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Glossary of Cancer Terms

G

G-CSF Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called filgrastim.

gabapentin A substance that is being studied as a treatment for relieving hot flashes in women with breast cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

gadolinium texaphyrin A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy, improve tumor images using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and kill cancer cells. It belongs to the family of drugs called metalloporphyrin complexes. Also called motexafin gadolinium.

Gail model A computer program that uses personal and family history to estimate a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer.

galiximab A monoclonal antibody that is being studied in the treatment of follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Galiximab binds to the protein CD80, which is found on certain normal and cancerous white blood cells.

gallbladder The pear-shaped organ found below the liver. Bile is concentrated and stored in the gallbladder.

gallbladder cancer Cancer that forms in tissues of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ below the liver that collects and stores bile (a fluid made by the liver to digest fat). Gallbladder cancer begins in the innermost layer of tissue and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.

gallium nitrate A drug that lowers blood calcium. Used as treatment for hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) and for cancer that has spread to the bone (bone metastases).

gallium scan A procedure to detect areas of the body where cells are dividing rapidly. It is used to locate cancer cells or areas of inflammation. A very small amount of radioactive gallium is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The gallium is taken up by rapidly dividing cells in the bones, tissues and organs and is detected by a scanner.

gallstone Solid material that forms in the gallbladder or common bile duct. Gallstones are made of cholesterol or other substances found in the gallbladder. They may occur as one large stone or as many small ones, and vary from the size of a golf ball to a grain of sand. Also called cholelith.

gamma irradiation A type of radiation therapy that uses gamma radiation. Gamma radiation is a type of high-energy radiation that is different from X-rays.

Gamma Knife therapy A treatment using gamma rays, a type of high-energy radiation that can be tightly focused on small tumors or other lesions in the head or neck, so very little normal tissue receives radiation. The gamma rays are aimed at the tumor from many different angles at once, and deliver a large dose of radiation exactly to the tumor in one treatment session. This procedure is a type of stereotactic radiosurgery. Gamma Knife therapy is not a knife and is not surgery. Gamma Knife is a registered trademark of Elekta Instruments, Inc.

gamma ray A type of high-energy radiation that is different from an X-ray.

gamma scanning A procedure to find areas in the body where cells, such as tumor cells, are dividing rapidly. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein or swallowed, and travels through the bloodstream. A machine called a scanner measures the radioactivity and produces pictures (scans) of internal parts of the body. The pictures can show abnormal changes in the area of the body containing the radioactive material. Examples of gamma scans include PET scans, gallium scans and bone scans. Also called radionuclide scanning.

ganciclovir An antiviral agent used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus infections that may occur when the body's immune system is suppressed. In gene therapy, ganciclovir is used with an altered herpes simplex virus-1 gene to kill advanced melanoma cells and brain tumor cells.

ganglioside A complex molecule that contains both lipids (fats) and carbohydrates (sugars) and is found in the plasma (outer) membrane of many kinds of cells. Several different types of gangliosides have been identified.

garden heliotrope Valeriana officinalis. 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 valerian, garden valerian, Indian valerian, Pacific valerian, Mexican valerian, Valeriana officinialis and Valerianae radix.

garden valerian Valeriana officinalis. 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 valerian, Indian valerian, Pacific valerian, Mexican valerian, garden heliotrope, Valeriana officinalis, and Valerianae radix.

garlic Allium sativum. A European plant that has a bulb used to flavor food. It has also been used in some cultures to treat certain medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, infections and cancer.

gastrectomy An operation to remove all or part of the stomach.

gastric Having to do with the stomach.

gastric atrophy A condition in which the stomach muscles shrink and become weak. The digestive (peptic) glands may also shrink, resulting in a lack of digestive juices.

gastric cancer Cancer that forms in tissues lining the stomach. Also called stomach cancer.

gastric reflux The backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux.

gastrin A group of hormones released after eating that control the amount of acid in the stomach.

gastrinoma A tumor that causes overproduction of gastric acid. It usually occurs in the islet cells of the pancreas but may also occur in the esophagus, stomach, spleen or lymph nodes.

gastritis Inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

gastroenterologist A doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the digestive system.

gastroesophageal junction The place where the esophagus is connected to the stomach.

gastroesophageal reflux The backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Also called esophageal reflux or gastric reflux.

gastrointestinal GI. Refers to the stomach and intestines.

gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor An indolent (slow-growing) cancer that forms in cells that make hormones in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract (the stomach and intestines). It usually occurs in the appendix (a small fingerlike pouch of the large intestine), small intestine or rectum. Having gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor increases the risk of forming other cancers of the digestive system.

gastrointestinal stromal tumor GIST. A type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant. Also called GIST.

gastrointestinal tract The stomach and intestines.

gastroscope A thin, tube-like instrument used to examine the inside of the stomach. A gastroscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

gastroscopy Examination of the inside of the stomach using a gastroscope passed through the mouth and esophagus. A gastroscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called upper endoscopy.

