H-2 blockers: blockers of histamine, a substance responsible for gastric acidity among other functions
haploid: having the same number of sets of chromosomes as a germ cell (sperm or egg) or half as many as a somatic cell (all remaining cells having to do with the body); having a single set of chromosomes; see diploid
HDK: high dose ketoconazole; Nizoral®
HDL cholesterol: high density lipoprotein cholesterol; a beneficial cholesterol composed of a high proportion of protein (with little triglyceride and cholesterol) and that is associated with decreased probability of developing atherosclerosis
HDR (high dose radiation): radiation delivered by temporary insertion of radioactive Iridium wire into flexible needles placed in the prostate through the perineum. See our paper Temporary Seed Implant with High Dose Rate Brachytherapy.
hematopoietic: pertaining to tissues such as the bone marrow, spleen and lymph nodes where blood cell formation and destruction occur
hematospermia: the occurrence of blood in the semen
hemoglobin (HGB): a complex protein-iron compound in the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells and carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Each red blood cell contains several hundred molecules of hemoglobin.
Herceptin®: the trade name for trastuzumab
heredity: the historical distribution of biological characteristics through a group of related individuals via their DNA
high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU): a procedure which utilizes transrectal ultrasound that is highly focused into a small area, creating intense heat which is lethal to prostate cancer tissue. See our paper: Transrectal HIFU: The Next Generation?
histology: the study of the appearance and behavior of tissue, usually carried out under a microscope by a pathologist (who is a physician) or a histologist (who is not necessarily a physician)
HMW-uPA: high molecular weight uPA
homogeneous (homogeneity): uniform; composed of the same element; in reference to a tumor cell population meaning that the cells are of the same clone in contrast to a mixed cell population that would exhibit heterogeneity or be heterogeneous
homologous: corresponding, as in relative position or structure; a homologous tumor is made up of cells resembling those of the tissue in which it is growing
hormone ablation therapy: see hormone therapy.
hormone blockade therapy: see hormone therapy.
hormone refractory PC (HRPC) (see AIPC): a loosely used term that really should apply to progressive PC in the setting of a testosterone level less than 20 ng/dl and when an ARM has been excluded; the preferred term is AIPC or androgen independent PC. See our paper Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer: A Continuum of Diseases and Options
hormone therapy (HT): the use of hormones, hormone analogs, and certain surgical techniques to treat disease (in this case prostate cancer) either on their own or in combination with other hormones or in combination with other methods of treatment; because prostate cancer is usually dependent on male hormones (ex: testosterone) to grow, hormone blockade or deprivation (also called androgen deprivation therapy) can be an effective means of alleviating symptoms and retarding the development of the disease
hot flash: the sudden sensation of warmth in the face, neck and upper body; a side effect of many forms of hormone therapy
HRPC: see hormone refractory prostate cancer.
hybridization protection assay (HPA): a process that hybridizes the amplicon to singlestranded nucleic acid probes that are labeled with an Acridinium Ester (AE) molecule and then it selects and detects the hybridized probes.
hydrocortisone (HC): a steroid compound synthesized in the adrenal cortex and vital to survival
hypercalcemia: abnormally high concentrations of calcium in the blood, indicating leeching of calcium from bone (tumors raise serum calcium levels by destroying bone or by releasing PTH or a PTH-like substance, osteoclast-activating factor, prostaglandins, and perhaps, a vitamin D-like sterol). Symptoms of hypercalcemia may include: feeling tired, difficulty thinking clearly, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, frequent urination, increased thirst, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
hyperechoic: denoting a region in an ultrasound image in which the echoes are stronger than normal or than surrounding structures; the opposite of hypoechoic
hyperplasia: enlargement of an organ or tissue because of an increase in the number of cells in that organ or tissue; see also BPH
hypersensitive PSA (ultrasensitive PSA): a laboratory assay for PSA that is more sensitive to detection of low levels of PSA than a standard assay; these assays allow for earlier detection of recurrence and can distinguish an excellent response to ADT from a mediocre response; DPC Immulite® 3rd generation and Tosoh are two examples of hypersensitive PSA assays available
hypoechoic: A region in an ultrasound image in which the echoes are weaker or fewer than normal or in the surrounding regions; the opposite of hyperechoic
hypothalamus, (adj.) hypothalamic: a portion of the brain which secretes substances that control metabolism by exerting an influence on pituitary gland function.