Glossary, Acronyms and Abbreviations


Active Surveillance An approach to managing early prostate cancer (PC), which affords a window on its natural history, and is an ideal setting for identifying and evaluating biomarkers of PC behavior. It is essentially watchful waiting with a protocol of serial digital rectal exams, measurement of PSA levels and re-biopsy at intervals.

Adenocarcinoma A cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ. More than 95% of prostate cancers are adenocarcinomas.

Adjuvant Treatment Treatment that is added to increase effectiveness of a primary therapy, i.e. radiation, to radical prostatectomy (RP) or chemotherapy after surgery.

Adrenal Glands Two glands located above the kidneys that produce small amounts of the male hormone testosterone as well as other hormones.

Alkaline Phosphatase An enzyme active in an alkaline medium such as blood plasma or serum, bone, kidney, spleen, lungs, etc. which can be used to detect bone or liver metastasis.

Analog A man-made compound similar to the one manufactured by the body. Examples are LH-RH analogues lupron depot, luprolide acetate and zoladex; examples of antiandrogen analogues are flutamide and its Canadian version, euflex.

Androgen Hormone Any hormone that produces male physical characteristics. In men the main hormone is testosterone.

Antiandrogen Drug A drug that blocks the activity of an androgen hormone (testosterone from the adrenal glands) by blocking the androgen receptor sites in target organ cells.

Antibody A protein substance in the body produced in response to an antigen to provide immunity.

Antigen A biological substance, such as a vaccine or foreign protein, that produces an immunological response by producing antibodies.

Artificial Urinary Sphincter A prosthetic device inserted in the body to remedy incontinence by constricting the urethra.

Asymptomatic Without obvious signs or symptoms of disease. When cancer is in its early stages it may develop and grow without symptoms.

Autologous Transfusion When one donates blood for himself prior to an operation in case he will need it during his operation.

Acronyms & Abbreviations

3D : three-dimensional
3DCRT : 3D conformal radiation therapy
3DEBRT : 3D external beam radiation therapy
3DRT : 3D external beam radiation therapy
3DXBRT : 3D external beam radiation therapy
5AR : 5-alpha reductase


AAH : atypical adenomatous hyperplasia
AAT androgen ablation therapy
AAWR : antiandrogen withdrawal response
ADT, ADT2, ADT3 : androgen deprivation therapy
AFP : alpha-fetoprotein
AFUD : American Foundation for Urologic Disease
AG : aminoglutethimide
AIPC, AIPCa : androgen-independent prostate cancer
AJCC : American Joint Committee on Cancer
AP : alkaline phosphatase
AS : active surveillance
ASAP : atypical small acinar proliferation
AUS : artificial urinary sphincter


BAT : B-mode Acquisition & Targeting
BCR : biochemical recurrence (also called biochemical failure)
BMD : bone mineral density
bNED : biochemical non-evidence of disease
BOO : bladder outlet obstruction
BPH : benign prostatic hyperplasia
BpN : bisphosphonate(s)
BPSA, bPSA : baseline PSA
BRCA : genetic mutation
BRM : biological response modifier
BS : bone scan
Bx : biopsy


CAB : combined/complete androgen blockade
CAM : complementary and alternative medicine
CaP : cancer of the prostate
CAP, CAP-1 : carcinoembryonic antigen peptide
CAT : computerized axial tomography
CBC : complete blood count
cc : cubic centimeter
CEA : carcinoembryonic antigen
CEBRT : conformal external beam radiation therapy
CFR : Code of Federal Regulations
CGA : chromogranin A
CHB, CHB2, CHB3 : combined hormonal blockade
CHT : combined hormonal therapy
cNED : clinical non-evidence of disease
COX-2 : cyclooxygenase-2
CPA : cyproterone acetate
cPSA : complexed PSA
CRT : conformal radiation therapy
CT : computerized (axial) tomography
CXBRT : conformal external beam radiation therapy
CZ : central zone