Glossary C

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CAB (complete androgen blockade): see CHT

cachexia: physical wasting with loss of weight and muscle mass caused by disease

calcification: impregnation with calcium or calcium salts. Also called calcareous infiltration

calcitriol: (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol) a hormone related to vitamin D that is synthesized in the liver and kidney and stimulates the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus

calcitonin: a hormone produced by the thyroid that plays a role in regulating calcium levels

cancer: the growth of abnormal cells in the body in an uncontrolled manner; unlike benign tumors, these tend to invade surrounding tissues, and spread to distant sites of the body via the blood stream and lymphatic system

CaP: cancer of the prostate; also PC, PCa

capecitabine (trade name Xeloda®): a drug first used to treat metastatic breast cancer in patients who had not responded well to chemotherapy. In some patients, capecitabine helps shrink tumor size by killing cancer

capsular penetration: tumor extends through the wall of the prostate

capsule: the fibrous tissue that acts as an outer lining of the prostate

CaPSURE™: (Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor) is a longitudinal observational study of prostate cancer patients nationwide.

carboplatin:a platinum based compound that is used as a cancer chemotherapeutic agent

carcinoembryonic: relating to a carcinoma-associated substance present in embryonic tissue, as a carcinoembryonic antigen

carcinogen, adj. carcinogenic: a cancer-causing substance or agent

carcinogenesis: the process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells

carcinoma: a form of cancer that originates in tissues that line or cover a particular organ;  See adenocarcinoma

cardiovascular: referring to the heart and blood vessels

carotenoid: orange, yellow or red-colored accessory photosynthetic pigments, related to vitamin A, found in higher plants and photosynthetic bacteria

Casodex®: brand or trade name of bicalutamide in the USA, a non-steroidal antiandrogen

castrate: a level associated with what occurs after castration; traditionally surgical removal of the testicles; a castrate testosterone is defined by most physicians as less than 20 ng/ml or less than 0.69 nM/L; (nM/L x 28.8 = ng/dl)

castration: the use of surgical or chemical techniques to eliminate testosterone produced by the testes

castration-resistant prostate cancer: progression of disease with serum testosterone controlled below a castrate level

CAT Scan (CT or computerized axial tomography): is a method of combining images from multiple x-rays under the control of a computer to produce cross-sectional or three-dimensional pictures of the internal organs which can be used to identify abnormalities; the CAT scan can identify prostate enlargement but is not always effective for assessing the stage of prostate cancer; for evaluating metastases of the lymph nodes or more distant soft tissue sites, the CAT scan is significantly more accurate

catalyst: a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction, without being consumed or produced by the reaction

catheter: a hollow (usually flexible plastic) tube which can be used to drain fluids from or inject fluids into the body; in the case of prostate cancer, it is common for patients to have a transurethral catheter to drain urine for some time after treatment by surgery or some forms of radiation therapy

caudal: a position more toward the tail, than some point of reference

cauterize, cauterization: sear with heat or a caustic substance

cavernous nerves: nerves that facilitate penile erection

CBC: complete blood count; includes the white blood count (WBC), hematocrit (HCT) and the platelet count (PLT). See our paper Laboratory Tests Defined

CDK-1 (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor): a regulator of cell growth; an enzyme inhibitor

CDUS (color-flow Doppler ultrasound): an ultrasound method that more clearly images tumors by observing the Doppler shift in sound waves caused by the rapid flow of blood through tiny blood vessels that are characteristic of tumors

CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen): a fetal antigen or protein that may be expressed by PC that is aggressive and often androgen independent

celecoxib (Celebrex®): an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and pain; it has also been reported to block Akt function and cause the death of human prostate cancer cell lines.

cell-mediated immunity: Immunity dependent upon T-cells’ recognition of an antigen and their subsequent destruction of cells bearing the antigen

centigray (cGy): 1/100 of a Gray

CGA: chromogranin A; a small cell prostate cancer or neuroendocrine cell marker; a progressive increase in CGA indicates an aggressive clone of PC cells that often metastasizes to lymph nodes, liver and lungs

