Glossary E
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EBRT (external beam radiation therapy): external beam radiation treatment that can include conventional photons, or use protons, neutrons, or electrons. This may be given conventionally or with 3D conformal techniques; see also IMRT.

ECE: an abbreviation for extra-capsular extension

ECOG: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group; one of the clinical trials groups

ECOG Performance Status: criteria used by doctors and researchers to assess how a patient’s disease is progressing, assess how the disease affects the daily living abilities of the patient, and determine appropriate treatment and prognosis. See also: Karnofsky Performance Status

ED: erectile dysfunction

edema: swelling or accumulation of fluid in some part of  the body

efferent: moving or carrying outward or away from a central part. Refers to vessels, nerves, etc. For example: blood vessels carrying blood away from the heart or nerves carrying signals from the brain

efficacy: the greatest ability of a drug of treatment to produce a result, regardless of dosage

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate): the active ingredient of green tea that relates to the potency of the green tea product

EGF: epidermal growth factor; a polypeptide hormone that stimulates cell proliferation by binding to receptor proteins on the cell surface

eicosanoid: any of a class of compounds derived from polyunsaturated fatty acids (as arachidonic acid) and involved in cellular activity

ejaculation: the release of semen through the penis during orgasm; ejaculation may be termed “dry” if there is scanty or no fluid component to the ejaculate resulting from radiation therapy or surgery.

ejaculatory ducts:  The tubular passages through which semen reaches the prostatic urethra during orgasm

EKG: electrocardiogram; a study showing the electrical activity of the heart

ELISA: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; a sensitive immunoassay that uses an enzyme linked to an antibody or antigen as a marker for the detection of a specific protein, especially an antigen or antibody; often used as a diagnostic test to determine exposure to a particular infectious agent, such as the AIDS virus, by identifying antibodies present in a blood sample; see immunoassay

embolus, embolic: a mass, such as an air bubble, a detached blood clot, or a foreign body, that travels through the bloodstream and lodges so as to obstruct or occlude a blood vessel.

EMCYT: see estramustine phosphate

endocrine: pertaining to ductless glands that secrete hormones into the blood stream

endocrinology: the study of hormones, their function, the organs that produce them and how they are produced

endogenous: inherent naturally to the organism; originating or produced within an organism, tissue, or cell, e.g. endogenous secretions.

endorectal: (inserted) within the rectum

endorectal coil: a device that is inserted into a patient's rectum beneath the prostate and is used to acquire spectroscopy for prostate MRI/MRSI exams

endorectal MRI: magnetic resonance imaging performed with a coil placed in the rectum, may be combined with endorectal magnetic resonance spectroscopy (developed at University of California at San Francisco and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City) See our paper The Role of Combined MRI & MRSI in Treating Prostate Cancer

endoscope: an instrument for examining visually the interior of a bodily canal or hollow organ such as the colon, bladder, or stomach

endothelins: proteins that constrict blood vessels (and raise blood pressure); There are three isoforms (ET-1, -2, -3) and two key receptor types (ET-A and ET-B)

endothelin-A receptor: involved in facilitating several aspects of prostate cancer progression, including proliferation, escape from apoptosis, invasion, and new bone formation when activated by endothelin-1

endothelin-1 (ET-1): a prostate cell product that stimulates osteoblasts, acts as a vasoconstrictor (narrows blood vessels) and may be responsible for bone pain in metastatic prostate cancer; blockers of the receptor for ET-1 are in clinical trials and showing promise e.g. Atrasentan®

endothelium: the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of fluid containing parts of the body including the circulatory system (heart, blood and lymph vessels)

endotoxin: a toxin produced by certain bacteria and released upon destruction of the bacterial cell

enzyme: any of a group of chemical substances which are produced by living cells and which cause particular chemical reactions to happen while not being changed themselves

EOD (extent of disease): part of what should be a standard approach to staging the bone scan; after work by Soloway

EPA (eicosapentenoic acid): a fish oil supplement, an omega 3 fatty acid that inhibits the delta 5 desaturase enzyme that converts DGLA (dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid) to arachidonic acid

EPCA-2: a novel biomarker associated with prostate cancer that has high sensitivity and specificity and accurately differentiates between men with organ-confined and non-organ-confined disease.

epidemiology: the branch of medicine that deals with the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations

epididymis: tightly coiled, thin-walled tube that conducts sperm from the testes to the vas deferens and provides for the storage, transmission, and maturation of sperm; inflammation of the epididymis is called epididymitis

epidural: outside the outer membrane surrounding the brain or spinal column

epinephrine: a hormone and neurotransmitter (Also called adrenaline); one of the secretions of the adrenal glands. It helps the liver release glucose (sugar) and limit the release of insulin; it also makes the heart beat faster and can raise blood pressure

epithelial cell: in PC the cells within the prostate that line the ducts and functionally secrete chemicals such as PSA into the blood stream or into the duct openings or lumen

epithelium, epithelial: the covering of internal and external surfaces of the body, including the lining of vessels and other small cavities. It consists of cells joined by small amounts of cementing substances. Epithelium is classified into types on the basis of the number of layers deep and the shape of the superficial cells.

epothilones: a new class of natural and potent agents that stabilize microtubules to inhibit the growth and spread of malignant cells

ER (estrogen receptor): the docking site on the cell or in the cell for estrogen

erectile dysfunction (ED):  an inability to get or maintain an erection; see impotence.

erythropoietin: a glycoprotein hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells by stem cells in bone marrow

ester: any of a class of organic compounds corresponding to the inorganic salts and formed from an organic acid and an alcohol, usually with the elimination of water

estradiol: the most potent naturally occurring estrogen. In men it is naturally produced in small amounts.

estramustine: A nitrogen mustard linked to estradiol, usually as phosphate (see EMCYT); used to treat prostatic neoplasms; also has radiation protective properties.

estramustine phosphate sodium (EMCYT): a chemotherapeutic agent; a hybrid drug combination of nitrogen mustard and estrogen that disrupts cytoplasmic microtubules

estrogen: a female hormone or estrogen (e.g., diethylstilbestrol) used in the treatment of PC

estrogen receptor (ER): the docking site on the cell or in the cell for estrogen

etidronate: a white disodium bisphosphonate salt C2H6Na2O7P2 used to treat osteoporosis called also etidronate disodium

etiology: the study of all of the factors involved in the development of a disease

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

eukaryotic: a single-celled or multicellular organism whose cells contain a distinct membrane-bound nucleus

Eulexin®: the brand or trade name of flutamide in the USA

excise, excision: surgically remove, removal

exogenous: developed or originating outside the organism, as exogenous disease

experimental: an unproven (or even untested) technique or procedure; note that certain experimental treatments are commonly used in the management of prostate cancer

expression: the process by which a gene's coded information is converted into the structures present and operating in the cell. Expressed genes include those that are transcribed into mRNA and then translated into protein and those that are transcribed into RNA but not translated into protein.

external beam radiation therapy (EBRT): a  form of radiation therapy in which the radiation is delivered by a machine directed at the area to be radiated as opposed to radiation given within the target tissue such as brachytherapy, see also IMRT

extra-capsular extension (ECE): cancer extending beyond the prostate capsule

extracellular: outside a cell or cells

extraprostatic: located outside the prostate

ex vivo: outside the living organism

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