal tract.

Methotrexate

Methotrexate (rINN), abbreviated MTX and formerly known as amethopterin, is an antimetabolite and antifolate drug. It is used in treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, ectopic pregnancy, and for the induction of medical abortions. It acts by inhibiting the metabolism of folic acid. Methotrexate began to replace the more toxic antifolate aminopterin starting in the 1950s. The drug was developed by Yellapragada Subbarao.

Methoxsalen

Methoxsalen (also called xanthotoxin, marketed under the trade names Oxsoralen, Deltasoralen, Meladinine) is a drug used to treat psoriasis, eczema, vitiligo, and some cutaneous Lymphomas in conjunction with exposing the skin to sunlight. Methoxsalen is extracted from Ammi majus, a plant of the family Apiaceae. Methoxsalen modifies the way skin cells receive the UVA radiation, allegedly clearing up the disease. The dosage comes in 10 mg tablets, which are taken in the amount of 30 mg 75 minutes before a PUVA (psoralen + UVA) light treatment. The substance is also present in other Apiaceae as well as Rutaceae, for example bergamot oil which is used in many perfumes and aromatherapy oils.

Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta

Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta is the active ingredient of a drug marketed by Hoffmann-La Roche under the brand name Mircera. Mircera is a long-acting erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) indicated for the treatment of patients with anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease. It is the first approved, chemically-modified erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA). Mircera is supplied as a solution in pre-filled syringes for intravenous or subcutaneous administration. Mircera was approved for use in Europe in July 2007 by the European Commission, in September 2007 by the Swissmedic, and in November 2007 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States.

Methylphenidate

Methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, or Methylin) is a psychostimulant drug approved for treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and narcolepsy. It may also be prescribed for off-label use in treatment-resistant cases of lethargy, depression, neural insult and obesity.

Methylprednisolone

Methylprednisolone is a synthetic glucocorticoid or corticosteroid drug. It is marketed in the USA and Canada under the brand names Medrol and Solu-Medrol. It is also available as a generic drug.

Metoclopramide

Metoclopramide (INN) is an antiemetic and gastroprokinetic agent. Thus it is primarily used to treat nausea and vomiting, and to facilitate gastric emptying in patients with gastroparesis. It is also a primary treatment for migraine headaches.

Metronidazole

Metronidazole (INN) is a nitroimidazole antibiotic medication used particularly for anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. Metronidazole is an antibiotic, amebicide, and antiprotozoal. It is the drug of choice for first episodes of mild-to-moderate Clostridium difficile infection. It is marketed by Pfizer under the trade name Flagyl in the US, by Sanofi-Aventis globally under the same tradename Flagyl, in Pakistan and Bangladesh it is also available with the brand name of Nidagyl manufactured and marketed by Star Laboratories. In Thailand it is marketed as Mepagyl by Thai Nakhorn Patana. They are also marketed in UK by Milpharm Limited and Almus Pharmaceuticals. Metronidazole was developed in 1960.

Mexican valerian

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Valerianaceae) is a hardy perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers which bloom in the summer months. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the sixteenth century.

Microcalcification

Microcalcifications are tiny specks of mineral deposits (calcium), that can be scattered throughout the mammary gland, or occur in clusters. When found on a mammogram, a radiologist will then decide whether the specks are of concern - usually, this is not the case. Commonly, they simply indicate the presence of tiny benign cysts, but can signify the presence of early breast cancer; for this reason, it is important to attend regular screening sessions, as recommended by your health service.

Micrometastases

Micrometastasis is a form of metastasis (the spread of a cancer from its original location to other sites in the body) in which the newly formed tumors are too minuscule to be detected

Micromolar

In chemistry, the molar concentration, ci is defined as the amount of a constituent ni divided by the volume of the mixture V - Ci=Ni/V. It is also called molarity, amount-of-substance concentration, amount concentration, substance concentration, or simply concentration. The SI-unit is mol/m3. However, more commonly the unit mol/L is used. A solution of concentration 1 mol/L is also denoted as "1 molar" (1 M).

Microsatellite

Microsatellites, also known as Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) or short tandem repeats (STRs), are repeating sequences of 1-6 base pairs of DNA.

