NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,847 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

human leukocyte antigen
(HYOO-mun LOO-koh-site AN-tih-jen)
A type of molecule found on the surface of most cells in the body. Human leukocyte antigens play an important part in the body's immune response to foreign substances. They make up a person’s tissue type, which varies from person to person. Human leukocyte antigen tests are done before a donor stem cell or organ transplant, to find out if tissues match between the donor and the person receiving the transplant. Also called HLA and human lymphocyte antigen.