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

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






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Waldenström macroglobulinemia

Waldenström's macroglobulinemia (WM, also known as lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma) is cancer involving a subtype of white blood cells called lymphocytes. The main attributing antibody is IgM. It is a type of lymphoproliferative disease, and shares clinical characteristics with the indolent non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

It is named after the Swedish physician Jan G. Waldenström, who first identified the condition.

warfarin

Warfarin (also known under the brand names Coumadin, Jantoven, Marevan, Lawarin, and Waran) is an anticoagulant. It was initially marketed as a pesticide against rats and mice and is still popular for this purpose, although more potent poisons such as brodifacoum have since been developed. A few years after its introduction, warfarin was found to be effective and relatively safe for preventing thrombosis and embolism (abnormal formation and migration of blood clots) in many disorders. It was approved for use as a medication in the early 1950s and has remained popular ever since; warfarin is the most widely prescribed anticoagulant drug in North America.

Despite its effectiveness, treatment with warfarin has several shortcomings. Many commonly used medications interact with warfarin, as do some foods (particularly fresh plant-based foods containing vitamin K), and its activity has to be monitored by blood testing for the international normalized ratio (INR) to ensure an adequate yet safe dose is taken.

Warfarin and related 4-hydroxycoumarin-containing molecules decrease blood coagulation by inhibiting vitamin K epoxide reductase, an enzyme that recycles oxidized vitamin K to its reduced form after it has participated in the carboxylation of several blood coagulation proteins, mainly prothrombin and factor VII. For this reason, drugs in this class are also referred to as vitamin K antagonists. When administered, these drugs do not anticoagulate blood immediately. Instead, onset of their effect requires about a day before clotting factors being normally made by the liver have time to naturally disappear in metabolism, and the duration of action of a single dose of racemic warfarin is 2 to 5 days. Under normal pharmacological therapy the drugs are administered to decrease the action of the clotting factors they affect by 30 to 50%.

Warfarin is a synthetic derivative of dicoumarol, a 4-hydroxycoumarin-derived mycotoxin anticoagulant originally discovered in spoiled sweet clover-based animal feeds. Dicoumarol, in turn, is derived from coumarin, a sweet-smelling but coagulation-inactive chemical found naturally in sweet clover and many other plants. The name warfarin stems from its discovery at the University of Wisconsin, incorporating the acronym for the organization which funded the key research (WARF, for Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) and the ending -arin, indicating its link with coumarin.

wedge resection

Wedge resection is a surgical procedure to remove a triangle-shaped slice of tissue. It may be used to remove a tumor or some other type of tissue that requires removal and typically includes a small amount of normal tissue around it. It is easy to repair, does not greatly distort the shape of the underlying organ and leaves just a single stitch line as a residual.

Wermer's 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.

Whipple procedure

A pancreaticoduodenectomy, pancreatoduodenectomy, Whipple procedure, or Kausch-Whipple procedure, is a major surgical operation involving the pancreas, duodenum, and other organs. This operation is performed to treat cancerous tumours on the head of the pancreas, malignant tumors involving common bile duct or duodenum near the pancreas.

white blood cell

White blood cells, or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes," "leuco-" being Greek for white), are cells of the immune system involved in defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.

The number of WBCs in the blood is often an indicator of disease. There are normally between 4×109 and 1.1×1010 white blood cells in a litre of blood, making up approximately 1% of blood in a healthy adult. An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is called leukocytosis, and a decrease below the lower limit is called leukopenia. The physical properties of leukocytes, such as volume, conductivity, and granularity, may change due to activation, the presence of immature cells, or the presence of malignant leukocytes in leukemia.

Whitmore-Jewett staging system

ABCD rating, also called the Jewett staging system or the Whitmore-Jewett staging system, is a staging system for prostate cancer that uses the letters A, B, C, and D.

  • "A" and "B" refer to cancer that is confined to the prostate.
  • "C" refers to cancer that has grown out of the prostate but has not spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body.
  • "D" refers to cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or to other places in the body.
  • Wilms' tumor

    Wilms' tumor or Wilms' tumour (see spelling differences) or nephroblastoma is cancer of the kidneys that typically occurs in children, rarely in adults. Its common name is an eponym, referring to Dr. Max Wilms, the German surgeon (1867–1918) who first described this kind of tumor.

    Approximately 500 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. The majority (75%) occurs in otherwise normal children; a minority (25%) is associated with other developmental abnormalities. It is highly responsive to treatment, with about 90% of patients surviving at least five years.

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    Published - April 2011







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