Cancer Vocab Flashcards

Terms Definitions
neoplasia / neoplasm
neoplasia = abnormal proliferation

neoplasm = new growth
cancer - invade/metastasize
cancer tissue of origin: epithelium
cancer tissue of origin: connective tissue
cancer tissue of origin: blood
cancer tissue of origin: lymphoid tissue
"-oma" exception: blastoma
malignancy originating from: blast cells
"-oma" exception: glioma
malignancy originating from: glial cells (brain)
"-oma" exception: lymphoma
malignancy originating from: lymphoid cells
"-oma" exception: melanoma
malignancy originating from: melanocytes
"-oma" exception: mesothelioma
malignancy originating from: mesothelium (lining of abdominal, pleural, and pericardial cavities)
"-oma" exception: seminoma
malignancy originating from: germ cells (testicular)
"-oma" exception: choristoma
non-neoplastic tissue that is out of place (heterotopic)
tissue that is out of place
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: angio-
tissue of origin: blood vessels or lymphatics
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: chondro-
tissue of origin: cartilage
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: fibro-
tissue of origin: fibroblasts
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: leiomyo-
tissue of origin: smooth muscle
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: lipo-
tissue of origin: fat
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: osteo-
tissue of origin: bone
roots that specify mesenchyma tumor type: rhabdomyo
tissue of origin: skeletal muscle
benign tumors
end in "-oma" except for few
benign or malignant: encapsulated
benign or malignant: infiltrative
benign or malignant: small, regular nuclei
benign or malignant: pleomorphic nuclei
benign or malignant: inconspicuous nucleoli
benign or malignant: prominent and irregular nucleoli
benign or malignant: low N:C ratio
benign or malignant: high N:C ratio
benign or malignant: mitotically active w/ abnormal mitotic figures
benign or malignant: no necrosis (dead cells)
benign or malignant: areas of necrosis
malignant (from lack of blood supply)
benign or malignant: not metastatic
benign or malignant: metastatic
cancers are graded and staged to guide management: grade
degree of differentiation

how = microscopic examination
well-differentiated = looks like tissue of origin
poorly differentiated = does NOT look like tissue of origin (ANAPLASTIC)
does NOT look like tissue of origin

(anaplasia = structural differentation loss within cell or group of cells)
cancers are graded and staged to guide management: stage
anatomic extent of the tumor

how = surgery, imaging, pathology
stage designation = TNM
T = tumor size/extent
N = nodal status
M = metastasis
philadelphia chromosome
result of the balanced translocation between chromosomes 9 and 22 = t(9;22)

contains the oncogenic BCR-ABL fusion gene => encodes a mutant tyrosine kinase that is ALWAYS on => cancer
organ or part of organ missing
below-average number of cells, especially when inadequate
change in cell or tissue phenotype
conversion in cell type
development of new cell function
connective tissue growth
paraneoplastic syndrome
disease or symptom that is the consequence of the presence of cancer in the body, but is not due to the LOCAL presence of cancer cells

"distant effect" of cancer
the spread of a cancer from one organ/part to another non-adjacent organ/part
cachexia (wasting)
paraneoplastic syndrome resulting from the distant effects of cancer

cancer types = many

mechanism = tumor necrosis factor (TNF-a)
paraneoplastic syndrome resulting from the distant effects of cancer

cancer types = squamous cell lung cancer, others

mechanism = parathyroid hormone-like products
polycythemia (high hemoglobin)
paraneoplastic syndrome resulting from the distant effects of cancer

cancer types = hepatocellular carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, others

mechanism = erythropoietin
process by which cells acquire attributes that confer a malignant phenotype

applies to ALL cancers, not just carcinomas
malignancy stepwise process (5)
1. initiation
2. latency
3. precancer
4. cancer
5. progression
a. increasing aneuploidy (too few/many chromosomes)
b. increasing tumor heterogeneity
c. increasing aggressiveness
d. metastasis
e. dormancy
f. accelerated tumor growth
ILPCP = I Loaded Peter (with) Cancer Progressively
hallmarks of the malignant phenotype (6)
resisting cell death
inducing angiogenesis
sustaining proliferative signaling
enabling replicative immortality
evading growth suppressors
activating invasion and metastasis
emerging hallmarks of the malignant phenotype (2)
deregulating cellular energetics
avoiding immune destruction
enabling characteristics of the malignant phenotype (2)
genome instability and mutation
tumor-promoting inflammation
Sentence: tumor-promoting inflammation causes genome instability

