NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,804 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.

21-gene signature
(… jeen SIG-nuh-cher)
A test that is used to help predict whether breast cancer will spread to other parts of the body or come back. The test looks at the activity of 21 different genes in breast cancer tissue of women who have early-stage breast cancer that is estrogen receptor positive and has not spread to the lymph nodes. If there is a high risk that the cancer will spread or come back, it may be used to help plan treatment with anticancer drugs. Also called Oncotype DX breast cancer assay.