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Here you will find definitions and meanings of some of the most frequently used terms on the site.


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An above-normal concentration of platelets in the blood.

A below-normal concentration of platelets in the blood.

A naturally derived substance that is poisonous to cells. A toxin can be attached to antibodies that then attach to cancer cells. The toxin may kill the cancer cells.

An abnormality of chromosomes in marrow or lymph node cells that occurs when a piece of one chromosome breaks off and attaches to the end of another chromosome. In a balanced translocation, genetic material is exchanged between two different chromosomes with no gain or loss of genetic information. When a translocation occurs, the gene at which the break occurs is altered. This is one form of somatic mutation that may transform the gene into an oncogene (cancer-causing gene). See Mutation.

See Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation; Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation.

This is a gene that acts to prevent cell growth. If a mutation occurs in this gene that “turns off” the gene and causes loss of function, it may make the individual more susceptible to the development of cancer in the tissue in which the mutation occurred. Another term for tumour suppressor gene is “anti-oncogene.”


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