Microsatellite instability

Microsatellites are repeated sequences of DNA. Although the length of these microsatellites is highly variable from person to person, each individual has microsatellites of a set length. These repeated sequences are common, and normal. The most common microsatellite in humans is a dinucleotide repeat of CA, which occurs tens of thousands of times across the genome.

Microstaging

Microstaging is a technique used to help determine the stage (extent) of melanoma and certain squamous cell cancers. A sample of skin that contains tumor tissue is examined under a microscope to find out how thick the tumor is and/or how deeply the tumor has grown into the skin or connective tissues.

Microwave therapy/thermotherapy

Microwave thermotherapy, also called microwave therapy, is a type of treatment in which body tissue is heated by microwave irradiation to damage and kill cancer cells or to make cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation and certain anticancer drugs.

Mifepristone

Mifepristone is a synthetic steroid compound used as a pharmaceutical. It is a progesterone receptor antagonist used as an abortifacient in the first two months of pregnancy, and in smaller doses as an emergency contraceptive. During early trials, it was known as RU-486, its designation at the Roussel Uclaf company, which designed the drug. The drug was initially made available in France, and other countries then followed—often amid controversy. It is marketed under tradenames Mifegyne and Mifeprex.

Miraluma test

Scintimammography is a type of breast imaging test that is used to detect cancer cells in the breasts of some women who have had abnormal mammograms, or who have dense breast tissue, but is not used for screening or in place of a mammogram. In this test, a woman receives an injection of a small amount of a radioactive substance called technetium 99, which is taken up by cancer cells, and a gamma camera is used to take pictures of the breasts. Also called a Miraluma test and sestamibi breast imaging.

Misoprostol

Misoprostol is a drug that is used for the prevention of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced gastric ulcers, for early abortion, to treat missed miscarriage, and to induce labor. The latter use is controversial in the United States. Misoprostol was invented and marketed by G.D. Searle & Company (now Pfizer) under the trade name Cytotec (often misspelled Cyotec), but other brand-name and generic formulations are now available as well.

Mitochondria

In cell biology, a mitochondrion (plural mitochondria) is a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells. These organelles range from 0.5 to 10 micrometers (μm) in diameter. Mitochondria are sometimes described as "cellular power plants" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy. In addition to supplying cellular energy, mitochondria are involved in a range of other processes, such as signaling, cellular differentiation, cell death, as well as the control of the cell cycle and cell growth. Mitochondria have been implicated in several human diseases, including mitochondrial disorders and cardiac dysfunction, and may play a role in the aging process. The word mitochondrion comes from the Greek μίτος or mitos, thread + χονδρίον or chondrion, granule.

Mitomycin

The mitomycins are a family of aziridine-containing natural products isolated from Streptomyces caespitosus or Streptomyces lavendulae. One of these compounds, mitomycin C, finds use as a chemotherapeutic agent by virtue of its antitumour antibiotic activity. It is given intravenously to treat upper gastro-intestinal (e.g. esophageal carcinoma), anal cancers, and breast cancers, as well as by bladder instillation for superficial bladder tumours. It causes delayed bone marrow toxicity and therefore it is usually administered at 6-weekly intervals. Prolonged use may result in permanent bone-marrow damage. It may also cause lung fibrosis and renal damage.

Mitosis

Mitosis is the process by which a eukaryotic cell separates the chromosomes in its cell nucleus into two identical sets in two nuclei. It is generally followed immediately by cytokinesis, which divides the nuclei, cytoplasm, organelles and cell membrane into two cells containing roughly equal shares of these cellular components. Mitosis and cytokinesis together define the mitotic (M) phase of the cell cycle—the division of the mother cell into two daughter cells, genetically identical to each other and to their parent cell. This accounts for approximately 10% of the cell cycle.

Mitotane

Mitotane, or o,p'-DDD, is an antineoplastic medication used in the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma. It is an isomer of DDD and is a derivative of DDT. Its main use is in those patients who have persistent disease despite surgical resection, those who are not surgical candidates, or those who have metastatic disease.

