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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


tyrosine kinase inhibitor  listen  (TY-ruh-seen KY-nays in-HIH-bih-ter)

  A substance that blocks the action of enzymes called tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine kinases are a part of many cell functions, including cell signaling, growth, and division. These enzymes may be too active or found at high levels in some types of cancer cells, and blocking them may help keep cancer cells from growing. Some tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. They are a type of targeted therapy.