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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 2002. Cancer and the Environment: Gene-Environment Interaction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10464.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 2002. Cancer and the Environment: Gene-Environment Interaction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10464.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 2002. Cancer and the Environment: Gene-Environment Interaction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10464.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A Glossary." Institute of Medicine. 2002. Cancer and the Environment: Gene-Environment Interaction. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10464.

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Appendix A Glossary5 Adduct. Addition of new chemical structure into DNA. Adenocarcinoma. Cancer that begins in cells that line certain internal organs. Adenoma. A noncancerous epithelial tumor. Adenomatous. Pertaining to adenoma. Allelotype. The protein product (or the result of its activity) of an allele that may be detected as an antigen in another member of the same species.(e.g., histo- compatibility antigens, immunoglobulins), obeying the rules of simple Men- delian inheritance. Aneuploidy. Any deviation from an exact multiple of the haploid number of chromosomes, whether fewer (hypoploidy, as in Turner’s syndrome) or more (hyperploidy, as in Down’s syndrome). Angiosarcoma. A type of cancer that begins in the lining of blood vessels. Antigen. A molecule whose shape triggers the production of antibodies (immu- noglobulins) that will bind to the antigen. A foreign substance capable of triggering an immune response in an organism. Apoptosis. A normal series of events in a cell that lead to its death. Biomarker. A biological molecule used as a marker for the substance or process of interest. BRCA1 gene. A gene located on chromosome 17 that normally helps to sup- 5Sources of definitions include Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary (Philadelphia: W.B. Saun- ders Co., 2000), The On-line Medical Dictionary (, The Biology Teaching Organisation’s On-line Glossary of Genetic Terms (, and Lung- Cancer Glossary ( 119

120 APPENDIX A press cell growth. Inheriting an altered version of BRCA1 predisposes an individual to breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer. BRCA2 gene. A breast cancer gene located on chromosome 13. Carcinogen. Any substance that causes cancer. Carcinoma. Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. Codon. A section of DNA (three nucleotide pairs in length) or RNA (three nucleotides in length) that codes for a single amino acid. A sequence of three RNA or DNA nucleotides that specifies (codes for) either an amino acid or the termination of translation. DNA methylation. Modification of a DNA molecule by the addition of a methyl group. Environment. The sum total of all the conditions and elements that make up the surroundings and influence the development and actions of an individual. Epigenetic. Altering the activity of genes without changing their structure. Ewing’s sarcoma. A highly malignant, metastasizing, primitive small round cell tumor of bone, usually occurring in the diaphyses of long bones, ribs, and flat bones of children or adolescents. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Multiple adenomatous polyps with high malignant potential, lining the mucous membrane of the intestine, par- ticularly the colon, beginning at about puberty. Genome. The total set of genes carried by an individual or cell. Genotype. The specific allelic composition of a cell—either of the entire cell or, more commonly, of a certain gene or set of genes. The genes that an organ- ism possesses. Hemangioma. An extremely common benign tumor, occurring most commonly in infancy and childhood, made up of newly formed blood vessels and re- sulting from malformation of angioblastic tissue of fetal life. Hepatocellular carcinoma. A type of adenocarcinoma, the most common type of liver tumor. Immunocompetence. The ability or capacity to develop an immune response (i.e., antibody production and/or cell-mediated immunity) following expo- sure to an antigen. Li–Fraumeni syndrome. Li–Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is an inherited form of cancer, affecting children and young adults and characterized by a wide

GLOSSARY 121 spectrum of tumors, including soft-tissue and bone sarcomas, brain tumors, adenocortical tumors and premenopausal breast cancers. Low-penetrance gene. A gene that produces a low incidence of a trait. Modifier gene. A nonallelic gene that controls or changes the manifestation of a gene by interfering with its transcription. Neoplasia. Abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth. Neoplasm. A new growth of benign or malignant tissue. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A heterogeneous group of malignant lymphomas, whose only common feature is being an absence of the giant Reed–Stern- berg cells characteristic of Hodgkin’s disease. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A group of lung cancers that includes squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Osteogenic sarcoma. A malignant primary neoplasm of bone composed of a malignant connective tissue stroma with evidence of malignant, osteoid, bone, or cartilage formation. Also called osteosarcoma. Osteoma. A benign, slow-growing tumor composed of well-differentiated, densely sclerotic, compact bone, usually arising in bones, particularly the skull and facial bones. Phytonutrient. A plant-derived nutrient. Polyp. A growth that protrudes from a mucous membrane. Proliferation. The reproduction or multiplication of similar forms, especially of cells and morbid cysts. Proto-oncogene. A normal cellular gene that, with alteration, such as mutation, DNA rearrangement, or nearby insertion of viral DNA, becomes an active oncogene; most proto-oncogenes are believed to function normally in cell growth and differentiation. Renal adenocarcinoma. Cancer that develops in the lining of the renal tubules, which filter the blood and produce urine. Rhabdomyosarcoma. A malignant tumor of muscle tissue. Sarcoma. A cancer of the bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue. Small cell lung cancer (SCLC). A type of lung cancer in which the cells appear small and round when viewed under the microscope, also called oat cell lung cancer.

122 APPENDIX A Sqamous cell carcinoma. Carcinoma developed from squamous epithelium, having cuboid cells and characterized by keratinization and often by preser- vation of intercellular bridges. Initially local and superficial, the lesion may later invade and metastasize. Syndrome. A set of signs or a series of events occurring together that often point to a single disease or condition as the cause. Wilms’ tumor. A rapidly developing malignant mixed tumor of the kidneys, made up of embryonal elements; it usually affects children before the fifth year but may occur in the fetus and rarely in later life.

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The Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine wanted to address the link between environmental factors and the development of cancer in light of recent advances in genomics. They asked what research tools are needed, how new scientific information can be applied in a timely manner to reduce the burden of cancer, and how this can be flexible enough to treat the individual.

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