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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms



monocyte  listen  (MAH-noh-site)

  A type of immune cell that is made in the bone marrow and travels through the blood to tissues in the body where it becomes a macrophage. Macrophages surround and kill microorganisms, ingest foreign material, remove dead cells, and boost immune responses. A monocyte is a type of white blood cell and a type of phagocyte.

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Blood cells; drawing shows six types of white blood cells (monocytes, lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and macrophages), a red blood cell (erythrocyte), and platelets.