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

Mesothelioma cancer glossary - I

idiopathic - Describes a disease of unknown cause.

ileostomy - An opening into the ileum, part of the small intestine, from the outside of the body. An ileostomy provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the intestine has been removed.

ileus - Obstruction of the intestines.

IM - Intramuscular. Within or into muscle.

immune response - The activity of the immune system against foreign substances (antigens).

immune system - The complex group of organs and cells that defends the body against infections and other diseases.

immunocompetent - Having the ability to produce a normal immune response.

immunocompromised - Having a weakened immune system caused by certain diseases or treatments.

immunodeficiency - The decreased ability of the body to fight infection and disease.

immunotherapy - Treatment to stimulate or restore the ability of the immune system to fight infections and other diseases. Also used to lessen side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments. Also known as biological therapy, biotherapy, or biological response modifier (BRM) therapy.

immunotoxin - An antibody linked to a toxic substance. Some immunotoxins can bind to cancer cells and kill them.

implant radiation - A procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, internal radiation, or interstitial radiation.

implantable pump - A small device installed under the skin to administer a steady dose of drugs.

in situ cancer - Early cancer that has not spread to neighboring tissue.

incidence - The number of new cases of a disease diagnosed each year.

incisional biopsy - A surgical procedure in which a portion of a lump or suspicious area is removed for diagnosis. The tissue is then examined under a microscope.

Indian cress - Nasturtium officinale. Parts of the flowering plant have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anticancer effects. Also called watercress.

Indian 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, gray elm, red elm, and sweet elm.

Indian rhubarb - Rheum palmatum or Rheum officinale. The root of this plant has been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Also called rhubarb, da-huang, Chinese rhubarb, and Turkish rhubarb.

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

indolent - A type of cancer that grows slowly.

induction therapy - Treatment designed to be used as a first step toward shrinking the cancer and in evaluating response to drugs and other agents. Induction therapy is followed by additional therapy to attempt to eliminate whatever cancer remains.

infiltrating cancer - Cancer that has spread beyond the layer of tissue in which it developed and is growing into surrounding, healthy tissues. Also called invasive cancer.

infiltrating ductal carcinoma - The most common type of invasive breast cancer. It starts in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast, grows outside the ducts, and often spreads to the lymph nodes.

inflammation - Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues.

informed consent - A process in which a person learns key facts about a clinical trial, including potential risks and benefits, before deciding whether or not to participate in a study. Informed consent continues throughout the trial.

infusion - A method of putting fluids, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous infusion.

inoperable - Describes a condition that cannot be treated by surgery.

Institutional Review Board - IRB. A group of scientists, doctors, clergy, and consumers at each health care facility that participates in a clinical trial. IRBs are designed to protect study participants. They review and must approve the action plan for every clinical trial. They check to see that the trial is well designed, does not involve undue risks, and includes safeguards for patients.

intensity-modulated radiation therapy - IMRT. A type of 3-dimensional radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. Thin beams of radiation of different intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. This type of radiation therapy reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.

interferon - A biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infections and other diseases). Interferons interfere with the division of cancer cells and can slow tumor growth. There are several types of interferons, including interferon-alpha, -beta, and -gamma. The body normally produces these substances. They are also made in the laboratory to treat cancer and other diseases.

interleukin - A biological response modifier (substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that helps the immune system fight infection and cancer. These substances are normally produced by the body. They are also made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

interstitial radiation therapy - A procedure in which radioactive material sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters is placed directly into or near a tumor. Also called brachytherapy, internal radiation, or implant radiation.

intrahepatic - Within the liver.

intraoperative radiation therapy - IORT. Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery.

intraperitoneal chemotherapy - Treatment in which anticancer drugs are put directly into the abdominal cavity through a thin tube.

intrathecal - Describes the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. Drugs can be injected into the fluid or a sample of the fluid can be removed for testing.

intrathecal chemotherapy - Anticancer drugs that are injected into the fluid-filled space between the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.

intravenous - IV. Within a blood vessel.

intravenous pyelogram - IVP. A series of x-rays of the kidneys, ureters, and bladder. The x-rays are taken after a dye is injected into a blood vessel. The dye is concentrated in the urine, which outlines the kidneys, ureters, and bladder on the x-rays.

investigational - In clinical trials, refers to a drug (including a new drug, dose, combination, or route of administration) or procedure that has undergone basic laboratory testing and received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested in human subjects. A drug or procedure may be approved by the FDA for use in one disease or condition, but be considered investigational in other diseases or conditions. Also called experimental.

IORT - Intraoperative radiation therapy. Radiation treatment aimed directly at a tumor during surgery.

IP - Intraperitoneal. Within the peritoneal cavity (the area that contains the abdominal organs).

IRB - Institutional Review Board. A group of scientists, doctors, clergy, and consumers at each health care facility that participates in a clinical trial. IRBs are designed to protect study participants. They review and must approve the action plan for every clinical trial. They check to see that the trial is well designed, does not involve undue risks, and includes safeguards for patients.

irradiation - The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy) or from materials called radioisotopes. Radioisotopes produce radiation and can be placed in or near the tumor or in the area near cancer cells. This type of radiation treatment is called internal radiation therapy, implant radiation, interstitial radiation, or brachytherapy. Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that circulates throughout the body. Irradiation is also called radiation therapy, radiotherapy, and x-ray therapy.

irreversible toxicity - Side effects that are caused by toxic substances or something harmful to the body and do not go away.

IV - Intravenous (in-tra-VEE-nus). Injected into a blood vessel.

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