GBM Glioblastoma multiforme. A fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. GBM usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called glioblastoma multiforme, grade IV astrocytoma and glioblastoma.

gefitinib A drug that is used to treat certain types of non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called ZD1839 and Iressa.

Gelclair A gel used to lessen pain from mouth sores caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, oral surgery, braces, or disease. Gelclair is being studied in the treatment of pain caused by mouth sores in children receiving cancer treatment. It forms a thin layer over the surface of the mouth and throat to prevent irritation while eating, drinking and talking. Also called polyvinylpyrrolidone-sodium hyaluronate gel.

geldanamycin analog An antineoplastic antibiotic drug that belongs to the family of drugs called ansamycins.

GEM 231 A drug that may inhibit the growth of malignant tumors.

GEM640 A substance being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. GEM640 may block a protein called XIAP so that chemotherapy is able to kill more tumor cells. It is a type of antisense oligonucleotide. Also called AEG35156.

gemcitabine A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gemcitabine belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called gemcitabine hydrochloride and Gemzar.

gemcitabine hydrochloride A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gemcitabine hydrochloride belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called gemcitabine and Gemzar.

gemtuzumab A monoclonal antibody combined with a toxic substance that is used treat certain types of acute myeloid leukemia in older patients and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Gemtuzumab is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called gemtuzumab ozogamicin and Mylotarg.

gemtuzumab ozogamicin A monoclonal antibody combined with a toxic substance that is used treat certain types of acute myeloid leukemia in older patients and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and can locate and bind to cancer cells. Gemtuzumab ozogamicin is a type of antibody-drug conjugate. Also called gemtuzumab and Mylotarg.

Gemzar A drug used to treat certain types of breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gemzar belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Also called gemcitabine and gemcitabine hydrochloride.

Genasense A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It may kill cancer cells by blocking the production of a protein that makes cancer cells live longer and by making them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It belongs to the family of drugs called antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides. Also called oblimersen, augmerosen and bcl-2 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide G3139.

gene The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

gene deletion The total loss or absence of a gene.

gene expression profiling A research method that measures messenger RNA made from many different genes in various cell types. It is being used as a diagnostic test to help identify subgroups of tumor types, to help predict which patients may respond to treatment and which patients may be at increased risk for cancer relapse.

gene therapy Treatment that alters a gene. In studies of gene therapy for cancer, researchers are trying to improve the body's natural ability to fight the disease or to make the cancer cells more sensitive to other kinds of therapy.

gene transfer The insertion of genetic material into a cell.

gene-modified Cells that have been altered to contain different genetic material than they originally contained.

general anesthesia Drugs that cause loss of feeling or awareness and put the person to sleep.

generic Official non-brand names by which medicines are known. Generic names usually refer to the chemical name of the drug.

genetic Inherited; having to do with information that is passed from parents to offspring through genes in sperm and egg cells.

genetic analysis The study of a sample of DNA to look for mutations (changes) that may increase risk of disease or affect the way a person responds to treatment.

genetic counseling A communication process between a specially trained health professional and a person concerned about the genetic risk of disease. The person's family and personal medical history may be discussed, and counseling may lead to genetic testing.

genetic marker Alteration in DNA that may indicate an increased risk of developing a specific disease or disorder.

genetic susceptibility An inherited increase in the risk of developing a disease.

genetic testing Analyzing DNA to look for a genetic alteration that may indicate an increased risk for developing a specific disease or disorder.

genetics The study of genes and heredity. Heredity is the passing of genetic information and traits (such as eye color and an increased chance of getting a certain disease) from parents to offspring.

genistein An isoflavone found in soy products. Soy isoflavones are being studied to see if they help prevent cancer.

genital wart A raised growth on the surface of the genitals caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The HPV in genital warts is very contagious and can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually during oral, anal or genital sex with an infected partner. A female with genital warts is at an increased risk for developing cervical cancer. Also called condyloma and condylomata acuminata.

genitourinary system The parts of the body that play a role in reproduction, getting rid of waste products in the form of urine, or both.

genome The complete genetic material of an organism.

genomics The study of the complete genetic material, including genes and their functions, of an organism.

germ cell A reproductive cell of the body. Germ cells are egg cells in females and sperm cells in males.

germ cell tumor A type of tumor that begins in the cells that give rise to sperm or eggs. Germ cell tumors can occur almost anywhere in the body and can be either benign or malignant.

germ-free Free of bacteria, disease-causing viruses, and other organisms that can cause infection.

