Aiden's Army 

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

Glossary