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Radiation A stream of particles or electromagnetic waves emitted by the atoms and molecules of a radioactive substance as a result of nuclear decay. Radiation treatment interferes with growth and replication of cancer cells by changing the structure of molecules that make up the cell's DNA.
Radioimmunotherapeutic A drug carrying radiation that hones in on its target using activities derived from our knowledge of immunology. Often involves a monoclonal antibody, with attached radiation, honing in on a specific cell surface marker.
Radio-iodine A radioactive isotope of the naturally occurring element, iodine. "
Radioisotope An isotope with an unstable nucleus that spontaneously emits radiation. The radiation emitted includes alpha particles, nucleons, electrons, and gamma rays. Radioisotopes can be used in radiation therapy to treat cancer or as tracers as in nuclear medicine scans for diagnostics.
Raf A protein involved in intracellular signal transduction that is activated by another signaling protein called ras.
Randomized A technique, based on chance distribution, of assigning patients to treatment and control groups. Refers to when neither subjects of a clinical trial nor those running the trial are allowed to choose which subjects will receive the intervention(s) being tested. Properly executed, this strategy effectively neutralizes patient prognostic factors by spreading them evenly among treatment and control groups.
Ras An intracellular signaling protein that transmits signals from outside the cell to the nucleus, resulting in cellular responses like mitosis or activation. Ras is a member of the small G protein family of proteins.
Rater-blinded A study in which those assigning clinical performance scores (such as scalar scoring systems used for the measurements of cognition, functional status, or other extents of disease involvement) are unaware of which alternative treatment is being given to each trial participant.
Rb Gene A tumor suppressor gene similar in function to p53. Rb encodes a protein that regulates cell growth and division. Rb is inactivated or mutated in many tumor cell types, including retinoblastoma, for which it is named.
Reagents Materials used for biological experiments or procedures.
Receptor (1) A protein that selectively interacts with a specific substance (ligand) in order to accomplish a specific biological task or initiate a specific series of biological activities. (2) A sensory nerve terminal that receives and responds to stimuli.
Receptor Tyrosine Kinase A type of protein found in the cell membrane that contains a ligand binding domain as well as a kinase domain. When the ligand - often a growth factor - binds, the kinase becomes active, adding phosphates to the amino acid tyrosine on target proteins.
Recombinant DNA DNA that results from the insertion of a (nucleotide) sequence not originally present.
Recombinant Proteins Proteins made from recombinant DNA technology wherein engineered DNA coding for a specific therapeutic protein of choice facilitates the protein’s mass production. Recombinant proteins such as Humulin (human insulin) and Epogen (erythropoetin) offer a relatively safe and inexpensive alternative to animal-based proteins with, often, a better adverse effect profile. These proteins led to the birth of the biotechnology industry.
Red Blood Cells The blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen, via hemoglobin, to tissues. a.k.a. erythrocytes.
Refractory Resistant to treatment.
Regulatory Region The DNA adjacent to genes which regulates when and where the gene is active (transcribed into mRNA and translated into a protein). Regulatory DNA includes promoters, enhancers, silencers, and other elements.
Rehabilitation Specialist (1) Physicians with a specialty in physical medicine and rehabilitation, a.k.a. physiatrists. (2) Non-physician specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech and language therapy.
Rejection The refusal by the body's immune system to accept transplanted cells, tissues or organs. For example, a kidney transplanted may be rejected.
Relapse noun: A recurrence of disease symptoms after a period of improvement. intransitive verb: To return to a former worse state.
Renal Cell Carcinoma Cancer that develops in the lining cells of the renal tubules. The tubules are responsible for blood filtration and urine production.
Reperfusion Injury Cell and tissue damage that occurs in certain instances when blood flow is restored to cells that have been previously deprived of blood flow. This paradoxical occurrence often proceeds at an accelerated pace compared to the original injuries. Tissues sustain a loss of cells in addition to those that were irreversibly damaged at the end of the initial deprivation. The goal of medical therapy is to decrease the fraction of cells that may otherwise be destined to die in the area at risk.
