Adjuvant: an Adjuvant therapy is an extra or additional therapy that is used after the primary therapy. It is often used to improve upon the cure rate and decrease the rate of occurrence. An example, for instance, is when adjuvant radiation or adjuvant Tamoxifen is given after surgery for breast cancer — both these extra therapies after the main therapy cut the recurrence risk.
Antibody: a complex molecule that the human body uses to recognize certain proteins. Drugs using antibodies can often target tumor cells very specifically, having relatively little effects on other healthy tissues. Herceptin ® is an example of an antibody-based drug
Biologic: Biologics are a certain type of chemotherapy that usually act upon a very specific step in the biology of the cancer. Biologics are made from biologic processes that are adapted to treat a disease. Biologics include drugs made of DNA, RNA, or proteins. Herceptin is an example of a biologic.
Blinded/ Double-Blind: a Blinded study is a multiple-arm study in which the patient and, usually, the investigator do not know which arm the patient is in. Studies that are blinded provide great data because the patient or the doctor cannot influence the results.
Chemotherapy: chemotherapy is a medicine that is used to treat cancer, usually by killing cancer cells or preventing cancer cells by growing. Chemotherapy can be used for cure or palliation. It is generally given intravenously (IV) or by mouth (orally).
Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy involves giving a drug that manipulates a patient’s hormonal levels of treat a cancer. The hormone therapy is often given orally (such as Arimidex) but can also be intravenously (such as Faslodex) or intramuscularly (such as Lupron.) Breast cancer and prostate cancer are often treated with hormonal therapy.
Neoadjuvant: a neoadjuvant is a form of an adjuvant therapy, a therapy that is an extra or additional therapy to the primary therapy. Rather than given after the primary therapy, it is given before the primary therapy. Examples are breast cancer, in which chemotherapy can be given before surgery, or rectal cancer, in which chemoradiation can be given before surgery.
Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC): this is the most common form of lung cancer. Lung adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carinomas fall into this group.
Melanoma: this is a cancer arising from specialized skin cells called melanocytes.
Phase I or Phase II: these are the phases when first the safety and the optimal efficacious dose is determined.
Phase III: This is among the final phases in assessing a new drug or treatment. In this phase, the efficacy or effectiveness of a drug is determined by comparing it directly to the standard arm.
Placebo-Controlled: this is a type of a Phase III trial in which the experimental arm (the new drug or treatment) is compared against a placebo. This allows careful evaluation of the effect of the experimental treatment.
Radiation Therapy: this is the use of precise, high-energy X-rays that can be directed at a tumor or at an area at risk of cancer spread. Radiation therapy can be used to cure cancer, such as in the case of prostate cancer or head and neck cancer, or to palliative or improve upon symptoms such as pain.
Randomized: a randomized trial is one in which some participants are given one treatment and others a different treatment, often on a random basis. This allows doctors and scientists to directly compare the two treatments.
Small Cell Lung Cancer: a form of lung cancer, less common than small cell lung cancer.
Vaccine: this is a treatment that recruits the body’s own immune system to fight a tumor.