Words to Know
Also called E7389 and eribulin mesylate. A medicine used to treat metastatic breast cancer in individuals who have already been treated with other chemotherapy. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. Halaven may block cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It belongs to the family of medicines called antitubulin agents.
A measure of how often a particular event happens in one group compared to how often it happens in another group, over time. In cancer research, hazard ratios are often used in clinical trials to measure survival at any point in time in a group of trial participants who have been given a specific treatment compared to a control group given another treatment or a placebo. A hazard ratio of one means that there is no difference in survival between the two groups. A hazard ratio of greater than one or less than one means that survival was better in one of the groups.
Also called therapeutic touch. A form of complementary medicine based on the belief that vital energy flows through the human body. This energy is said to be balanced or made stronger by practitioners who pass their hands over, or gently touch, a person's body. Healing touch is being studied in individuals receiving breast cancer therapy, to find out if it can improve quality of life, boost the immune system or reduce side effects. Healing touch is a type of energy therapy.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
Also called HIPAA and Kassebaum Kennedy Act. A 1996 U.S. law that allows workers and their families to keep their health insurance when they change or lose their jobs. The law also includes standards for setting up secure electronic health records and to protect the privacy of a person's health information and to keep it from being misused.
An advance medical directive in the form of a legal document that designates another person (a proxy) to make health care decisions in case a person is rendered incapable of making his or her wishes known. The health care proxy has, in essence, the same rights to request or refuse treatment that the person would have if he or she were capable of making and communicating decisions.
Also called human EGF receptor 2 and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. A protein involved in normal cell growth. It is found on some types of cancer cells, including breast and ovarian. Cancer cells removed from the body may be tested for the presence of HER2/neu to help decide the best type of treatment.
Also called trastuzumab. A monoclonal antibody that binds to HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) and can kill HER2-positive cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies are made in the lab and can locate and bind to substances in the body, including cancer cells. Herceptin is used to treat breast cancer that is HER2-positive and has spread after treatment with other medicines. It is also used with other anticancer medicines to treat HER2-positive breast cancer after surgery. Herceptin is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or Kassebaum Kennedy Act. A 1996 U.S. law that allows workers and their families to keep their health insurance when they change or lose their jobs. The law also includes standards for setting up secure electronic health records and to protect the privacy of a person's health information and to keep it from being misused.