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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


plasmacyte  listen  (PLAZ-muh-site)

  A type of immune cell that makes large amounts of a specific antibody. Plasmacytes develop from B cells that have been activated. A plasmacyte is a type of white blood cell. Also called plasma cell.

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Blood cell development; drawing shows the steps a blood stem cell goes through to become a red blood cell, platelet, or white blood cell. A myeloid stem cell becomes a red blood cell, a platelet, or a myeloblast, which then becomes a granulocyte (the types of granulocytes are eosinophils, basophils, and neutrophils). A lymphoid stem cell becomes a lymphoblast and then becomes a B lymphocyte, T lymphocyte, or natural killer cell. A B lymphocyte may become a plasma cell.