Resection The surgical removal of a portion of a tissue or organ, often with accompanying pathology such as tumor or walled-off infection (abcess).
Respiration A fundamental life process in which oxygen oxidizes organic fuel molecules to provide energy, carbon dioxide, and water.
Respiratory Disease Disorders of gas (primarily oxygen and carbon dioxide) exchange and disorders of the organs, tissues, cells, and airway passages that participate gas exchange. "
Restenosis Narrowed again. Most often used to describe the re-narrowing of the lumen (channel) of a blood vessel after a procedure had been successful at widening it. Coronary artery stenting is a common procedure after which restenosis might ensue.
Restriction enzymes "Molecular scissors," they are enzymes that "recognize" and "cut" specific DNA sequences. Knowledge of the cutting sites for such enzymes allows one to reliably cut DNA sequences at specific sites for either manipulation such as occurs in recombinant DNA activities or discovery of the sequences of DNA such as occurs in gene discovery or clinical diagnostics.
Retention Enema A rectal injection of a therapeutic or diagnostic substance introduced at a low pressure and allowed to dwell for several hours before expelling.
Retinoic Acid An acidic form of vitamin A with many functions in the body, especially in regulating development.
Retrospective Of, relating to, or given to retrospection, the act or process or an instance of surveying the past. Retrospective studies are any of several sorts of observational (not experimental) investigations that provide weak empiric evidence because of the potential for large confounding biases to be present when there is an unknown association between a factor and an outcome. The greatest value of observational, retrospective study is that they provide preliminary evidence that can be used as the basis for hypotheses in stronger experimental, prospective, controlled trials.
Retrovirus A family of viruses that carries RNA and is able to transcribe DNA from its RNA using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus.
Retrovirus A family of viruses that carries RNA and is able to transcribe DNA from its RNA using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus.
Revascularize To restore patency to occluded blood vessels, especially by an invasive procedure. Examples include coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) for coronary arteries, carotid endarterectomy and cerebrovascular interventions for arteries leading to the brain, and other bypass surgeries and percutaneous interventions for peripheral arteries.
rGelonin A recombinant form of gelonin attached as a payload to monoclonal antibodies. Gelonin is a cytotoxin, and thus improves the ability of the monoclonal to kill target cells. rGelonin was developed by Xoma.
Rheumatoid Arthritis A chronic disease characterized by progressive joint cartilage inflammation.
Riboflavin Vitamin B2.
Ribonucleotide Reductase An enzyme that makes DNA from RNA by removing an oxygen molecule.
Ribosome A cell's protein factory, it is a structure located in the cytoplasm and is composed of two subunits, one larger than the other (30S,50S). Molecular constituents include both ribosomal RNA (rRNA) and protein. The active site, made of rRNA, resides on the large subunit, and is site of the chemical reaction that converts genetic information from mRNA into the protein building blocks known as amino acids. "
Ribozyme A molecule of RNA with enzyme like properties. Ribozymes were probably the precursors to protein enzymes during the development of life on earth. Ribozymes that can cleave specific RNA sequences are being investigated as potential therapeutics.
Ringer's Lactate A solution of electrolytes and lactate used to increase circulating volume so that enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches vital organs.
Risk Factor Any factor that is statistically related to an increased or decreased risk of a person's getting a disease. Different diseases have different risk factors.
Rizatriptan Generic name of Merck’s Maxalt formulations, the 5-HT 1B/1D agonist is indicated in acute migraine.
RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) A nucleic acid found in cells that have nuclei. RNA serves as a messenger between different structures in the cell and plays a key role in the synthesis of proteins based on the "instructions" received from DNA. In some viruses, RNA serves as the genome.
RNA Interference A technique that uses double stranded RNA to inhibit translation of specific mRNA into protein. The technique has been successful in model organisms, and is potential superior to antisense technology.
RNAse An enzyme that degrades RNA.
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