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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


irreversible enzyme inhibitor  listen  (eer-ree-VER-sih-bul EN-zime in-HIH-bih-ter)

  A substance that permanently blocks the action of an enzyme. In cancer treatment, irreversible enzyme inhibitors may block certain enzymes that cancer cells need to grow and may kill cancer cells. They are being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer.