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Oncology Glossary

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1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol [1,25(OH)2D]: a steroid hormone (also known as calcitriol) that functions as the physiologically most active form of vitamin D. It acts in an autocrine and paracrine manner and binds to the vitamin D receptor to regulate calcium homeostasis and bone growth and mineralization, among other cellular processes.

12-gene recurrence score: a number between 0 and 100 that corresponds to a specific likelihood of breast cancer recurrence within 10 years of initial diagnosis. The score is derived from a mathematical function combining the expression values of seven breast cancer–related genes and five reference genes.

17-AAG (17-allylaminogeldanamycin): a derivative of geldamycin with a favorable toxicity profile. It binds specifically to HSP90 and its homolog and inhibits chaperone functions of these proteins.

17-DMAG: a potent and soluble analog of geldanamycin. See geldanamycin.

1α-hydroxylase: a mitochondrial enzyme within the kidney that is encoded by the gene CYP27B1 and that converts 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the primary circulating form of vitamin D, to 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, the active metabolite. The primary inducer of 1α-hydroxylase activity is parathyroid hormone. Recent studies indicate that 1α-hydroxylase is also expressed at extrarenal sites, including normal colon, brain, placenta, pancreas, lymph nodes, and skin.

1p/19q loss: a genetic alteration that consists of the loss of the heterozygosity of chromosomes 1p and 19q, which has been shown to be a powerful predictor of survival and chemotherapy sensitivity in oligodendroglial tumors.

21-gene reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction: a 21-gene prognostic profile that has become a powerful predictor of outcomes in patients with breast cancer and that outperforms currently used standard diagnostic criteria for predicting development of future metastases and overall survival in patients with breast cancer. The 21-gene signature has been validated and is commercially available.

25-hydroxyvitamin D3: the primary circulating form of vitamin D. 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is produced in the liver when vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from ultraviolet irradiation and dietary intake is hydroxylated by mitochondrial and microsomal enzymes in the liver. 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is considered the best indicator of vitamin D status, because it reflects not only skin exposure to ultraviolet light and total vitamin D intake but also cholecalciferol production in the skin and hydroxylation of all sources of cholecalciferol in the liver.

25-hydroxyvitamin D3: 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, the main circulating form of vitamin D, is produced in the liver when vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) from ultraviolet irradiation and dietary intake is hydroxylated by mitochondrial and microsomal enzymes in the liver. 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is considered the best indicator of vitamin D status, because it reflects not only skin exposure to ultraviolet light and total vitamin D intake but also cholecalciferol production in the skin and hydroxylation of all sources of cholecalciferol in the liver.

4E-BP1 (4E-binding protein 1): a cellular protein, which in its unphosphorylated state, inhibits translation as a result of its association with eIF-4E. This prevents the binding of the scaffold protein eIF-4G and prevents the formation of the translational initiation complex.

5-azacitidine (5-azacytidine): a cytidine nucleoside analog (approved for use in myelodysplastic syndromes [Vidaza, Celgene, Summit, NJ]) commonly considered a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor.

5-lipoxygenase pathway: the biochemical pathway used for the synthesis of leukotrienes in which 5-lipoxygenase is a key enzyme.

5HRE (hypoxia-response element): an inducible promoter in the 5'-untranslated region of human vascular endothelial growth factor that shows excellent transcriptional activation at low oxygen tension. This region has been isolated, and several copies have been cloned in vectors upstream of genes whose expression is desired under conditions of hypoxia. When these vectors are introduced in tumors, for example, the cloned genes are expressed because of hypoxic conditions that are characteristic of tumors. Thus, the technology allows for expression of therapeutic genes in tumor cells.

70-gene expression signature: initially obtained from microarray technology, a 70-gene prognostic profile that has become a powerful predictor of outcomes in patients with breast cancer and outperforms currently used standard diagnostic criteria to predict development of future metastases and overall survival in patients with breast cancer. The 70-gene signature has been validated and is commercially available.


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