NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,573 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive cancer
(HYOO-mun eh-pih-DER-mul grothe FAK-ter reh-SEP-ter … PAH-zih-tiv KAN-ser)
Describes cancer cells that have too much of a protein called HER2 on their surface. In normal cells, HER2 helps control cell growth. When it is made in larger than normal amounts by cancer cells, the cells may grow more quickly and are more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Checking to see if a cancer is human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive may help plan treatment, which may include drugs that kill human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive cancer cells. Cancers that may be human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive include breast, bladder, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers. Also called c-erbB-2-positive cancer and HER2-positive cancer.