Glossary Terms

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A specific, distinct molecular alteration(s) within cancer cells that is/are necessary for cellular transformation, proliferation, and/or metastasis. It can be due, for example, to either a gene mutation(s) (gain or loss of function, or loss of product) or amplification of a gene (increasing the concentration of the product within the cells), or chimeric gene function resulting from translocation.

Targeted (Cancer) Therapy

Targeted cancer therapies use drugs that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in carcinogenesis (the process by which normal cells become cancer cells) and tumor growth.

Translational Research

Translation of novel findings obtained from basic research laboratories into testable hypotheses for evaluation in clinical trials in human subjects.

Tumor Board Review

A treatment planning approach in which a number of doctors who are experts in different specialties (disciplines) review and discuss the medical condition and treatment options of a patient. In cancer treatment, a tumor board review may include that of a medical oncologist (who provides cancer treatment with drugs), a surgical oncologist (who provides cancer treatment with surgery), and a radiation oncologist (who provides cancer treatment with radiation). Also called multidisciplinary opinion.

Tumor Checkpoint

A small, autoregulated module comprising one or more master regulator (MR) proteins, the concerted activity of which is both necessary and sufficient for the implementation and maintenance of a tumor cell state.

Tumor Suppressor Gene

A gene that codes for a protein that plays a role in regulating cell growth. When tumor suppressors are mutated or altered to be non-functional, especially in combination with mutations in other proteins, cancer may initiate or progress.