German chamomile A plant with daisy-like flowers that are used in tea to calm and relax, improve sleep and help stomach problems. German chamomile has been studied in the prevention of mucositis (mouth sores) caused by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It has also been used in some cultures to treat skin conditions, mild infections and other disorders. The scientific name is Matricaria recutita.

German Commission E The German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices Commission E. A committee made up of scientists, toxicologists, doctors and pharmacists formed by the German government in 1978 to find out if herbs sold in Germany are safe and effective. The Commission has published information on the uses, side effects and drug interactions of more than 300 herbs.

germinoma The most common type of germ cell tumor in the brain.

germline mutation A gene change in the body's reproductive cells (egg or sperm) that becomes incorporated into the DNA of every cell in the body of offspring; germline mutations are passed on from parents to offspring. Also called hereditary mutation.

Gerota's capsule A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called renal fascia and Gerota's fascia.

Gerota's fascia A fibrous envelope of tissue that surrounds the kidney. Also called renal fascia and Gerota's capsule.

Gerson therapy A diet plan that has been claimed to be a treatment for cancer, migraines, tuberculosis and other diseases. It is a vegetarian diet that includes eating organic fruits and vegetables and 13 glasses of fresh juice each day. It also includes supplements with iodine, vitamin B-12, potassium, thyroid hormone, liver extract and pancreatic enzymes. No clinical trial to test Gerson therapy has been reported.

gestational trophoblastic disease A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic tumor, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, molar pregnancy or choriocarcinoma.

gestational trophoblastic neoplasia A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic tumor, molar pregnancy or choriocarcinoma.

gestational trophoblastic tumor A rare cancer in women of childbearing age in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after conception. Also called gestational trophoblastic disease, gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, molar pregnancy or choriocarcinoma.

GG745 A drug used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. It is being studied in the treatment of male hair loss and prostate cancer. GG745 blocks enzymes the body needs to make male sex hormones. It is a type of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. Also called Avodart and dutasteride.

GI Gastrointestinal. Refers to the stomach and intestines. Also called gastrointestinal.

GI14721 An antitumor drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. It is a camptothecin analog.

giant cell fibroblastoma A rare type of soft tissue tumor marked by painless nodules in the dermis (the inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin) and subcutaneous (beneath the skin) tissue. These tumors may come back after surgery, but they do not spread to other parts of the body. They occur mostly in boys and are related to dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.

gimatecan A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors. Also called ST1481.

ginger Zingiber officianale. An herb with a root that has been used in cooking, and by some cultures to treat nausea, vomiting and certain other medical conditions. It is being studied in the treatment of nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy.

gingiva The tissue of the upper and lower jaws that surrounds the base of the teeth. Also called gums.

ginkgo A tree native to China. Substances taken from the leaves and seeds have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Ginkgo has been studied in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, certain blood vessel diseases and memory loss. It may cause bleeding or high blood pressure when used with certain drugs. Also called ginkgo biloba and maidenhair tree.

ginkgo biloba A tree native to China. Substances taken from the leaves and seeds have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. Ginkgo biloba has been studied in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, certain blood vessel diseases and memory loss. It may cause bleeding or high blood pressure when used with certain drugs. Also called ginkgo and maidenhair tree.

ginseng An herb with a root that has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects.

GIST Gastrointestinal stromal tumor. A type of tumor that usually begins in cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It can be benign or malignant. Also called gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

gland An organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat, tears, saliva or milk. Endocrine glands release the substances directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands release the substances into a duct or opening to the inside or outside of the body.

glans penis The rounded, gland-like head of the penis.

Gleason score A system of grading prostate cancer tissue based on how it looks under a microscope. Gleason scores range from 2 to 10 and indicate how likely it is that a tumor will spread. A low Gleason score means the cancer tissue is similar to normal prostate tissue and the tumor is less likely to spread; a high Gleason score means the cancer tissue is very different from normal and the tumor is more likely to spread.

Gleevec A drug used to treat certain types of chronic myelogenous leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Gleevec blocks the protein made by the bcr/abl oncogene. It belongs to the family of drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Also called imatinib mesylate and STI571.

