NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,470 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid
(5-hy-DROK-see-IN-dole-uh-SEE-tik A-sid)
A substance formed by the breakdown of a hormone called serotonin in the liver. Nerves use serotonin to send messages to one another. After 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid is broken down from serotonin in the liver, the kidneys filter it from the blood and pass it into the urine. Serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid may be found in higher-than-normal amounts in patients with certain tumors, such as carcinoid tumor. Measuring the amount of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in the urine may help diagnose and monitor carcinoid tumors and other conditions. 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid is a type of tumor marker. Also called 5-HIAA.