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Home > Mesothelioma cancer > Mesothelioma cancer terms list > Mesothelioma cancer glossary - G

Mesothelioma cancer glossary - G

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 - Radiation therapy in which high-energy rays are aimed at a tumor from many angles in a single treatment session.

gastrointestinal tract - The stomach and intestines.

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 belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called filgrastim.

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 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.

genetic markers - Alterations in DNA that may indicate an increased risk of developing a specific disease or disorder.

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.

Gleason score - A system of grading prostate cancer cells based on how they look 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 cells are similar to normal prostate cells and are less likely to spread; a high Gleason score means the cancer cells are very different from normal and are more likely to spread.

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 general term that refers to malignant astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor.

glioblastoma multiforme - A type of brain tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain. It grows very quickly and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Also called grade IV astrocytoma.

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).

GM-CSF - Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. A colony-stimulating factor that stimulates the production of white blood cells, especially granulocytes and macrophages, and cells (in the bone marrow) that are precursors of platelets. It is a cytokine that belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called sargramostim.

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 IV astrocytoma - A type of brain tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain. It grows very quickly and has cells that look very different from normal cells. Also called glioblastoma multiforme.

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.

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 belongs to the family of drugs called hematopoietic (blood-forming) agents. Also called filgrastim.

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