Gliadel Wafer A biodegradable wafer that is used to deliver the anticancer drug carmustine directly into a brain tumor site after the tumor has been removed by surgery. Also called polifeprosan 20 carmustine implant.

glial cell A type of cell that surrounds nerve cells and holds them in place. Glial cells also insulate nerve cells from each other.

glial tumor A general term for tumors of the central nervous system, including astrocytomas, ependymal tumors, glioblastoma multiforme and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.

glioblastoma A fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Glioblastoma usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called grade IV astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme and GBM.

glioblastoma multiforme GBM. A fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Glioblastoma multiforme usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called grade IV astrocytoma, glioblastoma and GBM.

glioma A cancer of the brain that begins in glial cells (cells that surround and support nerve cells).

gliosarcoma A type of glioma (cancer of the brain that comes from glial, or supportive, cells).

glossectomy Surgical removal of all or part of the tongue.

glottis The middle part of the larynx; the area where the vocal cords are located.

glucagon A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

glucagonoma A rare pancreatic tumor that produces a hormone called glucagon. Glucagonomas can produce symptoms similar to diabetes.

glucocorticoid A compound that belongs to the family of compounds called corticosteroids (steroids). Glucocorticoids affect metabolism and have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. They may be naturally produced (hormones) or synthetic (drugs).

gluconeogenesis The process of making glucose (sugar) from its own breakdown products or from the breakdown products of lipids (fats) or proteins. Gluconeogenesis occurs mainly in cells of the liver or kidney.

glucose A type of sugar; the chief source of energy for living organisms.

glufosfamide An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.

glutamine An amino acid used in nutrition therapy. It is also being studied for the treatment of diarrhea caused by radiation therapy to the pelvis.

glutathione A substance found in plant and animal tissues that has many functions in a cell. These include activating certain enzymes and destroying toxic compounds and chemicals that contain oxygen.

glutathione S-transferase A family of enzymes involved in metabolism and in making toxic compounds less harmful to the body.

glycinamide ribonucleotide formyltransferase inhibitor A drug that blocks DNA synthesis and may prevent tumor growth. It is being studied as a treatment for cancer.

Glycine max A plant of Asian origin that produces beans used in many food products. Soy products contain isoflavones (estrogen-like substances) that are being studied for the prevention of cancer, hot flashes that occur with menopause, and osteoporosis (loss of bone density). Soy products in the diet may lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Also called soy, soya and soybean.

glycolysis A process in which glucose (sugar) is partially broken down by cells in enzyme reactions that do not need oxygen. Glycolysis is one method that cells use to produce energy. When glycolysis is linked with other enzyme reactions that use oxygen, more complete breakdown of glucose is possible and more energy is produced.

glycopeptide A short chain of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that has sugar molecules attached to it. Some glycopeptides have been studied for their ability to stimulate the immune system.

glycoprotein A protein that has sugar molecules attached to it.

glycoprotein 100 gp100. A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines.

glycosaminoglycan A type of long, unbranched polysaccharide molecule. Glycosaminoglycans are major structural components of cartilage and are also found in the cornea of the eye.

GM-CSF Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. A substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and sargramostim.

GM2-KLH vaccine A substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies that fight certain cancer cells.

GnRH Gonadotropin-releasing hormone. A hormone made by the hypothalamus (part of the brain). GnRH causes the pituitary gland to make luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are involved in reproduction. Also called gonadotropin-releasing hormone.

goiter An enlarged thyroid. It may be caused by too little iodine in the diet or by other conditions. Most goiters are not cancer.

gonad The part of the reproductive system that produces and releases eggs (ovary) or sperm (testicle/testis).

gonadotropin-releasing hormone GnRH. A hormone made by the hypothalamus (part of the brain). GnRH causes the pituitary gland to make luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). These hormones are involved in reproduction.

gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist A hormone made in the laboratory that has the same effect as the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) produced naturally by the body.

Gonzalez regimen An alternative therapy that is being studied as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. It includes a special diet, nutritional supplements, pancreatic enzymes and coffee enemas.

