Glossary R

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RAD: A unit of absorbed radiation dose, 100 rads = 1 joule/kg = 1 Gray

radiation cystitis: inflammation of the bladder lining due to the ionizing effects of radiation therapy

radiation oncologist: a physician who has received special training regarding the treatment of cancers with different types of radiation

radiation proctitis: inflammation of the rectal mucosa lining due to the ionizing effects of radiation therapy

radiation therapy (RT): the use of X-rays and other forms of radiation to destroy malignant cells and tissue

radical: (in a surgical sense) directed at the cause of a disease; thus, radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the prostate with the intent to cure the problem believed to be caused by or within the prostate

radical prostatectomy (RP): an operation to remove the entire prostate gland and seminal vesicles – see our paper: Radical Prostatectomy.

radio sensitivity: the degree to which a type of cancer responds to radiation therapy

radiobiology adj. radiobiological: the study of the effects of radiation on living organisms

radiography: producing an image by radiation other than visible light, e.g., x-rays of one's teeth is done by radiography.

radioimmunometric: a measurement using radioimmunology, a system for testing antigen antibody reactions using radioactive labelling of antigen or antibody to detect the extent of the reaction

radioisotope: a type of atom (or a chemical which is made with a type of atom) that emits radioactivity

radiolabeled, radiolabel: an antibody that has been joined with a radioactive substance

radiology: the branch of medicine that deals with radioactive substances for diagnosing and treating disease

radionuclide: an unstable form of a chemical element that radioactively decays, resulting in the emission of nuclear radiation

radiopharmaceutical: a drug containing a radioactive substance that is used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and in pain management of bone metastases. Also called a radioactive drug.

radiotherapy: see radiation therapy

ramus, pl. rami: the arch formed by the inferior rami of the pubic bones

randomized: the process of assigning patients to different forms of treatment in a research study in a random manner

RANKL (Receptor Activator of Nuclear factor Kappa-B Ligand): a molecule important in bone metabolism which activates osteoclasts, cells involved in bone resorption

rapamycin, also called sirolimus (Rapamune®): a peptide drug used to help prevent the body from rejecting organ and bone marrow transplants. It is also has been shown to block one of the survival pathways under Akt control

rb: a protein which plays an important role in sensing whether appropriate growth factors and nutrients are present to allow for cell growth and division; loss of Rb fosters the evolution of hormone-resistant disease and may impair the response to radiation therapy

receptor: a docking site which interacts with a ligand; receptors may be on the cell membrane or within the cell cytoplasm or nucleus; estrogen receptors and androgen receptors are examples; all cells have multiple receptors

rectal exam: see digital rectal examination

rectoprostatic: the area between the prostate and its neighboring rectal wall

rectum adj. rectal: the final part of the intestines that ends at the anus

recurrence: the reappearance of disease; this can be manifested clinically as findings on the physical examination (e.g. DRE) or as a laboratory recurrence only (e.g. rise in PSA)

refractory: resistant to therapy; e.g., hormone refractory prostate cancer is resistant to forms of treatment involving hormone manipulation

regression: reduction in the size of a single tumor or reduction in the number and/or size of several tumors

remission: the real or apparent disappearance of some or all or the signs and symptoms of cancer; the period (temporary or permanent) during which a disease remains under control, without progressing; even complete remission does not necessarily indicate cure

renal: pertaining to the kidneys

resection: surgical removal

resectoscope: instrument inserted through the urethra and used by a urologist to cut out tissue (usually from the prostate) while the physician can actually see precisely where he is cutting

resistance: (in a medical sense) a patient's ability to fight off a disease as a result of the effectiveness of  the patient's immune system

resorption: (to resorb) – loss of bone through increased breakdown via osteoclasts or other mechanism causing a reduction in bone mass

response: a decrease in disease that occurs because of  treatment; divided into complete response(remission) or partial response(remission)

retention: difficulty in initiation of urination or the inability to completely empty the bladder

reticuloendothelial: the widely diffused bodily system constituting all phagocytic cells except certain white blood cells

retinoid: derivatives of vitamin A used clinically in the treatment of severe acne and psoriasis; under investigation for treating cancer

rectoprostatic: the area between the prostate and its neighboring rectal wall

retro-: (prefix) toward back, behind

retropubic prostatectomy: surgical removal of the prostate  through an incision in the abdomen above the pubic bones

retrospective: relating to a study (as of a disease) that starts with the present condition of a population of individuals and collects data about their past history to explain their present condition – compare to prospective

ribosome: A minute round particle composed of RNA and protein that is found in the cytoplasm of living cells and serves as the site of assembly for polypeptides encoded by messenger RNA

risk: the chance or probability that a particular event will or will not happen

risk_factor: that which causes an individual or group of individuals to have an increased risk of a condition or disease

RNA (ribonucleic acid): found mostly in the cytoplasm of cells is important in the synthesis of proteins. It is a chain made up of subunits called nucleotides. Messenger RNA (mRNA) replicates the DNA code for a protein and moves to organelles (specialized cell structures) called ribosomes, which are themselves composed of protein and a type of RNA called ribosomal RNA (rRNA). At the ribosomes, transfer RNA (tRNA) assembles amino acids to form the protein specified by the messenger RNA.

robotic prostatectomy: a new minimally invasive type of surgery that features telemanipulation devices allowing the performance of complex surgical tasks with dexterity and minimal fatigue due to their ergonomic design. They also provide expanded degree of movements, tremor filtering, and 3-D stereoscopic visualization. (see article re: robotic prostatectomy)

ROC curve: Relative (or Receiver) Operating Characteristic, or simply ROC curve, is a graphical plot of  sensitivity vs. (1 minus specificity)

RP: see radical prostatectomy

RT-PCR: reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction; a  technique which allows a physician to search for tiny quantities of a protein, such as PSA, in the blood or other body fluids and tissues; see RT-PCR PSA

RT-PCR PSA: reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; a blood test that detects micrometastatic cells circulating in the blood stream; may be useful as a screening tool to help avoid unnecessary invasive treatments (RP, RT, etc.) on patients with metastasized PC

Rx: standard abbreviation for medication prescribed