Words to Know


The study of genes and heredity. Heredity is the passing of genetic information and traits (such as eye color and an increased chance of getting a certain disease) from parents to offspring.


Official non-brand names by which medicines are known. Generic names usually refer to the chemical name of the medicine.


Official non-brand names by which medicines are known. Generic names usually refer to the chemical name of the medicine.


The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA. Most genes contain the information for making a specific protein.

genome-wide association study

A study that compares the complete DNA of people with a disease or condition to the DNA of people without the disease or condition. These studies find the genes involved in a disease and may help prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. Also called GWAS, WGA study and whole genome association study.


The complete genetic material of an organism.

genomic profile

Information about all the genes in an organism, including variations, gene expression and the way those genes interact with each other and with the environment. A genomic profile may be used to discover why some people get certain diseases while other people do not, or why people respond differently to the same medicine.

genomic test

A test that studies the genes in a cancer to learn more about its makeup and how it could affect your outcome and treatment plan. Genomic tests look at groups of genes in cancer cells to see whether they are present, absent or too active.


The study of the complete genetic material, including genes and their functions, of an organism.


An organ that makes one or more substances, such as hormones, digestive juices, sweat, tears, saliva or milk. Endocrine glands release the substances directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands release the substances into a duct or opening to the inside or outside of the body.

Good Clinical Practice

Also called GCP. An international set of guidelines that helps make sure that the results of a clinical trial are reliable and that the participants are protected. Good Clinical Practice covers the way a clinical trial is designed, conducted, performed, monitored, audited, recorded, analyzed and reported.


Brand name, Zoladex. A medicine that belongs to a family called gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs. Goserelin is used to block hormone production in the ovaries or testicles. It is used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer.


A description of a tumor based on how abnormal the cancer cells look under a microscope and how quickly the tumor is likely to grow and spread. Grading systems are different for each type of cancer.


A system for classifying cancer cells in terms of how abnormal they appear when examined under a microscope. The objective of a grading system is to provide information about the probable growth rate of the tumor and its tendency to spread. The systems used to grade tumors vary with each type of cancer. Grading plays a role in treatment decisions.


Brand names: Granisol, Kytril. Granisetron is a medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatment. Granisetron is a type of serotonin receptor antagonist and an antiemetic. Also called granisetron hydrochloride.

gross description

A description by a pathologist, telling what is seen on a tissue sample when it is viewed with the naked eye.