Gorlin syndrome A genetic condition that causes unusual facial features and disorders of the skin, bones, nervous system, eyes and endocrine glands. People with this syndrome have a higher risk of basal cell carcinoma. Also called nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome and basal cell nevus syndrome.

goserelin A drug that belongs to the family of drugs called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs. Goserelin is used to block hormone production in the ovaries or testicles.

gossypol An anticancer drug extracted from the cotton plant.

gp100 Glycoprotein 100. A tumor-specific antigen used in the development of cancer vaccines. Also called glycoprotein 100.

gp209-2M A peptide (short piece of protein) made from the tumor-specific antigen gp100, and used to make vaccines being studied in the treatment of melanoma.

gp96 heat shock protein-peptide complex vaccine A vaccine made from a patient's tumor cells that may help the body’s immune system find and kill cancer cells. This vaccine is being studied in the treatment of melanoma, kidney cancer, brain tumors and other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological therapies. Also called gp96 HSP-peptide complex or Oncophage.

gp96 HSP-peptide complex A vaccine made from a patient's tumor cells that may help the body’s immune system find and kill cancer cells. This vaccine is being studied in the treatment of melanoma, kidney cancer, brain tumors and other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called biological therapies. Also called gp96 heat shock protein-peptide complex vaccine or Oncophage.

GPX-100 An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called anti-tumor antibiotics. It is an anthracycline.

grade The grade of a tumor depends on how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer.

grade 1 follicular lymphoma An indolent (slow-growing) type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and small cells that have cleaved (u-shaped) nuclei.

grade 2 follicular lymphoma An indolent (slow-growing) type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by enlarged lymph nodes and a mix of large cells and small cells that have cleaved (u-shaped) nuclei.

grade 3 follicular lymphoma A type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma marked by large cells and enlarged lymph nodes. Grade 3 follicular lymphoma is less common, and more aggressive than grades 1 or 2 follicular lymphoma.

grade IV astrocytoma A fast-growing type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Grade IV astrocytoma usually occurs in adults and affects the brain more often than the spinal cord. Also called glioblastoma, glioblastoma multiforme and GBM.

grading A system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope. The objective of a grading system is to provide information about the probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.

graft Healthy skin, bone or other tissue taken from one part of the body and used to replace diseased or injured tissue removed from another part of the body.

graft-versus-host disease GVHD. A reaction of donated stem cells against the patient’s tissue.

graft-versus-tumor An immune response to a person's tumor cells by immune cells present in a donor's transplanted tissue, such as bone marrow or peripheral blood.

gram A unit of weight in the metric system. One gram is equal to one thousandth of a kilogram and is approximately 30-times less than an ounce.

granisetron A drug that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting. It belongs to the family of drugs called antiemetics.

granulocyte A type of white blood cell that fights bacterial infection. Neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils are granulocytes.

granulocyte colony-stimulating factor G-CSF. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell). It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called filgrastim.

granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor GM-CSF. A substance that helps make more white blood cells, especially granulocytes, macrophages and cells that become platelets. It is a cytokine that is a type of hematopoietic (blood-forming) agent. Also called GM-CSF and sargramostim.

granulocytic sarcoma A malignant, green-colored tumor of myeloid cells (a type of immature white blood cell). This tumor is usually associated with myelogenous leukemia. Also called chloroma.

granulocytopenia A deficiency in the number of granulocytes, a type of white blood cell.

granulosa cell tumor A type of slow-growing, malignant tumor that usually affects the ovary.

gray elm Ulmus fulva or Ulmus rubra. The inner bark of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. Also called slippery elm, Indian elm, red elm, sweet elm, Ulmus fulva and Ulmus rubra.

green tea extract A substance that is being studied in the prevention of cancer. It is made from decaffeinated green tea, and contains chemicals called catechins, which are antioxidants. Also called Polyphenon® E.

Greene Menopause Index A tool used by researchers to study the symptoms of menopause. It is a standard list of 21 questions which women use to rate how much they are bothered by menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, rapid heartbeat and difficulty sleeping.

groin The area where the thigh meets the abdomen.

growth factor A substance made by the body that functions to regulate cell division and cell survival. Some growth factors are also produced in the laboratory and used in biological therapy.

GTI-2040 A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called antisense oligonucleotides.

gums The tissue of the upper and lower jaws that surrounds the base of the teeth. Also called gingiva.

GVHD Graft-versus-host disease. A reaction of donated stem cells against the patient’s tissue. Also called graft-versus-host disease.

GW572016 A drug used with another anticancer drug to treat breast cancer that is HER2 positive and has advanced or metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) after treatment with other drugs. GW572016 is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of ErbB-2 and EGFR dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called lapatinib, lapatinib ditosylate and Tykerb.

GW786034 A substance being studied in the treatment of cancer. It is a type of protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor and angiogenesis inhibitor. Also called pazopanib and pazopanib hydrochloride.

gynecologic Having to do with the female reproductive tract (including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and vagina).

gynecologic cancer Cancer of the female reproductive tract, including the cervix, endometrium, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus and vagina.

gynecologic oncologist A doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female reproductive organs.

gynecologist A doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs.

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