Mitotic index

Mitotic index is a measure for the proliferation status of a cell population. It is defined as the ratio between the number of cells in mitosis and the total number of cells. Cells in the cell cycle can be identified using antibodies against the nuclear antigen Ki-67. The mitotic index can be worked out from a slide, even with light microscopy. It is the number of cells containing visible chromosomes divided by the total number of cells in the field of view.

Mitotic inhibitor

A mitotic inhibitor is a drug that inhibits mitosis, or cell division. These drugs disrupt microtubules, which are structures that pull the cell apart when it divides. Mitotic inhibitors are used in cancer treatment, because cancer cells are able to grow and eventually spread through the body (metastasize) through continuous mitotic division and so are more sensitive to inhibition of mitosis than normal cells. Mitotic inhibitors are also used in cytogenetics (the study of chromosomes), where they stop cell division at a stage where chromosomes can be easily examined.

Mitoxantrone

Mitoxantrone is an anthracenedione (not an anthracycline) antineoplastic agent.

Mixed glioma

A glioma is a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine. It is called a glioma because it arises from glial cells. The most common site of gliomas is the brain.

Modafinil

Modafinil (Provigil, Alertec, Modavigil, Modalert, Modiodal, Modafinilo, Carim, Vigia) is an analeptic drug manufactured by Cephalon, and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. The European Medicines Agency has recommended that in Europe it be prescribed only for narcolepsy.

Modality

Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body (or parts and function thereof) for clinical purposes (medical procedures seeking to reveal, diagnose or examine disease) or medical science (including the study of normal anatomy and physiology). Although imaging of removed organs and tissues can be performed for medical reasons, such procedures are not usually referred to as medical imaging, but rather are a part of pathology.

Mohs surgery

Mohs surgery, also known as chemosurgery, created by a general surgeon, Dr. Frederic E. Mohs, is microscopically controlled surgery used to treat common types of skin cancer. It is one of the many methods of obtaining complete margin control during removal of a skin cancer (CCPDMA – complete circumferential peripheral and deep margin assessment.) using frozen section histology. CCPDMA or Mohs surgery allows for the removal of a skin cancer with very narrow surgical margin and a high cure rate.

Molar pregnancy

Molar pregnancy is an abnormal form of pregnancy, wherein a non-viable, fertilized egg implants in the uterus, and thereby converts normal pregnancy processes into pathological ones. It is characterized by the presence of a hydatidiform mole (or hydatid mole, mola hydatidosa). Molar pregnancies are categorized into partial and complete moles.

Molecular risk assessment

Molecular risk assessment is a procedure in which biomarkers (for example, biological molecules or changes in tumor cell DNA) are used to estimate a person's risk for developing cancer. Specific biomarkers may be linked to particular types of cancer.

Monoclonal antibody

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb or moAb) are monospecific antibodies that are the same because they are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell.

Monocyte

Monocyte is a type of white blood cell and is part of the human body's immune system. Monocytes play multiple roles in immune function. Such roles include: (1) replenish resident macrophages and dendritic cells under normal states, and (2) in response to inflammation signals, monocytes can move quickly (approx. 8-12 hours) to sites of infection in the tissues and divide/differentiate into macrophages and dendritic cells to elicit an immune response. Half of them are stored in the spleen. Monocytes are usually identified in stained smears by their large kidney shaped or notched nucleus.

Morinda citrifolia

Morinda citrifolia, commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India) , dog dumpling (Barbados), mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia), Kumudu (Balinese), pace (Javanese), beach mulberry, cheese fruit or noni (from Hawaiian) is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Morinda citrifolia is native from Southeast Asia to Australia and is now distributed throughout the tropics.

Morphology

In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features.

Motexafin gadolinium

Motexafin gadolinium (proposed tradename Xcytrin) is an inhibitor of thioredoxin reductase and ribonucleotide reductase. It has been proposed as a possible chemotherapeutic agent in the treatment of brain cancer.

