• Glossary of Terms - Stem Cell Transplant Program


    Advance directive: Document outlining your healthcare decisions and is used if you are unable to speak (or communicate) for yourself.

    ANC: Absolute Neutrophil Count; the number of neutrophils in blood. Neutrophils are white blood cells that help the body to fight infections.

    Anemia: Decreased number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.

    Apheresis: A procedure in which stem cells are collected from your blood through a central line.


    Autologous Stem Cell Transplant (ASTC): A proceedure in which high dose chemotherapy and /or radiation therapy is administered followed by infusion of previously harvested stem cells.


    Bone Marrow: The soft, spongy material in the center of bones that produces blood cells.


    Colony-stimulating factor: Proteins that stimulate the production of bone marrow cells. Also known as hematopoietic growth factors

    Conditioning Regimen: Treatment with high-dose chemotherapy, sometimes in combination with high-dose radiation therapy, to prepare a patient for bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

    Consent form: Document (or written description) that defines the patient’s treatment plan, including medications and the possible risks and benefits of treatment. A patient reviews and signs this form before his/her treatment can begin. 

    Cyropreservation: Freezing stem cells.

    Engraftment: When the marrow is repopulated by reinfused stem cells.

    Granulocyte: A type of white blood cell, which helps the body to fight infections; also known as a neutrophil.

    Harvest: Collection of stem cells.

    Health care proxy: A document that identifies the person you have chosen to make health care decisions for you, if you are unable to make them for yourself.

    Hematocrit: Measurement of red blood cells.

    Hematopoietic growth factors: Proteins that stimulate the development of blood cells from stem cells. Also known as colony-stimulating factors.

    Hemoglobin: A protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all cells of the body. Hemoglobin gives blood its red color.

    Informed consent: The process by which a patient reviews the details of his/her treatment plan in a written document, and agrees (or consents) to begin treatment.

    Infusion: The introduction of a fluid, including drugs, into the bloodstream. Also known as intravenous infusion.

    Intravenous catheter: A thin plastic tube that is inserted into a vein to allow the addition of substances to the blood.

    Leukocytes: Also known as white blood cells; divided into three main subgroups: granulocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes.

    Mucositis: Reddening and soreness of the tongue, lips mouth, throat and gastrointestinal tract from chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

    Neutropenia: When absolute neutrophil count (ANC) drops below 500.

    Neutrophil: See Granulocyte.

    Peripheral blood stem cells: Stem cells that circulate in the blood.

    Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant (PBSCT): A type of ASCT in which blood stem cells are infused after high dose chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy have been given

    Platelet: Blood cell that initiates blood clotting and prevents bleeding.


    Stem cells: Primitive cells in the bone marrow and blood that are capable of producing mature blood cells.


    Thrombycytopenia: An abnormal low numbe of platelets in the blood.


    Stem cell harvest: A process in which cells are taken from the patient's blood and frozen for later use.








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