Glossary of Terms


VAC regimen

listen (... REH-jih-men) An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used to treat rhabdomyosarcoma in children. It is also used to treat certain types of ovarian germ cell tumors. VAC regimen includes the drugs vincristine sulfate, dactinomycin (actinomycin-D), and cyclophosphamide. Also called VAC.

VACB

A procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the breast. An imaging device is used to guide a hollow probe connected to a vacuum device. The probe is inserted through a tiny cut made in numbed skin on the breast. The tissue sample is removed using gentle vacuum suction and a small rotating knife within the probe. Then the tissue sample is studied under a microscope to check for signs of disease. This procedure causes very little scarring and no stitches are needed. Also called vacuum-assisted biopsy and vacuum-assisted core biopsy.

vaccinated

listen (VAK-sih-NAY-ted) Treated with a vaccine.

vaccination

listen (VAK-sih-NAY-shun) Treatment with a vaccine.

vaccine

listen (vak-SEEN) A substance or group of substances meant to cause the immune system to respond to a tumor or to microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses. A vaccine can help the body recognize and destroy cancer cells or microorganisms.

vaccine adjuvant

listen (vak-SEEN A-juh-vunt) A substance added to a vaccine to improve the immune response so that less vaccine is needed.

vaccine therapy

listen (vak-SEEN THAYR-uh-pee) A type of treatment that uses a substance or group of substances to stimulate the immune system to destroy a tumor or infectious microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses.

vaccinia CEA vaccine

listen (vak-SIH-nee-uh vak-SEEN) A vaccine made by putting the gene for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) into the vaccinia virus. The vaccinia virus is related to the virus used to make the smallpox vaccine. CEA is a tumor marker. The vaccinia CEA vaccine may help the immune system recognize and kill cancer cells that make CEA.

vaccinia-TRICOM vaccine

listen (vak-SIH-nee-uh vak-SEEN) A cancer vaccine made with a form of a vaccinia virus that does not cause disease in humans. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. The virus is changed in the laboratory to make human proteins that may help immune cells in the body kill tumor cells. Also called recombinant vaccinia-TRICOM vaccine and rV-TRICOM.

vacuum aspiration

listen (VAK-yoom AS-pih-RAY-shun) A surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated (opened) and vacuum is used to remove tissue from the uterus. Also called suction aspiration and suction evacuation.

vacuum-assisted biopsy

listen (VA-kyoom-uh-SIS-ted BY-op-see) A procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the breast. An imaging device is used to guide a hollow probe connected to a vacuum device. The probe is inserted through a tiny cut made in numbed skin on the breast. The tissue sample is removed using gentle vacuum suction and a small rotating knife within the probe. Then the tissue sample is studied under a microscope to check for signs of disease. This procedure causes very little scarring and no stitches are needed. Also called VACB and vacuum-assisted core biopsy.

vacuum-assisted core biopsy

listen (VA-kyoom-uh-SIS-ted BY-op-see) A procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the breast. An imaging device is used to guide a hollow probe connected to a vacuum device. The probe is inserted through a tiny cut made in numbed skin on the breast. The tissue sample is removed using gentle vacuum suction and a small rotating knife within the probe. Then the tissue sample is studied under a microscope to check for signs of disease. This procedure causes very little scarring and no stitches are needed. Also called VACB and vacuum-assisted biopsy.

vagina

listen (vuh-JY-nuh) The muscular canal that goes from the uterus to the outside of the body. During birth, the baby passes through the vagina. Also called birth canal.

vaginal

listen (VA-jih-nul) Having to do with the vagina (the birth canal).

vaginal cancer

listen (VA-jih-nul KAN-ser) Cancer that forms in the tissues of the vagina (birth canal). The vagina leads from the cervix (the opening of the uterus) to the outside of the body. The most common type of vaginal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the thin, flat cells lining the vagina. Another type of vaginal cancer is adenocarcinoma, cancer that begins in glandular cells in the lining of the vagina.

vaginal dilation therapy

listen (VA-jih-nul DY-LAY-shun THAYR-uh-pee) A method used to prevent the closing of the vagina (the birth canal) after radiation therapy to the pelvis. The patient puts a dilator (tube-like device) coated with an oily or slippery substance into her vagina.

vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia

listen (VA-jih-nul IN-truh-eh-pih-THEE-lee-ul NEE-oh-PLAY-zhuh) Abnormal cells are found in tissue lining the vagina (birth canal). These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into the vaginal wall. Also called VAIN.

vaginectomy

listen (va-jih-NEK-toh-mee) Surgery to remove part or all of the vagina (the birth canal).