Moxifloxacin

Moxifloxacin is a fourth-generation synthetic fluoroquinolone antibacterial agent developed by Bayer AG (initially called BAY 12-8039). It is marketed worldwide (as the hydrochloride) under the brand names Avelox, Avalox, and Avelon for oral treatment. In most countries, the drug is also available in parenteral form for intravenous infusion. Moxifloxacin is also sold in an ophthalmic solution (eye drops) under the brand name Vigamox for the treatment of conjunctivitis (pink eye).

MPNST

A malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (also known as "Malignant schwannoma," "Neurofibrosarcoma," and "Neurosarcoma") is a form of cancer of the connective tissue surrounding nerves. Given its origin and behavior it is classified as a sarcoma. About half the cases are diagnosed in people with neurofibromatosis; the lifetime risk for an MPNST in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 is 8-13%. MPNST with rhabdomyoblastomatous component are called Malignant triton tumors.

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI), or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures. MRI makes use of the property of Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to image nuclei of atoms inside the body.

MRSI

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is used to measure the levels of different metabolites in body tissues. The MR signal produces a spectrum of resonances that correspond to different molecular arrangements of the isotope being "excited". This signature is used to diagnose certain metabolic disorders, especially those affecting the brain, and to provide information on tumor metabolism.

MS-275

Entinostat, also known as SNDX-275 and MS-275, is a benzamide histone deacetylase inhibitor undergoing clinical trials for treatment of various cancers.

Mucinous carcinoma

Mucinous carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs and skin, and produce mucin (the main component of mucus).

Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma

MALT lymphoma (MALToma) is a form of lymphoma involving the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT), frequently of the stomach, but virtually any mucosal site can be afflicted. It is a cancer originating from B cells in the marginal zone of the MALT, and is also called extranodal marginal zone B cell lymphoma.

Müllerian tumor

A malignant mixed Müllerian tumor, also known as malignant mixed mesodermal tumor, MMMT and carcinosarcoma, is a malignant neoplasm found in the uterus , the ovaries, the fallopian tubes and other parts of the body that contains both carcinomatous (epithelial tissue) and sarcomatous (connective tissue) components. It is divided into two types, homologous (in which the sarcomatous component is made of tissues found in the uterus such as endometrial, fibrous and/or smooth muscle tissues) and a heterologous type (made up of tissues not found in the uterus, such as cartilage, skeletal muscle and/or bone). MMMT account for between two and five percent of all tumors derived from the body of the uterus, and are found predominantly in postmenopausal women with an average age of 66 years. Risk factors are similar to those of adenocarcinomas and include obesity, exogenous estrogen therapies, and nulliparity. Less well-understood but potential risk factors include tamoxifen therapy and pelvic irradiation.

Multidrug resistance

Multiple drug resistance or Multidrug resistance is a condition enabling a disease-causing organism to resist distinct drugs or chemicals of a wide variety of structure and function targeted at eradicating the organism. Organisms that display multidrug resistance can be pathologic cells, including bacterial and neoplastic (tumor) cells.

Multiple endocrine adenomatosis/neoplasia syndrome

The term multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) encompasses several distinct syndromes featuring tumors of endocrine glands, each with its own characteristic pattern. In some cases, the tumors are malignant, in others, benign. Benign or malignant tumors of nonendocrine tissues occur as components of some of these tumor syndromes.

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1 syndrome) or Wermer's syndrome is part of a group of disorders that affect the endocrine system.

Multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma (from Greek myelo-, bone marrow), also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler's disease (after Otto Kahler), is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for the production of antibodies. Collections of abnormal cells accumulate in bones, where they cause bone lesions, and in the bone marrow where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Most cases of myeloma also feature the production of a paraprotein, an abnormal antibody that can cause kidney problems and interferes with the production of normal antibodies leading to immunodeficiency. Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels) are often encountered.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (abbreviated MS, also known as disseminated sclerosis or encephalomyelitis disseminata) is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, and it is more common in women. It has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot.

Muromonab-CD3 monoclonal antibody

Muromonab-CD3 (trade name Orthoclone OKT3, marketed by Janssen-Cilag) is an immunosuppressant drug given to reduce acute rejection in patients with organ transplants. It is a monoclonal antibody targeted at the CD3 receptor, a membrane protein on the surface of T cells. It was the first monoclonal antibody to be approved for clinical use in humans.

