NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 8,545 terms related to cancer and medicine.

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tumor-specific antigen
(TOO-mer-speh-SIH-fik AN-tih-jen)
A protein or other molecule that is found only on cancer cells and not on normal cells. Tumor-specific antigens can help the body make an immune response against cancer cells. They may be used as possible targets for targeted therapy or for immunotherapy to help boost the body’s immune system to kill more cancer cells. Tumor-specific antigens may also be used in laboratory tests to help diagnose some types of cancer.