M0,M1,Mx: notation of observed metastases, see staging.
MAB (maximal androgen blockade): see CHT, CHB, ADT
macromolecules: a very large molecule, such as a polymer or protein, consisting of many smaller structural units linked together. Also called supermolecule
macrophage: a subset of white blood cells that ingest bacteria, foreign substances, proteins and process them, often presenting them to T cells; one of a kind of antigen presenting cell; see dendritic cells
MAD (maximal androgen deprivation): see ADT, CHB, CHT, TAB, MAB
malignant: cancerous; tending to become progressively worse and to result in death; having the invasive and metastatic (spreading) properties of cancer
margin: normally used to mean the "surgical margin”, which is the outer edge of the tissue removed during surgery; if the surgical margin shows no sign of cancer ("negative margins"), then the prognosis is better
MCP: modified citrus pectin; a substance that is able to interfere with PC growth by preventing cell-cell interaction and adhesiveness by binding to a carbohydrate substance called galectin-3 found on the surface of tumor cells
M-CSF: macrophage colony-stimulating factor
MDR gene: the multi-drug resistance gene; a gene that cells utilize to pump substances such as chemotherapy out of the cell across the cell membrane. The increase in the MDR gene is felt to be a tumor mechanism to overcome the effect of chemotherapy. Nizoral® and tamoxifen decrease MDR activity.
metaphase: Phase of mitosis, or cell division, when the chromosomes align along the center of the cell. Because metaphase chromosomes are highly condensed, scientists use these chromosomes for gene mapping and identifying chromosomal aberrations.
metastasis: (plural metastases) a secondary tumor formed as a result of a cancer cell or cells from the primary tumor site (e.g., the prostate) traveling through the body to a new site and then growing there
metastasize: spread of a malignant tumor to other parts of the body
metastatic: having the characteristics of a secondary tumor formed as a result of a cancer cell or cells from the primary tumor site (e.g., the prostate) traveling through the body to a new site and then growing there
Metastron®: the brand or trade name of strontium-89, a radioactive isotope used in the treatment of bone pain from metastatic prostate cancer
microtubules: tiny fibers that are basic to DNA structure that assists in the process of cell division
microvessel density: an objective measure of angiogenesis (blood vessel formation)
misstaging: the assignment of an incorrect clinical stage at initial diagnosis because of the difficulty of assessing the available information with accuracy
mitochondria: A spherical or elongated organ in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells, containing genetic material and many enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy
mitosis, mitotic: a process of cell division in which chromosomes separate into two parts, one part of each chromosome is retained in each of two new daughter
mitoxantrone (Novantrone®): a drug used to treat advanced prostate cancer that does not respond to hormones. It is also being studied in the treatment of other cancers. It belongs to the family of drugs called antitumor antibiotics.
MMP-2: matrix metalloprotease-2 (PC cell product involved in angiogenesis)
monocyte: largest of the white blood cells which migrates into the connective tissue where it differentiates into a macrophage
MRI: see magnetic resonance imaging
MRI/MRSI: the integration of magnetic resonance imaging with magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. See our paper The Role of Combined MRI & MRSI in Treating Prostate Cancer
mRNA: messenger RNA; see RNA.
MRS: magnetic resonance spectroscopy
mucosa: superficial lining cells involving body cavities like the mouth, rectum, bladder; a membrane lining all body passages that communicate with the air, such as the respiratory and alimentary tracts, and having cells and associated glands that secrete mucus
multileaf collimator (MLC): A type of collimator that can define irregularly shaped radiation fields. An MLC has two rows of narrow metal blocks (leaves) that can be independently driven in or out of the radiation beam from opposite sides under computer control
multileaf intensity modulating collimator (MIMIC): A multileaf collimator designed specifically for intensity modulated radiotherapy. The MIMiC treats two slices, each 1 or 2 cm thick with a fan beam of radiation, when the linear accelerator gantry rotates through an arc around the patient. The patient couch is moved to treat adjacent slices if the target is too large to treat with a single arc; see tomotherapy
mutate, mutation: change in the genetic material (DNA) inside the cell