Musculoskeletal

A musculoskeletal system (also known as the locomotor system) is an organ system that gives animals (including humans) the ability to move using the muscular and skeletal systems. The musculoskeletal system provides form, support, stability, and movement to the body.

Mycophenolate mofetil

Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)(CellCept by Roche) is a immunosuppressant and prodrug of mycophenolic acid, used extensively in transplant medicine. Its mode of action is as a reversible inhibitor of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) in purine biosynthesis. MMF is selective for the de novo pathway critical to lymphocytic proliferation and activation. Other cells are able to recover purines via a separate, scavenger, pathway and are thus able to escape the effect. It is a useful alternative to azathioprine when Aza toxicity precludes use.

Mycosis fungoides

Mycosis fungoides (also known as Alibert-Bazin syndrome or granuloma fungoides), is the most common form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It generally affects the skin, but may progress internally over time.

Mycostatin

Nystatin is a polyene antifungal drug to which many molds and yeast infections are sensitive, including Candida. Due to its toxicity profile, there are currently no injectable formulations of this drug on the US market. However, nystatin may be safely given orally as well as applied topically due to its minimal absorption through mucocutaneous membranes such as the gut and the skin.

Myelin

sms Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, the myelin sheath, usually around only the axon of a neuron. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Myelin is an outgrowth of a glial cell. The production of the myelin sheath is called myelination. The production of myelin occurs in the fourteenth week of fetal development, while very little amounts of myelin exist in the brain at the time of birth. During infancy myelination occurs quickly and does not stop until the adolescent stages of life. Because of this rapid myelination, it is essential that children under the age of two receive a diet higher in fats than one of an adult.

Myeloablation

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the transplantation of multipotent hematopoietic stem cell or blood, often derived from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood or hemopoietic stem cells derived from a placenta. Stem cell transplantation is a medical procedure in the fields of hematology and oncology, most often performed for people with diseases of the blood, bone marrow, or certain cancer.

Myelodysplasia/Myelodysplastic syndrome

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.

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.

Myelogram

Myelography is a type of radiographic examination that uses a contrast medium to detect pathology of the spinal cord, including the location of a spinal cord injury, cysts, and tumors. The procedure often involves injection of contrast medium into the cervical or lumbar spine, followed by several X-ray projections. A myelogram may help to find the cause of pain not found by an MRI or CT.

Myeloid

The term myeloid suggests an origin in the bone marrow or spinal cord, or a resemblance to the marrow or spinal cord.

Myeloma

Multiple myeloma (from Greek myelo-, bone marrow), also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler's disease (after Otto Kahler), is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell normally responsible for the production of antibodies. Collections of abnormal cells accumulate in bones, where they cause bone lesions, and in the bone marrow where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. Most cases of myeloma also feature the production of a paraprotein, an abnormal antibody that can cause kidney problems and interferes with the production of normal antibodies leading to immunodeficiency. Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels) are often encountered.

Myeloproliferative disorder

The myeloproliferative diseases ("MPD"s) are a group of diseases of the bone marrow in which excess cells are produced. They are related to, and may evolve into, myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia, although the myeloproliferative diseases on the whole have a much better prognosis than these conditions. The concept of myeloproliferative disease was first proposed in 1951 by the eminent hematologist William Dameshek. In the most recent World Health Organization classification of Hematologic malignancies, this group of diseases was renamed from "myeloproliferative diseases" to "myeloproliferative neoplasms". This reflects the underlying clonal genetic changes that are a salient feature of this group of disease.

Myelosclerosis with myeloid metaplasia

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.

Myelosuppression

Bone marrow suppression or myelotoxicity (adjective myelotoxic) or myelosuppression is a serious side effect of chemotherapy and certain drugs affecting the immune system such as azathioprine. The risk is especially high in cytotoxic chemotherapy for leukemia.

Myometrium

The myometrium is the middle layer of the uterine wall, consisting mainly of uterine smooth muscle cells (also called uterine myocytes), but also of supporting stromal and vascular tissue. Its main function is to induce uterine contractions.

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Published - April 2011







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