inhibits apoptosis = oncogene

OVER expression => tumor cells avoid apoptosis

hallmark 1 = cancer cells avoid apoptosis

human epidermal growth factor receptor (RTK) = oncogene

amplification of HER2 => overexpression of HER2 => increased signaling => cell proliferation => breast carcinoma

immunostaining = identifies amount of HER2 being expressed
FISH = easier to determine level of HER2 expression; >2.2 signals = amplified

hallmark 2 = cancer cells use growth signaling pathways
HER breast cancer
trastuzumab (herceptin)
monoclonal antibody (ends with "-mab") used for targeted therapy in those with HER2 amplification

can cause cardiotoxicity and is very expensive ($70,000+)
monoclonal antibody-based agents suffix

cell cycle regulator = tumor suppressor

"master brake" protein at G1 => S checkpoint

when hypophosphorylated, binds to and inactivates E2F; increase in cyclin D levels => phosphorylation of RB => E2F activated and freed => DNA synthesis occurs

mutation of RB => => cell proliferation

"two-hit" model (retinoblastoma)

hallmark 3 = cancer cells escape control of growth
vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)

activator in the "angiogenic switch" which determines if a tumor can grow its own blood supply

inhibitor of VEGF = bevacizumab

hallmark 4 = tumors can grow their own blood supply
heterotypic signaling
signaling that occurs between different cell types

ex. tumor cells interact w/ benign cells and stroma
mutated gene = APC (adenomatous polyposis coli)
tumor suppressor (5q21)

missense mutations/deletions => familial colon cancer (FAP)

multistep carcinogenesis: normal epithelium => APC => adenoma => KRAS => TP53 => carcinoma
familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
caused from mutation in APC gene (tumor suppressor)

colon becomes carpeted with polyps

autosomal dominant
hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; lynch syndrome)
3% of all colorectal cancers

autosomal dominant

caused from germline mutation in the mismatch repair genes

mutated gene = MLH1, MSH2 and others
microsatellite instability (MSI)
reflects decreased DNA repair

appearance of novel STR (short tandem repeats, aka microsatellites) alleles

caused by defective mismatch repair
mutated gene = MLH1, MSH2 and others
causes lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer; HNPPC)
mutated gene = NF1
causes neurofibromatosis

o NF1 gene is a negative regulator of the Ras oncogene signal transduction pathway
o It stimulates the GTPase activity of Ras
o NF1 is a developmental syndrome caused by germline mutations in neurofibromin
mutated gene = p53
causes li-fraumeni syndrome
mutated gene = KRAS
the KRAS protein is a GTPase - mutation to Kras leads to Ras-GTP remaining active and stimulating proliferation and differentiaton
mutated gene = BRAF
signal transduction protein downstream of KRAS

found in ~50% of melanomas

melanomas w/ mutant BRAF(V600E) respond to a BRAF kinase inhibitor
cancer causing agent = aflatoxin
cancer = hepatocellular carcinoma

mechanism = reactive metabolite causing DNA damage
cancer causing agent = asbestos
cancer = mesothelioma

mechanism = ??
cancer causing agent = cigarette smoke (3,4-benzpyrene)
cancer = lung cancer

mechanism = reactive metabolite causing DNA damage
cancer causing agent = radiation (ionizing)
cancer = leukemia, thyroid cancer

mechanism = mutations, genome-level breakage
cancer causing agent = sunlight (UV light)
cancer = carcinoma, melanoma
mechanism = pyrimidine dimers
cancer causing virus = human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8)
malignancy = body cavity lymphoma, kaposi sarcoma
cancer causing virus = epstein-barr virus (EBV)
malignancy = burkitt lymphoma
cancer causing virus = human papilloma virus (HPV)
malignancy = cervical carcinoma
cancer causing virus = hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV)
malignancy = hepatocellular carcinoma
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