DECAMP TERMS

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The DECAMP Dictionary is a resource containing many terms related to the project's clinical trials. The definitions of these terms come from resources such as the National Cancer Institute's Dictionary, the American Cancer Society Glossary, and similar tools compiled by other professional groups. To help quickly get you to the term of interest, click on the first letter of the word below.   

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X W Z  


A

allergy

a hypersensitive immune reaction to a substance that normally is harmless or would not cause an immune response in most people. An allergic response may cause harmful symptoms such as itching or inflammation or tissue injury

B

biomarker

a biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition. This is also called molecular marker or signature molecule.

biopsy

the removal of cells or tissues for examination by a pathologist. The pathologist may study the tissue under a microscope or perform other tests on the cells or tissue. There are many different types of biopsy procedures. The most common types include: (1) incisional biopsy, in which only a sample of tissue is removed; (2) excisional biopsy, in which an entire lump or suspicious area is removed; and (3) needle biopsy, in which a sample of tissue or fluid is removed with a needle. When a wide needle is used, the procedure is called a core biopsy. When a thin needle is used, the procedure is called a fine-needle aspiration biopsy

biorepository

a place where biological samples are stored for future use. The location must be privacy protected and secure. Usually biological samples are stored in a freezer at -80ºC/-112ºF or in a liquid nitrogen tank. The samples themselves will be de-identified, so the participants’ personal information will be protected.

biospecimen

a source of material, such as blood, cells, tissue, or urine

bronchoscope

a thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs. A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. The bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth.

bronchoscopy

a procedure that uses a bronchoscope to examine the inside of the trachea, bronchi (air passages that lead to the lungs), and lungs.A bronchoscope has a light and a lens for viewing, and may have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Bronchoscopy may be used to detect cancer or to perform some treatment procedures

C

cancer


a group of diseases caused by an abnormal growth of cells. This is also called malignancy.

cancer screening

checking for disease when there are no symptoms. Because screening may find diseases at an early stage, there may be a better chance of curing the disease. Examples of cancer screening tests are the mammogram (breast), colonoscopy (colon), and the Pap test and HPV test (cervix). Some screening programs with computed tomography (CT) are becoming available for people who are at high risk to develop lung cancer.

clinical examination

an examination conducted in connection with the treatment of patients

computed tomography (CT)

a scan that uses special x-ray equipment to take multiple images from different angles around the body. This is also called CAT scan, computerized axial tomography scan, computerized tomography, or CT scan.

I

imaging tests

a type of test that makes pictures of areas inside the body. Some examples of imaging tests are CT scans and MRIs. This is also called imaging procedure or imaging scan.

indeterminate lung nodule

small, roundish growths in the lung. The majority of the time these are benign (noncancerous) and are caused by scarring, inflammation, or infection. When there is only one nodule in the lung, it is commonly called a solitary pulmonary nodule. Some nodules may be early lung cancers or cancers that have spread to the lungs from another cancer in the body. These nodules are usually small, less than 1 centimeter, and are being found more frequently with the increased use of chest computed tomography (CT) scan.

informed consent

a process in which patients are given important information, including possible risks and benefits, about a medical procedure or treatment, a clinical trial, or genetic testing. This is to help them decide if they want to be treated, tested, or take part in the trial. Patients are also given any new information that might affect their decision to continue. This is also called consent process.

invasive procedure

A medical procedure that invades (enters) the body, usually by cutting or puncturing the skin or by inserting instruments into the body. 

L

local anesthesia 

A temporary loss of feeling in one small area of the body caused by special drugs or other substances called anesthetics. The patient stays awake but has no feeling in the area of the body treated with the anesthetic.

lung biopsy

the removal of a small piece of lung tissue to be checked by a pathologist for cancer or other diseases. The tissue may be removed using a bronchoscope (a thin, lighted, tube-like instrument that is inserted through the trachea and into the lung). It may also be removed using a fine needle inserted through the chest wall, by surgery guided by a video camera inserted through the chest wall, or by an open biopsy. In an open biopsy, a doctor makes an incision between the ribs, removes a sample of lung tissue, and closes the wound with stitches.

lung cancer

cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The two main types are small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. These types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope.

lung cancer screening

checking for lung cancer when there are no symptoms. Some screening programs with computed tomography (CT) are becoming available for people who are at high risk to develop lung cancer.

lung function test (LFT)

a test used to measure how well the lungs work. It measures how much air the lungs can hold and how quickly air is moved into and out of the lungs. It also measures how much oxygen is used and how much carbon dioxide is given off during breathing. A lung function test can be used to diagnose a lung disease and to see how well treatment for the disease is working. This is also called pulmonary function test (PFT).

lung metastasis

cancer that has spread from the original (primary) tumor to the lung

lymph nodes

Lymph nodes help the body's immune system fight infections. Causes of swollen lymph nodes (glands) may include infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasites). Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes vary greatly. They can sometimes be tender, painful, or disfiguring. The treatment of swollen lymph nodes depends upon the cause.

M

A minimally invasive medical procedure is defined as one that is carried out by entering the body through the skin or through a body cavity or anatomical opening, but with the smallest damage possible to these structures.

N

National Lung Screening Trial

The National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) compared two ways of detecting lung cancer: low-dose helical computed tomography (CT) and standard chest X-ray. NLST enrolled 53,454 current or former heavy smokers from 33 sites across the United States.

The primary results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on August 4, 2011. These findings reveal that participants who received low-dose helical CT scans had a 20.0 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer than participants who received standard chest X-rays.

The NCI press release and Q&A about these results provide more information.

noninvasive procedure

a procedure that does not require inserting an instrument through the skin or into a body opening.

noninvasive cancer

a cancer that has not spread outside the tissue in which it bega

P

pack years

a way to measure the amount a person has smoked over a long period of time. It is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years the person has smoked. For example, 1 pack year is equal to smoking 1 pack per day for 1 year, or 2 packs per day for half a year, and so on.

pulmonary function test (PFT)

a test used to measure how well the lungs work. It measures how much air the lungs can hold and how quickly air is moved into and out of the lungs. It also measures how much oxygen is used and how much carbon dioxide is given off during breathing. A pulmonary function test can be used to diagnose a lung disease and to see how well treatment for the disease is working. This is also called lung function test (LFT).

S

sputum

mucus and other matter brought up from the lungs by coughing

standard of care

Treatment that is accepted by medical experts as a proper treatment for a certain type of disease and that is widely used by healthcare professionals. Also called best practice, standard medical care, and standard therapy.