When talking about pediatric cancer there are many terms and acronyms that you may be unfamiliar with so we will try to explain some of them on this page.
ANC- Ratio of neutrophils to other white blood cells in the system. THis ration gives the doctors an idea of when the child is recovering from chemotherapy.
Antibody Treatment- Immunotherapy where antibodies attach to neuroblastoma cells, the immue system then kills the foreign antibodies and the neuroblastoma cell attached to it.
Avascular Necrosis- Death of an area of bone due to lack of blood flow, can be a loss of roundness in the femur bone.
Blood Counts- Lab tests that show the levels of different blood cells and compounds in the blood stream, specifically hemoglobin, platelets, and ANC
Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspirations- Procedure where doctors put a hollow needle in the pelvice bone and take out a core sample of the bone marrow and draw some blood from the bone that has bone marrow cells mixed in for testing.
Bone Marrow Transplant- Intense chemotherapy to kill neuroblastoma that also destroys bone marrow, bone marrow needs to be restored by infusing patient's previously collected stem cells
Bone Scan- Nuclear medicine scan that shows places of intense turn-over of the bone.
Broviac Catheter (Central Line)- A catheter in the big vessel of the heart for medication administration and blood draws
Chemotherapy- Single or cocktail of drugs designed to kill cancer cells
Cis Retinoic Acid- Immunotherapy oral drug that tells neuroblastoma cells to mature
COG- Children's Oncology Group. A group of children's hospitals that facility research trials
Complete Response- No Evidence of Disease (NED) after therapy
CT Scan- slices of x rays put together to create a 3D image of your child, This scan allows the doctors to see in detail an area that may have disease or some other concern.
Frontline Therapy- the best known therapy for a particular disease
Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)- Test to determine kidney function
Hematology- The study of blood disorders
Hem/Onc- Hematology/ Oncology. In many hospitals these are paired in the same unit when it comes to pediatric cases.
Hemoglobin- levels tell amount of hemoglobin (biologic substance that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells. Low hemoglobin levels may make a child very tired and pale
Histology- Cellular level makeup of a tumor
Homovanillic Acid (HVA)- An acid found in a child's urine at small normal non cancer levels. Neruoblastoma excrete the acid giving an indication of the level of neuroblastoma activity. Usually paired with VMA
Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG)- blood product from donors, rich in antibodies, that recognizes and helps fight certain infections.
Metastatic Disease- Cancer that has spread to multiple parts of the body from the primary tumor
MIBG-Metaiodobenzylguanidine- radioactive dye that is absorbed by Neuroblastoma. One type is used for scanning, a different type and dose may be used for therapy
MIBG Scan- radioactive scan to test for Neuroblastoma
MIBG Therapy- radioactive treatment for Neuroblastom, only available at a few hospitals
Minimal Residual Disease- bulky tumors are gone, only a minimal amount of disease left
MRI- a detailed scan that uses magnets not radiation
Mucositis- mouth sores, like canker sores, that appear in the mouth and throat, a painful side effect of chemotherapy. May also have a thick white film covering the tongue, cheeks, and throat that makes it difficult and painful to swallow.
NANT- New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy- a group of universities and children's hospitals who research potential tretaments for Neuroblastoma
Neuropathy- an injury of the nerve endings that cause tingling in the hands and feet. Severe neuropathy includes pain up the legs and arms
Neutropenic- ANC that is below normal, patients are more susceptible to germs and catching bugs while neutropenic
Neutrophils- The white blood cells most critical to fighting germs
NMTRC- Neuroblastoma & Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium- group of universities and children's hospitals who research treatments for Neuroblastoma
No Evidence of DIsease (NED)- Scans and tests show no evidence of any cancer
NPO- Nothing by mouth, no food or drink
Oncology- The study of Cancer
Packed Red Blood Cells- Blood product given when hemoglobin is low
Partial Response- The drug removed a measurable amount of disease but not all of it.
Petechia- Small blood extravasations into skin, looking like red spots, that may occur when the platelet levels drop below normal.
Peripheral Stem Cell Harvest- Procedure to take stem cells out of the blood to be used later to recover from bone marrow transplant
Platelets- Part of the blood system that allows the blood to clot, if platelets are low patients may bruise and bleed easily
Port-a-Cath- Port for short, A type of central line that stays under the skin, the port is accessed with a needle
Primary Tumor- The place the cancer started. For Neuroblastoma this is commonly on an adrenal gland.
Progression- When the disease gets larger or more extensive instead of smaller.
Radiation Therapy- Radiation to the primary tumor bed and other areas of concern
Remission- When Cancer is completely eradicated by treatment and stays away
Stage of Disease- A way for doctors to classify cancers and determine appropriate treatment.
Toxicity- Severe side effects.
Transfusions- When a blood product is given into the vein.
Treatment Protocal- Specific sequence of medications and tests used for particular disease therapy.
Vanillylmandelic Acid- An acid found in your child's urine at small normal non cancer levels. Neuroblastoma excrete the acid giving an indication of the level of Neuroblastoma activity, usually paired with HVA