Glossary T

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T-cell: An immune-system cell that orchestrates an immune response to infected or malignant cells, sometimes by direct contact with the abnormal cells; T-cells are lymphocytes that develop in the thymus and circulate in the blood and lymphatic system; see dendritic cell.

T-score: a comparison of an individual’s bone mass with the average bone mass of a young adult; a negative indicates a loss of bone density; see osteopenia and osteoporosis

T1a, T1b, T1c, T2a, T2b, T2c, T3a, T3b, T3c, T4: see staging

tamoxifen: the generic name for Nolvadex®; an anti-estrogen that works by blocking the estrogen receptor (ER) on the cell.

target capture: (genetics) a process that isolates the target nucleic acid from clinical specimens and purifies the nucleic acid for amplification

taxanes: anticancer drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. Includes paclitaxel and docetaxel.

Taxol®: the trade name for paclitaxel

Taxotere®: trade or brand name for docetaxel, a chemotherapy agent

TCAP: targeted cryoablation of the prostate

telemanipulation: the direct human control of a robotic manipulator, where the operator and the manipulator are at different locations

tesla: unit of measurement to describe magnetic field strength

testicle, adj. testicular: see testis

testis, pl. testes: one of two male reproductive glands located inside the scrotum that are the primary sources of the male hormone testosterone

testosterone (T): the male hormone or androgen which comprises most of the androgens in a man's body; chiefly produced by the testicles but also is derived from adrenal androgen precursors such as DHEA and androstenedione. T is highly important to a man’s sexual interest or libido and his ability to achieve erection. T plays a key role in virtually every tissue in the human body e.g. brain, bone, blood formation, skin, nails, muscle.

testosterone inactivating pharmaceuticals (TIP): also known as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) or hormone therapy.

tetraploid: having two times the normal amount of DNA or chromosomal material

TGF-b (transforming growth factor beta): a bone-derived growth factor that stimulates the PC cell and osteoblast, among many other functions

thalidomide: a drug that belongs to the family of drugs called angiogenesis inhibitors. It prevents the growth of new blood vessels into a solid tumor.

therapeutic: the treatment of disease or disability

therapeutic index: an index based on the ratio of tumor control probability (TCP) to normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) used in radiation therapy to assess the likelihood of effective treatment vs. the likelihood damage to surrounding tissues

therapy: the treatment of disease or disability

thermistor or thermocouple: a thermoelectric device used to measure temperatures accurately

thermoablation: a procedure using heat to remove tissue or a part of the body, or destroy its function.

thermoluminescent dosimeter: A device that registers the radiation dose (energy per unit mass) indicated by changes in color induced by temperature change. A device that directly measures absorbed dose

thoracic: pertaining to or affecting the chest.

thrombocytopenia: a blood disorder in which there are not enough platelets. Platelets are cells in the blood that help blood to clot.

thromboembolism, thromboembolic: the blocking of a blood vessel by a blood clot dislodged from its site of origin

thrombosis: the formation or presence of a thrombus (a clot of coagulated blood attached at the site of its formation) in a blood vessel

thymus: a small glandular organ that is situated behind the top of the sternum (breastbone), consisting mainly of lymphatic tissue and serving as the site of T cell differentiation. The thymus increases gradually in size and activity until puberty, becoming atrophic thereafter

tibial: of or pertaining to a tibia (the larger bone of the lower leg)

tissue vascularity: the state at which a tissue circulates an adequate flow of liquid components such as blood and nutrients within its vessels

TNF-alpha: tumor necrosis factor alpha; a protein produced by macrophages in the presence of an endotoxin and shown experimentally to be capable of attacking and destroying cancerous tumors

TNM (tumor, nodes, metastases): see staging

tomography: a procedure where internal body images at a predetermined plane are recorded by means of the tomograph, a computer-driven device that builds the image from multiple X-ray measurements; tomography is used in CAT scan and PET scan

tomotherapy: Rotational radiotherapy delivery using an intensity-modulated fan beam. Intensity-modulated delivery is achieved by moving multiple collimator vanes into and out of the fan beam. The length of time that a leaf spends out of the beam is proportional to the intensity of radiation allowed through that particular portion of the beam

total PSA: the total of free PSA plus bound PSA

toxicity: the degree to which something is poisonous

transaction: to cut across

transcription: (genetics) the synthesis of mRNA from a DNA template

transcription mediated amplification (TMA): a process that uses two enzymes, Reverse Transcriptase and RNA Polymerase, to produce billions of copies of RNA amplified target from the purified target nucleic acid

transducer: a substance or device that converts input energy of one form into another

transition zone: area of the prostate closest to the urethra which has features that distinguish it from the much larger peripheral zone

translation: (genetics) the process by which the mRNA code is converted to a sequence of amino acids (a protein)

translational research: a sharing of information between laboratory research and patient care, often referred to as “from bench to bedside”

transperineal: through the perineum

transrectal: through the rectum

transurethral: through the urethra

transurethral resection (TUR): see TURP.

transverse: acting, lying, or being across : set crosswise

trastuzumab (Herceptin®): a type of monoclonal antibody which blocks the effects of the growth factor protein HER2, which transmits growth signals to cancer cells

treatment (Tx): administration of remedies to a patient for a disease

triglycerides: chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the blood plasma

trimix, tri-mix: a mixture of papaverine, phentolamine and prostaglandin E-1 that is injected into the penis to cause an erection.

trophic: the starting of cell reproduction and enlargement by nurturing and causing growth

tropism: the movement of an organism in response to an external source of stimulus

true pelvis, true pelvic cavity: the lower more contracted part of the pelvic cavity

TRUS (transrectal ultrasound): a method that uses echoes of ultrasound waves (far beyond the hearing range) to image the prostate by inserting an ultrasound probe  into the rectum; commonly used to visualize and guide prostate biopsy procedures


tumor: an excessive growth of cells caused by uncontrolled  and disorderly cell replacement; an abnormal tissue growth that can be either benign or malignant; see benign, malignant

tumorigenesis, tumorigenic: the formation of tumors or tendency to form tumors

TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate): a surgical procedure to remove tissue obstructing the urethra; the technique involves the insertion of an instrument called a resectoscope into the penile urethra, and is intended to relieve obstruction of urine flow due to enlargement of the prostate

Tx: an abbreviation for treatment

tyrosine kinase: an enzyme involved in communication within cells, or signaling pathways