VAIN

listen Abnormal cells are found in tissue lining the vagina (birth canal). These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into the vaginal wall. Also called vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia.

valacyclovir

listen (VAL-uh-SY-kloh-veer) A substance that is being studied in the prevention of fungal, bacterial, and viral infections in patients undergoing donor stem cell transplantation with cells that are infected with cytomegalovirus. It belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals.

valdecoxib

listen (VAL-deh-KOK-sib) A substance that is being studied as a treatment for pain and other side effects of cancer therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors.

valerian

listen (vuh-LEER-ee-un) A plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden heliotrope, garden valerian, Indian valerian, Mexican valerian, Pacific valerian, Valeriana officinalis, and Valerianae radix.

Valeriana officinalis

listen (vuh-LEER-ee-a-nuh uh-FIH-sih-NUH-lis) A plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden heliotrope, garden valerian, Indian valerian, Mexican valerian, Pacific valerian, valerian, and Valerianae radix.

Valerianae radix

listen (vuh-LEER-ee-un-i RAY-dix) A plant whose roots are used as a sedative and to treat certain medical conditions. It is being studied as a way to improve sleep in cancer patients undergoing treatment. Also called garden heliotrope, garden valerian, Indian valerian, Mexican valerian, Pacific valerian, valerian, and Valeriana officinalis.

valganciclovir

listen (VAL-gan-SY-kloh-veer) An antiviral agent that is being studied as a treatment for AIDS-related cytomegalovirus. It is changed in the body to ganciclovir.

Valium

listen (VAL-ee-um) A drug used to treat mild to moderate anxiety and tension and to relax muscles. It is a type of benzodiazepine. Also called diazepam.

valproic acid

listen (val-PROH-ik A-sid) A drug used to treat epileptic seizures and bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches. It is also being studied in the treatment of several types of cancer. It blocks an enzyme that cells need to grow and may cause cancer cells to die. It also blocks the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It is a type of anticonvulsant, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, antimaniacal, migraine headache prophylactic, and antiangiogenesis agent. Also called Depakene and Stavzor.

valrubicin

listen (val-ROO-bih-SIN) A drug used to treat bladder cancer that does not respond to BCG (Bacillus Calmette Guerin). It is an anthracycline and is a type of antitumor antibiotic. Also called AD 32.

VAMP

listen An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat low-risk childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs vincristine sulfate, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), methotrexate, and prednisone. Also called VAMP regimen.

VAMP regimen

listen ( REH-jih-men) An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination used with radiation therapy to treat low-risk childhood Hodgkin lymphoma. It includes the drugs vincristine sulfate, doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin), methotrexate, and prednisone. Also called VAMP.

vancomycin

listen (VAN-koh-MY-sin) An antibiotic drug used to fight resistant bacterial infections.

vandetanib

listen (van-DEH-tuh-nib) A drug used to treat medullary thyroid cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be treated by surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Vandetanib prevents the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. It also blocks enzymes needed for cell growth and may kill cancer cells. It is a type of antiangiogenesis agent and a type of tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called Caprelsa and ZD6474.

vapreotide

listen (vah-PREE-oh-tide) A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called somatostatin analogs.

varenicline tartrate

listen (vuh-REH-nih-klin TAR-trayt) A drug used to help people stop smoking by acting the same way nicotine acts in the brain. It is a type of nicotine receptor partial agonist. Also called Chantix.

variable expression

listen (VAYR-ee-uh-bul ek-SPREH-shun) Refers to the difference in the way that signs and symptoms of a genetic condition can show up in individual patients who have that condition. For example, some patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 may have only mild symptoms, such as brown spots and freckling on the skin, and others may have more severe symptoms, such as brain tumors and tumors on the nerves.

varicose vein

listen (VAYR-ih-kose vayn) A condition in which a vein, most often in the legs, becomes permanently enlarged, twisted, and painful. This may be caused by valves in the vein that dont work properly or by weakness in the vein walls.

Varubi

listen (vuh-ROO-bee) A drug used with other drugs to prevent nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. Varubi blocks the action of chemicals in the central nervous system (CNS) that may trigger nausea and vomiting. It is a type of antiemetic. Also called rolapitant hydrochloride.

VAS

A tool used to help a person rate the intensity of certain sensations and feelings, such as pain. The visual analog scale for pain is a straight line with one end meaning no pain and the other end meaning the worst pain imaginable. A patient marks a point on the line that matches the amount of pain he or she feels. It may be used to help choose the right dose of pain medicine. Also called visual analog scale.

vas deferens

listen (VAS DEH-feh-RENZ) A coiled tube that carries the sperm out of the testes.

vascular endothelial growth factor

listen (VAS-kyoo-ler EN-doh-THEE-lee-ul grothe FAK-ter) A substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation. Also called VEGF.

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