CHB (combination hormone blockade): also referred to as CHT, MAB, TAB or ADT (androgen deprivation therapy); therapy  usually involving an LHRH agonist and an antiandrogen; may involve other agents such as Proscar® or prolactin inhibitors such as Dostinex®; preferred term is ADT with number attached to show number of agents e.g. ADT3 (Flutamide®, Lupron®, Proscar®) or ADT3 (FLP)

chemoprevention: the use of a pharmaceutical or other substance to prevent the development of cancer

chemotherapeutic: related to the use of chemotherapy

chemotherapy: the use of pharmaceuticals or other chemicals to kill cancer cells; in many cases chemotherapeutic agents kill not only cancer cells but also other cells in the body, which makes such agents potentially very dangerous

cholesterol: substance found in animal fats and in the human body that helps absorb and move fatty acids: cholesterol deposits can clog blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis

choline: a B-complex vitamin that is a constituent of lecithin; essential in the metabolism of fat

chromatin: the material in the center of the cell (nucleus) that forms chromosomes

chromosome: a threadlike linear strand of DNA and associated proteins in the nucleus of cells that carries the genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information

chronic: referring to a disease or condition that develops slowly and persists over a long period of time

CHT (combined hormonal therapy): the use of more than one variety of hormone therapy; especially the use of LHRH analogs (e.g., Lupron®, Zoladex®) to block the production of testosterone by the testes, plus antiandrogens (e.g., Casodex® (bicalutamide), Eulexin® (flutamide), Anandron® (nilutamide), or Androcur® (cyproterone)) to compete with DHT and with T (testosterone) for cell androgen receptors thereby depriving cancer cells of DHT and T needed for growth; also referred to as CHB, MAB, TAB; the preferred term is ADT

ciprofloxacin (trade name Cipro®): an antibiotic used in various infections including urinary tract infections (UTI) and prostatitis

circadian rhythm: a daily rhythmic activity cycle based on a 24 hour interval

citrate: a salt or ester of citric acid

clearance: the removal of a substance from the blood by excretion into the urine through the kidneys

clinical, clinically: involving or based on direct observation of the patient

clinical stage: staging of prostate cancer as determined by the digital rectal examination. See our Clinical Stage Paper.

clinical trial: a carefully planned process by which researchers evaluate experimental new therapies and drugs through an orderly series of phases. Phase I trials evaluate how a new therapy or drug should be given, how often, and what dose is safe. Phase II trials continue to test safety but also begin to evaluate how well it works. Phase III trials test a new therapy or drug in comparison to the current standard of care. Participants are randomly assigned to the standard or new therapy. A placebo is only used when there is no standard therapy for comparison. Placebos are not used in Phase I or II. Phase IV trials are required when a drug manufacturer wishes to test an approved therapy for a different condition or with a different formulation. See Clinical Trials in Resource Section.

clinicopathological: relating to or concerned both with the signs and symptoms directly observable by the physician and with the results of laboratory examination

coagulate: change from liquid to solid, ex. blood clotting

coalesce: to grow together or unite into one

coaptation: joining together or fitting of two surfaces

cognitive: of, relating to, or being conscious intellectual activity (as thinking, reasoning, remembering, imagining, or learning words)

cohort: a group of individuals having a statistical factor (as age or risk) in common

collagen: a protein consisting of bundles of tiny fibers that form connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, bones and cartilage

collimator: A device used to define the size and shape of a radiation beam in radiation therapy treatment machines; A collimator typically consists of large blocks of heavy metals, such as steel or tungsten, moved by mechanical motors to define rectangular fields; see IMRT

colon: the part of the large intestine that extends to the rectum

color Doppler ultrasound (CDU): an ultrasound imaging technology utilizing sound waves that can simultaneously show blood flow superimposed on detailed gray scale anatomic images – “power Doppler” and “tissue harmonic” are enhancements to basic CDU. See our paper Color Doppler and Tissue Harmonic Ultrasound

colorectal: relating to the colon and rectum, or to the entire large bowel (large intestine)

colostomy: a surgical opening in the abdomen to bypass a portion of the colon

Combidex: (also called Ferumoxtran-10) – an investigational imaging agent consisting of iron oxide nanoparticles used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to aid in the differentiation of cancerous from normal lymph nodes. See our paper.

combined therapy: see CHT or CHB; ADT with designation ADT1 vs ADT2 or ADT3 is preferred since this communicates the number of drugs used in the androgen deprivation therapy; ADT also more clearly communicates the mechanism of this form of treatment

comorbidity: a condition that exists along with and usually independently of another medical condition

complete response (CR): total disappearance of all evidence of disease using physical examination, laboratory studies and radiologic imaging; a criterion for evaluating the efficacy of a particular anti-cancer therapy; also see partial response

complexed PSA: PSA molecules which are bound to a protease inhibitor such as a1-antichymotrypsin

complication: an unexpected or unwanted effect of a treatment, pharmaceutical or other procedure

concordance: the agreement in findings that support the accuracy of a particular investigation or treatment; concordance is a critical concept in studies to diagnose, stage and treat PC

conformal therapy: the use of careful planning and delivery techniques designed to focus external radiation on the areas of the prostate and surrounding tissue which need treatment and protect areas which do not need treatment; three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3DCRT) is a sophisticated form of this method

conformality: see “Conformal Therapy”; pertaining to the ability to achieve conformal therapy.

