apoptosis – Or programmed cell death, is a normal component of the development and health of multicellular organisms. During apoptosis, cells die in response to a variety of stimuli in a controlled, regulated fashion. This makes apoptosis distinct from another form of cell death, called necrosis, in which uncontrolled cell death leads to lysis of cells and inflammatory responses.
cancer stem cells – Rare populations of malignant cells believed to be responsible for the growth, recurrence and metastasis of tumors.
myeloproliferative disease – A disease of the bone marrow in which excess cells are produced. Also called myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN).
neutropenia – A condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell).
oligonucleotide – A short chain of nucleotides, the molecules that when joined together make up the structural units of DNA and RNA.
pharmacodynamics – The effects of drugs and their mechanisms of action in the body.
pharmacokinetics – The movement of drugs in the body over a period of time, including the processes by which drugs are absorbed, distributed in the body, metabolized, and excreted.
quiescent cell – A cell that is not at that time undergoing repeated cell division cycles but that might be stimulated to do so later.
relapse – A relapse is when cancer returns after a period of improvement.
senescence – Cell aging process of normal cells.
somatic cell – Any of the cells in the body that compose the tissues, organs, and parts of that individual other than the germ cells (cells which form the gametes, e.g. ova and sperm).
synergistic – In medicine, describes the interaction of two or more drugs when their combined effect is greater than the sum of the effects seen when each drug is given alone.
telomerase – An enzyme that enables cells to replicate indefinitely. Telomerase is highly active in the majority of cancers and is critical for tumor growth, but is not present in most normal cells.
thrombocytopenia – A condition in which there is a lower-than-normal number of platelets in the blood. It may result in easy bruising and excessive bleeding from wounds or bleeding in mucous membranes and other tissues.
thrombocytosis – The presence of high platelet counts in the blood. Also called thrombocythemia.
xenograft model – Transplant of cells, tissues or organs to another species, e.g. human tumor cells in a rat.