Abbreviations And Acronyms Used In Oncology

This list of International medical and oncology abbreviations and acronyms.  The list is constantly being researched and updated with links being checked and added/updated regularly.

This is a searchable database.  If there we have missed something please let us know.

5-FU5-Fluorouracil (anti cancer drug)
6-MP6-Mercaptopurine (anti cancer drug)
6-TG6-Thioguanine (anti cancer drug)

AAAnaplastic Anaemia
ABCAdvanced Breast Cancer

ABMTAutologous bone marrow transplant
ADRAdverse Drug Reaction
AEAdverse event
AFPAlphafetoprotein - eg. expressed by germ cell tumours and other cancers
AIDSAcquired immune deficiency syndrome
ALATAlanine aminotransferase / alinine transaminase
ALCLAnaplastic Large-cell Lymphoma
ALLAcute lymphoblastic leukaemia
ALTAlanine Aminotransferase
AMKLacute megakaryocytic leukemia
AMLAcute Myeloid leukaemia
ANCAbsolute neutrophil count
ANEDAlive no evidence of disease
ANLLAcute non-lymphatic leukaemia
ARMSAlveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
ASRAge Standardised Rate (Incidence)
AUCArea under the curve
B-ALLB-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
BAERBrainstem Auditory Evoked Responce
BCCBasal Cell Carcinoma
BID / BDTwice a day (bis in die)
BMBone Marrow
BMBlood Monitoring (eg for glucose)
BMJBritish Medical Journal
BMRBasal Metabolic Rate
BMTBone Marrow Transplant
BNFBritish National Formulary
BPBlood pressure
BRMBiological Response Modifier

BSABody Surface Area
BSEBreast Self Examination
C/OComplaining of
C/WContinue With
C1 - C7Cervical vertebrae (spine eg. C7 = seventh cervical vertebra)
CaCancer; carcinoma
cALLCommon ALL
CATComputerised axial tomography (scan)
ccCubic centimeter
CCFCongestive Cardiac Failure
CCRContinuous complete remission
CEACarcinoembryonic Antigen (tumour marker)
CGHComparative Genomic Hybridisation - cytogenetics method
CGLChronic Granulocytic Leukaemia
cGyCenti Gray (unit of radiation)
CHFCongestive heart failure
CLLChronic lymphocytic Leukaemia
cmcentimeter - 0.01 meters
CMLChronic myeloid leukaemia
CMMLchronic myelomonocytic leukemia
CMVCytomegalo virus
CNSCentral nervous system - the brain and spine
CPMCyclophosphamide (anti cancer drug)
CPRCardio pulmonary resuscitation
CRComplete remission / complete response
CRAClinical Research Associate
CRCColorectal carcinoma
CRFCase Report Forms
CRFChronic renal failure
CROContract Research Organisation
CSFCerebro spinal fluid
CSFColony-stimulating Factor
CTComputerised axial tumography (scan)
CTCCommon Toxicity Criteria
CTCLCutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
CTOClinical Trials Office
CTXClinical Trials Exemption
CUPCancer of Unknown Primary / Carcinoma of Unknown Primary

