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Cancer Glossary - V

vaccination  
Treatment with a vaccine.
vaccine  
A substance or group of substances meant to cause the immune system to respond to a tumor or to microorganisms, such as bacteria or viruses. A vaccine can help the body recognize and destroy cancer cells or microorganisms.
vaccine adjuvant  
A substance added to a vaccine to improve the immune response so that less vaccine is needed.
vaccinia CEA vaccine  
A cancer vaccine containing the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) gene.
vagina  (vah-JYE-na)
The muscular canal extending from the uterus to the exterior of the body. Also called the birth canal.
vaginal  
Having to do with the vagina (the birth canal).
valdecoxib  
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for pain and other side effects of cancer therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors.
valganciclovir  
An antiviral agent that is being studied as a treatment for AIDS-related cytomegalovirus. It is changed in the body to ganciclovir.
vancomycin  
An antibiotic drug used to fight resistant bacterial infections.
vapreotide  
A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the familyof drugs called somatostatin analogs.
vas deferens  
A coiled tube that carries the sperm out of the testes.
vascular endothelial growth factor  
VEGF. A substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation.
vasectomy  (vas-EK-toe-mee)
An operation to cut or tie off the two tubes that carry sperm out of the testicles.
VEGF  
Vascular endothelial growth factor. A substance made by cells that stimulates new blood vessel formation.
venlafaxine  
An antidepressant drug that is being evaluated for the treatment of hot flashes in women who have breast cancer.
ventricles  (VEN-trih-kulz)
Fluid-filled cavities in the heart or brain.
video-assisted resection  
Surgery that is aided by the use of a video camera that projects and enlarges the image on a television screen. Also called video-assisted surgery.
video-assisted surgery  
Surgery that is aided by the use of a video camera that projects and enlarges the image on a television screen. Also called video-assisted resection.
vinblastine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids. It is a mitotic inhibitor.
vinca alkaloids  
Anticancer drugs that inhibit cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. They are also called antimitotic or antimicrotubule agents, or mitotic inhibitors.
vincristine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.
vindesine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.
vinorelbine  
An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of plant drugs called vinca alkaloids.
vinyl chloride  (VYE-nil KLO-ride)
A substance used in manufacturing plastics. Exposure to vinyl chloride may increase the risk of liver, brain, and lung cancers; lymphoma; and leukemia.
viral  
Having to do with a virus.
viral vector  
A type of virus used in cancer therapy. The virus is changed in the laboratory and cannot cause disease. Viral vectors produce tumor antigens (proteins found on a tumor cell) and can stimulate an antitumor immune response in the body. Viral vectors may also be used to carry genes that can change cancer cells back to normal cells.
virtual colonoscopy  
A method under study to examine the colon by taking a series of x-rays (called a CT scan) and then using a high-powered computer to reconstruct 2-D and 3-D pictures of the interior surfaces of the colon from these x-rays. The pictures can be saved, manipulated to better viewing angles, and reviewed after the procedure, even years later. Also called computed tomography colography.
virulence  
The ability of a microorganism to cause damage to its host.
virus  (VYE-rus)
A microorganism that can infect cells and cause disease. In cancer therapy, some viruses may be made into vaccines that help the body build an immune response to, and kill, tumor cells.
virus replication cycle  
The reproduction cycle of viruses. A replication cycle begins with the infection of a host cell and ends with the release of mature progeny virus particles.
virus-neutralizing antibody  
An antibody that binds to a virus and interferes with its ability to infect a cell.
viscera  
The soft internal organs of the body, including the lungs, the heart, and the organs of the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems.
viscotoxin  
A member of a group of small proteins produced by mistletoe plants that are able to kill cells and may stimulate the immune system.
visual pathway glioma  
A rare, slow-growing tumor of the eye.
vital  
Necessary to maintain life. Breathing is a vital function.
vitamin A  
A substance used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called retinoids.
vitamin E  
A substance used in cancer prevention. It belongs to the family of drugs called tocopherols.
vitamin K  
A substance that promotes the clotting of blood.
vitamins  
Key nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to grow and stay strong. Examples are vitamins A, C, and E.
VNP20009  
A genetically modified Salmonella bacterium that is injected into the tumor. It is being studied for its ability to shrink solid tumors.
VNP40101M  
A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called alkylating agents.
vocal cords  
Two small bands of muscle within the larynx that vibrate to produce the voice.
von Hippel-Lindau syndrome  
A rare inherited disorder in which blood vessels grow abnormally in the eyes, brain, spinal cord, adrenal glands, or other parts of the body. People with von Hippel-Lindau syndrome have a higher risk of developing some types of cancer.
voriconazole  
A drug that treats infections caused by fungi.
vorozole  
A hormone therapy drug used to decrease the production of estrogen.
vulva  
The external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina.
vulvar cancer  
Cancer of the vulva (the external female genital organs, including the clitoris, vaginal lips, and the opening to the vagina).
VX 853  
A drug being studied to make cancer cells less resistant to the effects of chemotherapy.
VX-710  
A drug being studied to make cancer cells less resistant to the effects of chemotherapy.

 

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