contracture: scarring which can occur at the bladder neck after a radical prostatectomy and which results in narrowing of the urethra coming from the bladder; same as stricture

contraindication: any condition which renders some particular line of treatment improper or undesirable

control group: participants in a clinical trial who are receiving placebo or current standard of care for comparison to those receiving the new therapy being evaluated

COQ10 ( coenzyme Q10): important in cardiac function; a substance that energizes the mitochondria within the heart cells and allows them to function better; an anti-oxidant that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation

core: a tissue sample removed during biopsy

coronal: an imaging plane bisecting the body into top and bottom parts perpendicular (rotated 90°) to the long axis of the human body

corpora cavernosa: two cavities in the upper portion of a man's penis that fill with blood when he is sexually excited, giving the organ the stiffness required for intercourse

corpus spongiosum: a spongy chamber in the lower portion of a man's penis that surrounds the urethra and fills with blood when he is sexually excited, providing additional stiffness required for intercourse

cortex: the outer layer of an organ, usually surrounding an inner section; the cortex of the prostate gland is also called a capsule

cortisol: a hormone from the outer layer of the adrenal glands

Cowper's glands: A pair of pea-sized glands that lie beneath the prostate gland, named after the English surgeon William Cowper (1660-1709). Cowper's glands secrete an alkaline fluid that forms part of the semen. This fluid neutralizes the acidic environment of the urethra, thereby protecting the sperm

Cox-2 inhibitor: drugs for inflammation that selectively block the COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) enzyme

creatine: a compound which is made by the body and is used to store energy in the form of phosphate molecules

creatine kinase: any of three enzymes found especially in skeletal and heart muscle and the brain that accelerate the transfer of a high-energy phosphate group and typically occur in elevated levels in the blood following injury to brain or muscle tissue

creatinine: a chemical substance resulting from the metabolism of creatine, that is found in muscle tissue and blood; creatinine is normally excreted in the urine as a metabolic waste; when elevated in the blood it indicates impairment of kidney function

cryoablation: see cryosurgery

cryoprobe: a surgical instrument used to apply extreme cold to tissues during cryosurgery

cryosurgery: the use of liquid nitrogen probes to freeze a particular organ to extremely low temperatures to kill the tissue, including any cancerous tissue;  When used to treat prostate cancer, the cryoprobes are guided by transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). See our paper Cryoablation of the Prostate.

cryotherapy: see cryosurgery

CT scan: computerized or computed tomography; See CAT Scan

curcumin: a biologically active substance derived from the curcuma longa plant; found within the Indian spice called turmeric; curcumin and its curcuminoid polyphenols have anti-prostate cancer activity against both AIPC and ADPC

cyproterone: an antiandrogen with progestational activity; see progesterone.

cystitis: inflammation of the bladder that may be caused by infection or chemical injury or radiation; characterized by increased urinary frequency, discomfort on urination and often red blood cells, white blood cells and/or bacteria in the urine

cystoscope: an instrument used by physicians to look inside the the urethra and the bladder

cystoscopy: the use of a cystoscope to look inside the urethra and the bladder

cystosol: the soluble components of the fluid matter enclosed within the cellular membrane

Cytadren®: the trademarked name for aminogluthethimide

cytochrome C: a protein that carries electrons released from the mitochondria to to initiate cell death

cytochrome P450: (abbreviated CYP) – a family of over 60 enzymes the body uses to break down toxins, some (i.e. CYP3a) are instrumental in the clearance of drugs

cytochrome P-450 dependent 14-demethylation: an enzyme system that is important in the endocrine pathways of hormone production and activation

cytokines: any of several regulatory proteins, such as the interleukins and lymphokines, that are released by cells of the immune system and act as intercellular mediators in the generation of an immune response

cytology: science that deals with the structure and function of cells

cytoplasm: the material of a cell between the cell membrane and the nucleus

cytoskeleton adj. cytoskeletal: the internal scaffolding of cells which determines cell shape, and organizes structures within cells

cytotoxin, cytotoxic: chemicals that have direct toxicity to cancer cells, preventing their reproduction or growth. Cytotoxic agents can, as a side effect, damage healthy, non-cancerous tissues or organs which have a high proportion of actively dividing cells, for example, bone marrow and hair follicles

Cytoxan®: a genotoxic drug, a chemotherapy agent that affects DNA and alters its function