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ESMO Patient Guides COVID19 1000x250

1p19q-codeleted (tumour)

A brain tumour that has a combined loss of the short arm of chromosome 1 and the long arm of chromosome 19. Tumours that are 1p19q-codeleted tend to respond better to chemotherapy than 1p19q-intact tumours

1p19q-intact (tumour)

A brain tumour that does not have a combined loss of the short arm of chromosome 1 and the long arm of chromosome 19. Tumours that are 1p19q-intact tend to respond less well to chemotherapy than 1p19q-codeleted tumours

Adjuvant (treatment)

Additional treatment given after the primary treatment to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back; usually refers to radiotherapy and/or systemic therapy after surgery

Alkylating (chemotherapy)

A type of chemotherapy that interferes with the cell's DNA and inhibits cancer cell growth

Anaplastic

Cancer cells that divide rapidly and have little or no resemblance to normal cells

Astrocytoma

A tumour that begins in the brain or spinal cord in small, star-shaped cells called astrocytes

Biopsy

A medical procedure in which a small sample of cells or tissue is taken for examination under a microscope

Concurrent

At the same time

Coronavirus

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

COVID-19

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

Chemotherapy

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

Chromosome

The part of a cell that contains genetic information

DNA

The chemical that carries genetic information in the cells of your body

Dyspnoea

Shortness of breath

Ependymoma

A type of brain tumour that forms in cells lining the spinal cord central canal or the fluid-filled spaces of the brain

Gene

Piece of DNA responsible for making substances that the body needs to function

Glioblastoma

A fast-growing type of brain tumour that forms from glial cells, which surround and support nerve cells

Glioma

A type of brain tumour that begins in glial cells, which surround and support nerve cells

Grade

Cancer grade is based on how different tumour cells look from normal cells under a microscope, and on how quickly they grow. The grade will be a value between one and three and reflects the aggressiveness of tumour cells; the higher the grade, the more aggressive the tumour

Immune system

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

Intrathecal

Administered into the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord

Intravenous

Administered into a vein

Immunosuppressive drugs

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

Immunotherapy

A type of cancer treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight the cancer

Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-mutant (tumour)

A brain tumour that has a mutation in an IDH gene. IDH-mutant tumours tend to be less aggressive than IDH-wild type tumours

Isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-wild type (tumour)

A brain tumour that does not have a mutation in an IDH gene. IDH-wild type tumours tend to be more aggressive than IDH-mutant tumours

Lymphocyte

A type of white blood cell that forms part of our immune system

Lymphoma

A type of blood cancer that develops in a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes

Medulloblastoma

A fast-growing type of cancer that forms in the cerebellum, which is in the low, back part of the brain

Meningioma

A slow-growing type of cancer that forms in the thin layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord (meninges)

Methotrexate

A type of chemotherapy that is administered through a drip into a vein in your arm or chest, or orally

MGMT promoter methylation

A process by which the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase gene is altered. This process makes tumours more susceptible to treatment with chemotherapy

Mutation

A permanent alteration in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene, such that the sequence differs from what is found in most people and alters the function of the related protein

Non-contrast enhancing (tumour)

A brain tumour that does not break down the blood-brain barrier and may not be fully visible on imaging, as the contrast agent used for imaging cannot flow into the brain

Oligodendroglioma

A rare, slow-growing tumour that begins in oligodendrocytes, which are cells that cover and protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord

Pandemic

A disease that is prevalent around the world

Radiotherapy

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

Recurrence

Return of a cancer

Resection

Surgery to remove tissue

Steroid

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

Systemic (therapy)

Drugs that spread throughout the body to treat cancer cells wherever they may be. They include chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy

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

Temozolomide

A type of chemotherapy that is administered orally

Tumour

A lump or growth of abnormal cells. Tumours may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). In this guide, the term ‘tumour’ refers to a cancerous growth, unless otherwise stated

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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