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ESMO Patient Guides COVID19 1000x250

Autologous stem cell transplant

A medical procedure to replace stem cells that have been damaged or destroyed with healthy stem cells taken from the bloodstream of the patient prior to starting chemotherapy or radiotherapy


A type of cancer treatment using medicine that kills the cancer cells by damaging them so that they cannot reproduce and spread


A group of viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds but may also affect humans


A disease caused by a type of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2


A type of targeted therapy. It is a type of monoclonal antibody and is administered through a drip into a vein in your arm or chest


A synthetic steroid used in the treatment of some types of cancer. It is administered orally

First-line (treatment)

The initial treatment given to a patient

Growth factors

A type of drug used to increase the production of white blood cells in order to reduce the risk of infection

Immune system

The organs and processes of the body that help to prevent and fight off infections

Immunosuppressive drugs

Types of drugs that suppress or reduce the strength of the body's immune system

Induction therapy

Initial treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy before a second planned treatment

Intravenous immunoglobulin

A substance made from antibodies that have been taken from the blood of many healthy donors, which is used to help prevent infections in patients who have had a stem cell or organ transplant. It is administered through a drip into a vein in your arm or chest


A type of targeted therapy that is thought to work in several ways. It is administered orally

Maintenance therapy

Treatment that is given to help keep cancer from coming back after it has disappeared following the initial therapy


An abnormally low level of neutrophils in the blood, which increases risk of infection


A type of white blood cell that play an important role in fighting off infection


A drug that is given to prevent disease


Treatment involving the use of high-energy radiation, which is commonly used to treat cancer

Refractory (disease)

A disease that does not respond to treatment


Treatment plan

Relapsed (disease)

A disease that has returned after a period of improvement


A disappearance of the signs and symptoms of cancer

Stem cells

Cells that can develop into many different cell types


A type of drug used to relieve swelling and inflammation. Some steroid drugs also have antitumour effects

Targeted therapy

A type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to precisely identify and attack cancer cells, usually while doing little damage to normal cells

White blood cells

A type of blood cell that is part of the body’s immune system. White blood cells help the body fight infections

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