Therapeutic Antibody Glossary of Terms

Term Definition
aggressive lymphoma A lymphoma that grows quickly and is currently curable in about 30-40% of patients with standard CHOP chemotherapy.
antibody A type of protein made by certain white blood cells in response to a foreign substance (antigen). Each antibody can bind to only a specific antigen. The purpose of this binding is to help destroy the antigen. Antibodies can work in several ways, depending on the nature of the antigen. Some antibodies destroy antigens directly. Others make it easier for white blood cells to destroy the antigen.
antibody therapy Treatment with an antibody, a substance that can directly kill specific tumor cells or stimulate the immune system to kill tumor cells.
antigens Substances that cause the immune system to make a specific immune response. An example would be a murine antibody, which is derived solely from mouse proteins and therefore is viewed as foreign by the host body.
B-cells/B lymphocytes White blood cells that make antibodies and are an important part of the immune system.
bone marrow The soft, sponge-like tissue in the center of bones that produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
bone marrow toxicity The destruction of bone marrow using radiation or drugs.
chimeric antibody Refers to the fact that the antibody is made of both mouse and human antibodies, usually a 30/70 percent split, respectively.
combination therapy Treatment using more than one anticancer drug.
complete remission The disappearance of all detectable signs of cancer. Also called a complete response.
complete response The disappearance of all detectable signs of cancer in response to treatment. This does not mean the cancer has been cured.
concurrent therapy A treatment that is given at the same time as another.
consolidation therapy Chemotherapy treatments given after induction chemotherapy to further reduce the number of cancer cells.
disease progression Cancer that continues to grow or spread.
disease-free survival Length of time after treatment during which no cancer is found. Can be reported for an individual patient or for a study population.
duration of response Refers to the length of time between anticancer treatments where a patient's cancer shrinks, disappears, or remains stable.
event-free survival Ongoing survival following cancer treatment without any events including disease progression, relapse, death or initiation of new treatment.
humanized antibody The antibody contains over 90 percent human material.
immune response The activity of the immune system against foreign substances (antigens). This type of response can occur when a mouse or murine antibody is administered.
indolent lymphoma A lymphoma that is slow growing and has few symptoms. It is incurable with current therapies.
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 eliminate whatever cancer remains.
irreversible toxicity Side effects that are caused by toxic substances or something harmful to the body and do not go away.
maintenance therapy Treatment that is given to help a primary (original) treatment keep working. Maintenance therapy is often given to help keep cancer in remission or prolong a response to a specific therapy.
murine (mouse) antibody The antibody is derived solely from mouse proteins and is viewed as foreign by the host body.
overall survival The percentage of subjects in a study who have survived for a defined period of time. Usually reported as time since diagnosis or initial treatment. Often called the survival rate.
partial response A decrease in the size of a tumor, or in the extent of cancer in the body has regressed by more than 50 percent in response to anticancer treatment.
radioimmunotherapy Treatment with a radioactive substance that is linked to an antibody, usually a mouse antibody.
radioisotope An unstable element that releases radiation as it breaks down. Radioisotopes can be used in imaging tests or as a treatment for cancer.
radiolabeled Any compound that has been joined with a radioactive substance.
radiotherapy The treatment of disease (especially cancer) by exposure to a radioactive substance.
recurrence The return of cancer, at the same site as the original (primary) tumor or in another location, after the tumor had disappeared.
relapse The return of signs and symptoms of cancer after a period of improvement.
response rate The percentage of patients whose cancer shrinks more than 50 percent or disappears after treatment.
retreatment Refers to the ability for a patient to receive the same therapy more than once for his/her cancer.
salvage therapy Treatment that is given after the cancer has not responded to other treatments.
standard therapy A currently accepted and widely used treatment for a certain type of cancer, based on the results of past research.