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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23497.
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Appendix C

Glossary

TABLE 5 Definitions

Term Definition
Antigen Any substance that causes the body to make an immune response against that substance. Antigens include toxins, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or other substances that come from outside the body. Body tissues and cells, including cancer cells, also have antigens on them that can cause an immune response. These antigens can also be used as markers in laboratory tests to identify those tissues or cells.
Antigen-Presenting Cell (APC) A type of immune cell that boosts immune responses by showing antigens on its surface to other cells of the immune system. An antigen-presenting cell is a type of phagocyte.
B-Cell (B-lymphocyte) A type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. B-cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Also called B-lymphocyte.
Cytotoxic T-Cells (CD8) A type of immune cell that can kill certain cells, including foreign cells, cancer cells, and cells infected with a virus. Cytotoxic T-cells can be separated from other blood cells, grown in the laboratory, and then given to a patient to kill cancer cells. A cytotoxic T-cell is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called cytotoxic T-lymphocyte and killer T-cell.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23497.
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Term Definition
Helper T-Cells (CD4) A type of immune cell that stimulates killer T-cells, macrophages, and B-cells to make immune responses. A helper T-cell is a type of white blood cell and a type of lymphocyte. Also called CD4positive T-lymphocyte.
Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) A type of molecule found on the surface of most cells in the body. HLAs play an important part in the body’s immune response to foreign substances. They make up a person’s tissue type, which varies from person to person. HLA tests are done before a donor stem cell or organ transplant to find out if tissues match between the donor and the person receiving the transplant. Also called human lymphocyte antigen.
Lymphocyte A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and is found in the blood and in lymph tissue. The two main types of lymphocytes are B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes. B-lymphocytes make antibodies, and T-lymphocytes help kill tumor cells and help control immune responses. A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell.
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) A series of genes that code for cell surface proteins that control the adaptive immune response. The system is called H2 in mice and HLA (human lymphocyte antigen) in humans. Class I MHC contains three genes called HLA-A, B, and C; proteins from these genes are expressed on nearly all cells. Class II MHC genes are called HLA-DR, DQ, and DP; their proteins are expressed on antigen-presenting macrophages, dendritic cells, and B-cells.
PD-1 A protein found on T-cells (a type of immune cell) that helps keep the body’s immune responses in check. When PD-1 is bound to another protein called PD-L1, it helps keep T-cells from killing other cells, including cancer cells. Some anticancer drugs, called immune checkpoint inhibitors, are used to block PD-1. When this protein is blocked, the “brakes” on the immune system are released and the ability of T-cells to kill cancer cells is increased.
Ras Gene Family A family of genes that may cause cancer when they are mutated (changed). They make proteins that are involved in cell signaling pathways, cell growth, and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Agents that block the actions of a mutated ras gene or its protein may stop the growth of cancer. Members of the ras gene family include KRAS, HRAS, and NRAS.

SOURCES: Adapted from http://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms (accessed May 18, 2016) and http://www.biology.arizona.edu/immunology/tutorials/immunology/10t.html (accessed May 18, 2016).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23497.
×
Page 111
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23497.
×
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Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment: Proceedings of a Workshop Get This Book
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Immunotherapy is a form of cancer therapy that harnesses the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells. In recent years, immunotherapies have been developed for several cancers, including advanced melanoma, lung cancer, and kidney cancer. In some patients with metastatic cancers who have not responded well to other treatments, immunotherapy treatment has resulted in complete and durable responses. Given these promising findings, it is hoped that continued immunotherapy research and development will produce better cancer treatments that improve patient outcomes.

With this promise, however, there is also recognition that the clinical and biological landscape for immunotherapies is novel and not yet well understood. For example, adverse events with immunotherapy treatment are quite different from those experienced with other types of cancer therapy. Similarly, immunotherapy dosing, therapeutic responses, and response time lines are also markedly different from other cancer therapies. To examine these challenges and explore strategies to overcome them, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop in February and March of 2016. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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