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Glossary of Terms

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There are currently 32 names in this directory beginning with the letter I.
Ileum
Lowest part of the small intestine, located beyond the duodenum and jejunum, just before the large intestine (the colon).
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
Treatment with radiation that uses imaging tests to better target the tumor.
Imaging tests
Methods used to produce pictures of internal body structures; for example, X-ray films, ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Immune cells
Cells that are part of the body's natural defense against infection and disease.
Immune response
The action of the body’s natural defense against infection and disease in response to a foreign substance.
Immune suppression
The condition in which the body's immune system, its natural defense against infection and disease, is weakened. This can occur because of illness or because of treatment for some diseases.
Immune system
The body's natural defense against disease, made up of a variety of organs, cells, and proteins.
Immunoglobulin
Proteins in the serum and cells of the immune system that help fight off infection. Also called antibodies.
Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
A test of proteins within cells to detect specific cell traits involved in abnormal cell growth. It is used to diagnose types of cancer.
Immunotherapy
Treatment that boosts the body's natural defense against disease. Also called immune therapy.
In situ
Literally, something found in its original place. In cancer in situ describes cancer cells that have not spread from their original location.
Incidental finding
During evaluation for a disease, finding another disease unintentionally.
Incisional biopsy
Surgery that removes a tissue sample from a tumor to test for cancer cells.
Inflammation
A reaction in one part of the body that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a result of infection, irritation, or injury. Inflammation can be external or internal.
Informed consent
Process in which a person is given important facts, such as the risks and benefits, about a medical procedure or treatment or a clinical trial before deciding whether to participate.
Informed consent form
A document that must be read, understood, and signed by a person wanting to take part in a research study or clinical trial.
Infusion
A method of giving drugs slowly through a needle into a vein.
Inherited mutations
DNA mutations carried in a person’s reproductive cells and potentially passed on to that person’s children. (see also Mutations.)
Insulin
A hormone made by islet cells of the pancreas that controls the amount of sugar in the blood by moving it into the cells, where it can be used for energy.
Integrative therapy
Combined use of a proven treatment and a complementary therapy.
Interstitial radiation
A type of internal radiation therapy that places radioactive objects in the tumor.
Interventional radiologist
A radiologist who uses image guidance methods to gain access to vessels and organs to treat diseases.
Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN)
A tumor of the pancreas that produces mucus that clogs and enlarges the pancreatic duct; IPMNs may progress to invasive pancreatic cancer if left untreated.
Intraoperative
During the course of surgery.
Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)
Radiation therapy given during surgery.
Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy
Drugs given by a small tube surgically placed in the abdomen.
Intrathecal injection
Injection into the space surrounding the spinal cord.
Intravenous (IV) chemotherapy
Drugs given by a needle or tube inserted into a vein.
Intravenous injection
Injection directly into a vein.
Irinotecan
One of the approved chemotherapy drugs for pancreatic cancer, it inhibits the replication and transcription of DNA, and so interferes with cell growth.
Islet cell tumor
A tumor that arises from the islet cells of the pancreas, which may be benign or cancerous.
Islets of Langerhans
Collections of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and glucagon, important regulators of sugar metabolism.
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