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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor  listen  (dy-HY-droh-FOH-layt ree-DUK-tays in-HIH-bih-ter)

  A substance that can build up in cancer cells and block them from using folate. Folate is a nutrient that rapidly dividing cells need to make DNA. Blocking folate use helps keep cancer cells from growing and may kill them. Some dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors are used to treat cancer. A dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor is a type of antifolate. Also called DHFR inhibitor.