NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
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kinase inhibitor (KY-nays in-HIH-bih-ter)
A substance that blocks a type of enzyme called a kinase. Human cells have many different kinases, and they help control important functions, such as cell signaling, metabolism, division, and survival. Certain kinases are more active in some types of cancer cells and blocking them may help keep the cancer cells from growing. Kinase inhibitors may also block the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Some kinase inhibitors are used to treat cancer.