CVACardiovascular Accident (stroke)
CVCCentral venous catheters
CVPCentral Venous Pressure
CXRChest X-Ray
D/HDrug History
D/WDiscussed With
DCISDuctal Carcinoma In Situ - type of breast cancer
DDAVPDesmopressin test for urine osmolality
DDxDifferential diagnosis
DFIDisease Free Interval
DFSDisease Free Survival - time without disease prior to relapse or last follow-up
DIDiabetes Incipidus
dldeciletre - 0.01 litres
DLBCLDiffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
DLCLDiffuse large-cell lymphoma
DLSDate last seen
DLTDose limiting toxicity - determined by phase 1 studies
DMCData Monitoring Commitee
DNADeoxyribonucleic acid
DNADid Not Attend (clinic)
DNRDo Not Resusitate
DOADead on Arival
EBMEvidence-Based Medicine
EBVEpstein-Barr Virus
ECGElectrocardiogram - heart scan
EDTAethylendiaminetetraacetic acid - used in measuring kidney function
EEGElectroencephalogram - brain scan
EFSEvent Free Survival - time from diagnosis to defined events (eg relapse or deat
EJCEuropean Journal of Cancer
EMCExtraskeletal Myxoid Chondrosarcoma
EMUOEarly Morning Urine Osmolality (evaluating urine concentration)
ENTEar nose throat
ESRErythrocyte Sedimentation rate
ETSEnvironmental Tobacco Smoke
F/HFamily history
FABFrench American and British classification scheme for leukaemia
FBCFull Blood Count
FEVForced expectorant volume (a lung test)
FFAFor Further Appointment
FIGOFederation Internat. Gyn. Obst. (FIGO Gynaecological staging system)
FISHFlourescence in situ Hybridisation
FMTCFamilial Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma
FNAFine Needle Aspiration - a type of biposy using a thin needle (or FNAB)
FUFollow up
FVCForced Vital Capacity
ggram - unit of weight
G-CSFGranulocyte colony stimulating factor promotes production of white blood cells
GAGeneral Anaesthetic
GCPGood Clinical Practice (guidelines)
GCTGerm Cell Tumour
GCTGiant Cell Tumour Context: bone tumours
GFRGromerular filtration rate
GISTGastrointestinal Stromal Tumours

GM-CSFGranulocyte and macrophage colony stimulating factor
GPRGood Partial Remission
GvHDGraft versus Host Disease
GyGrays (units of radiation)
H&EHematoxylin and Eosin (stain)
H/OHistory of
HCCHepatocellular Carcinoma
HCGHuman Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hormone)
HCLHairy Cell Leukaemia
HDHodgkin's Disease (lymphoma)
HDHigh dose
HDCHigh Dose Chemotherapy
HIVHuman Immunodeficiency Virus
HL-AHuman Leukocyte Associated antigens (HL-A matching for BMT)
HNSCCHead and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
HNPCCHereditary NonPolyposis Colorectal Cancer
HPVHuman Papilloma Virus - implicated in some gynacological cancers
HRHigh risk
HRTHormone replacement therapy
HTLVHuman T-cell leukemia-lymphoma virus
I-131Radioactive Iodine
ICDInternational Classification of Diseases (coding system)
ICDOInternational Classification of Diseases for Oncology (coding system)
ICFIntercellular fluid
ICUIntensive Care Unit
IMIntramuscular - into a muscle
IMRTIntensity-Modulated Radiotherapy
INSSInternational Neuroblastoma Staging System
ITUIntensive Therapy Unit
IUInternational units
IVIntravenous - into a vein
IVPIntravenous Pyelogram - type of Xray after injection with iodine dye
JCOJournal of Clinical Oncology
kgKilogram - a thousand grams
lliter - unit of volume
L1-L5Lumbar vertebrae 1 - 5 (spine eg. L1 = 1st lumbar vertebra)
LCHLangerhans cell histiocytocis
LCISLobular Carcinoma In Situ - type of breast cancer
LDHLactic dehydrogenase -high levels correlate with tumour volume in some cancers
LMMLentigo Maligna Melanoma
LMPLow Malignant Potential (context: ovarian tumours)
LNLymph Node
LPLumbar puncture
LVEFLeft Ventricular Fjection Fraction - a heart function test
LVSFLeft Ventricular Shortening Fraction - a heart function test
mmeter (unit of length)
M/HMedical history
MAB -mAbMonoclonal antibody
MDRMulti drug resistant
MDSMyelo dysplastic syndrome
MENMultiple Endocrine Neoplasia - (familial) a.k.a. FMEN
mEq/lmilliequivalent per liter
metsMetastases (where the tumour has spread to secondary sites)
mgmilligram - 0.001 gram
MIMiocardial Infarction
mIBGRadioactive Iodine Metaidobenzoguanidine (mIBG scans or mIBG therapy).
mlmillilitre 0.001 liter
MMMalignant Melanoma
mmmillimeter - 0.001 meters
MMMalignant Myelanoma
MMMultiple Myeloma
MPNSTMalignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumour
MPOMedical and Pediatric Oncology (journal)
MRIMagnetic resonance imaging (scan)
MRTMalignant Rhabdoid Tumour
MSSUMid stream specimen urine
MTDMaximum tolerated dose - phase 1 studies
MTXMethotrexate (anti cancer drug)
MUDMatched Urelated Donor - for bone marrow transplant
N/VNausea and vomiting
NADNo Abnormality Detected
NBCCSNevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome
NBMNil by mouth
NEDNo evidence of disease
ngnanogram - 0.000000001 gram
NHLNon Hodgkin's Lymphoma
NKNatural Killer cells (large lymphocytes, part of the immune system)
NKNot known
NMNodular Melanoma
NMRNuclear magnetic resonance (scan)
NMSCNon Melanoma Skin Cancer
NOSNot otherwise specified (see ICDO)
NPCNasopharyngeal Carcinoma
NRSTSNon-Rhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcoma
NSCLCNon-small cell lung cancer
NSENeuron-Specific Enolase - a neural marker
NSRNon significant result
NSRNormal Sinus Rhythem
O/EOn Examination
ONBOlfactory Neuroblastoma
OSOverall Survival
OSOsteogenic sarcoma (context bone tumours)

PBSCPeripheral Blood Stem Cell (see PBSCT)
PBSCHPeripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvest
PBSCRPeripheral Blood Stem Cell Rescue (transplant)
PBSCTPeripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplant
PDProgressive disease
PDQPhysician's Data Query (CancerNet)
PETPositron Emmission Tomography- a scan after a small radioactive injection.
PETPancreatic Endocrine Tumor
PFSProgression Free Survival
pgpicogram - 0.000000000001 gram
pHhydrogen-ion concentration - acid / alkaline
PHPast History
PLBPrimary Lymphoma of Bone
PNETPrimitive neuroectodermal tumour Context: CNS tumours
PNETPeripheral neuroectodermal tumour Context: Bone tumours - see Ewing's tu
PNSPeripheral nervous system - nervous system outside the brain and spine.
PRPartial Responce / Partial Remission
PRper rectum
prnas required
prnwhenever necessary (pro re nata)
PSAprostate-specific antigen - PSA test used in screening for prostate cancer
PUDPeri-Urethral Diathermy (associated with superficial bladder cancer)
QALYQuality-Adjusted Life Year
qidFour times a day (quater in die)
QoLQuality of Life
RBCRed blood cell / red blood count
RCCRenal Cell Carcinoma
RCTRandomised Controlled Trial
RFSRelapse free survival - Time from diagnosis to relapse or death.
RIGSRadioimmunoguided surgery
RNAribonucleic acid
RTPCRReverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
SASurface area (see BSA)
SAESerious Adverse Event
SCCSquamous Cell Carcinoma
SCLCSmall cell lung cancer
SDStable Disease
SDVSource Data Verification
SGOTSerum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase - a liver function test
SGPTSerum glutamic pyruvic transaminase - a liver function test
SHSocial history
SHOSenior House Officer
SIADHSyndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone
SNPSingle Nucleotide Polymorphism
SOBShort of breath
SSMSuperficial Spreading Melanoma
T1 - T12Thoracic vertebrae 1-12 (spine eg. T10 = tenth thoracic vertibra)
TAMstumour-associated macrophages
TBITotal body irradiation
TCCTransitional Cell Carcinoma (usually bladder cancer)
tds / tidThree times a day (ter in die)
TNFTumour Necrosis Factor
TNMStaging system - primary tumour
TPNtotal parenteral nutrition
U&EsUrea and Electrolites
UAUrine analysis
ugmicrogram - 0.000001 gram
ULNUpper Limits of Normal
URTIUpper respiratory tract infection
USUltasound (scan)
UTIUrinary Tract Infection
UVRUltra Violet Radiation
VEFVentricular ejection fraction (tests lung function)
VM-26Teniposide (anti cancer drug)
VMAVanillylmandelic Acid
VP-16Etoposide (anti cancer drug)
WBCWhite blood cell count
WCCWhite cell count
WMWaldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
XRTRadiotherapy (external)
YSTYolk sac tumour - (aka. germ cell tumour)

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