blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow). All-trans retinoic acid is being studied in the prevention and treatment of other types of cancer. Also called ATRA, retinoic acid, tretinoin, and vitamin A acid

Analytical validation—assessing an assay and its measurement performance characteristics, determining the range of conditions under which the assay will give reproducible and accurate data

Angiogenesis—blood vessel formation. Tumor angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. This is caused by the release of chemicals by the tumor

Annotated specimens—samples of material, such as urine, blood, tissue, cells, DNA, RNA, and protein that are associated with clinical information

Antibody—a protein made by plasma cells (a type of white blood cell) in response to an antigen. Each antibody can bind to only one specific antigen

Antifolate—a substance that blocks the activity of folic acid. Antifolates are used to treat cancer. Also called folate antagonist

Antigen—any substance that causes the body to make a specific immune response

Apoptosis—a type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell leads to death. This is the body’s normal way of getting rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells. Also called programmed cell death

Assay—a laboratory test to find and measure the amount of a specific substance

Back office operations—also called back-end processes, those operations that rarely directly interface with a customer

Bayesian—a trial design that considers the treatment effect as a random variable with a probability distribution rather than as an unknown constant that the investigator wishes to estimate

Bevicizumab (Avastin)—a monoclonal antibody used to treat several types of cancer, including certain types of colorectal, lung, breast, and kidney cancers and glioblastoma. Bevacizumab binds to vascular endothelial growth

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