Disease & Drug Info

Glossary of Terms

L-3,5,5´-tetraiodothyronine

listen (...TEH-truh-i-oh-doh-THY-roh-neen) A hormone that is made by the thyroid gland and contains iodine. L-3,5,5-tetraiodothyronine increases the rate of chemical reactions in cells and helps control growth and development. L-3,5,5-tetraiodothyronine can also be made in the laboratory and is used to treat thyroid disorders. Also called T4, thyroxin, and thyroxine.

L-377,202

A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer.

L-778,123

An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. It may inhibit the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells.

labial mucosa

listen (LAY-bee-ul myoo-KOH-suh) The inner lining of the lips.

lab-on-a-chip

listen (lab-on-uh-chip) An instrument that uses very small amounts of fluid on a microchip to do certain laboratory tests. A lab-on-a-chip may use body fluids or solutions containing cells or cell parts to diagnose diseases. Also called microfluidic device.

laboratory study

listen (LA-bruh-tor-ee STUH-dee) Research done in a laboratory. A laboratory study may use special equipment and cells or animals to find out if a drug, procedure, or treatment is likely to be useful in humans. It may also be a part of a clinical trial, such as when blood or other samples are collected. These may be used to measure the effect of a drug, procedure, or treatment on the body.

laboratory test

listen (LA-bruh-tor-ee...) A medical procedure that involves testing a sample of blood, urine, or other substance from the body. Laboratory tests can help determine a diagnosis, plan treatment, check to see if treatment is working, or monitor the disease over time.

lacrimal gland

listen (LA-krih-mul ...) A gland that secretes tears. The lacrimal glands are found in the upper, outer part of each eye socket.

lactase

listen (LAK-tays) An enzyme that breaks down lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and milk products.

lactate dehydrogenase

listen (LAK-tayt dee-hy-DRAH-jeh-nays) One of a group of enzymes found in the blood and other body tissues and involved in energy production in cells. An increased amount of lactate dehydrogenase in the blood may be a sign of tissue damage and some types of cancer or other diseases. Also called lactic acid dehydrogenase and LDH.

lactic acid

listen (LAK-tik A-sid) A substance made from sugars in milk, by the action of certain enzymes. It is used in skin care products to reduce wrinkles and soften the skin. It is also being studied in the treatment of hand-foot syndrome (a condition marked by pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or redness of the hands or feet) in patients receiving chemotherapy. Lactic acid is also made in muscles in the body and is used in many chemical processes in the body. It is a type of alpha hydroxyl acid.

lactic acid dehydrogenase

listen (LAK-tik A-sid dee-hy-DRAH-jeh-nays) One of a group of enzymes found in the blood and other body tissues, and involved in energy production in cells. An increased amount in the blood may be a sign of tissue damage and some types of cancer or other diseases. Also called lactate dehydrogenase and LDH.

lactobacillus

listen (LAK-toh-buh-SIH-lus) A type of bacterium that makes lactic acid (a substance that is made from sugars found in milk and is also made in the body). Lactobacilli usually do not cause disease, but may cause tooth decay. They are normally found in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and vagina. They are being studied in the prevention of infections in patients having donor stem cell transplants and in other conditions.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

listen (LAK-toh-buh-SIH-lus ram-NOH-sus ...) A live form of a bacterium that makes lactic acid (a substance that is made from sugars found in milk and is also made in the body). Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is given to help with digestion and normal bowel function. It may also help keep the gastrointestinal (GI) tract healthy. It is being studied in the prevention of infections in patients having donor stem cell transplants and in other conditions. Also called Culturelle.

lactoferrin

listen (LAK-toh-fayr-in) A protein that is found in milk, tears, mucus, bile, and some white blood cells and is being studied in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It is involved in fighting against infection and inflammation and it acts as an antioxidant.

lactose

listen (LAK-tose) A type of sugar found in milk and milk products.

lactose intolerance

listen (LAK-tose in-TAH-leh-runts) The inability to digest or absorb lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products.

laetrile

listen (LAY-eh-tril) A substance found in the pits of many fruits such as apricots and papayas, and in other foods. It has been tried in some countries as a treatment for cancer, but it has not been shown to work in clinical studies. Laetrile is not approved for use in the United States. Also called amygdalin.

LAK cell

listen ( sel) A white blood cell that is stimulated in a laboratory to kill tumor cells. Also called lymphokine-activated killer cell.

lamina propria

listen (LA-mih-nuh PROH-pree-uh) A type of connective tissue found under the thin layer of tissues covering a mucous membrane.

lamivudine

listen (luh-MIH-vyoo-deen) A drug used to treat infection caused by viruses.

lamotrigine

listen (luh-MOH-trih-jeen) A drug that is used to help control some types of seizures. It is being studied in the prevention of peripheral neuropathy caused by some chemotherapy drugs. It belongs to the family of drugs called anticonvulsants.

Langerhans cell histiocytosis

listen (LANG-er-hanz sel HIS-tee-oh-sy-TOH-sis) A group of rare disorders in which too many Langerhans cells (a type of white blood cell) grow in certain tissues and organs including the bones, skin, and lungs, and damage them. Langerhans cell histiocytosis may also affect the pituitary gland (which makes hormones that control other glands and many body functions, especially growth). Langerhans cell histiocytosis is most common in children and young adults. Also called LCH.

lanolin

listen (LA-noh-lin) An oily substance taken from sheep's wool. Lanolin is used in moisturizing creams and lotions to treat dry, itchy skin.

Lanoxin

listen (luh-NOK-sin) A drug used to treat irregular heartbeat and some types of heart failure. It is also being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Lanoxin helps the heart work normally by controlling the amount of calcium that goes into the heart muscle. It also may kill cancer cells and make them more sensitive to anticancer drugs. It is a type of cardiac glycoside. Also called digoxin.

lanreotide acetate

listen (lan-REE-oh-tide A-seh-tayt) A drug used to treat gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors that are advanced or have spread to other parts of the body. These tumors form in the stomach, small and large intestines, rectum, and pancreas. Lanreotide acetate is used for tumors that cannot be removed by surgery. It is also used to treat some patients with acromegaly (a condition in which the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone). Lanreotide acetate is like somatostatin (a hormone made by the body), and may help stop the body from making extra amounts of certain hormones, including growth hormone, insulin, glucagon, and hormones that affect digestion. It may also help keep certain types of tumor cells from growing. Lanreotide acetate is a type of somatostatin analog. Also called Somatuline Depot.

lansoprazole

listen (lan-SOH-pruh-zole) A drug that reduces the amount of acid made in the stomach. It is used to treat stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (a condition in which acid from the stomach causes heartburn), and conditions in which the stomach makes too much acid. Lansoprazole is a type of proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Also called Prevacid.

Lantus

listen (LAN-tus) A drug used to control the amount of sugar in the blood of patients with diabetes. It is a form of the hormone insulin that is made in the laboratory. Lantus controls blood sugar longer than insulin does. It is a type of therapeutic insulin. Also called insulin glargine and insulin glargine recombinant.

laparoscope

listen (LA-puh-ruh-SKOPE) A thin, tube-like instrument used to look at tissues and organs inside the abdomen. A laparoscope has a light and a lens for viewing and may have a tool to remove tissue.

laparoscopic prostatectomy

listen (LA-puh-ruh-SKAH-pik PROS-tuh-TEK-toh-mee) Surgery to remove all or part of the prostate with the aid of a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

laparoscopic surgery

listen (LA-puh-ruh-SKAH-pik SER-juh-ree) Surgery done with the aid of a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called laparoscopic-assisted resection.

laparoscopic-assisted colectomy

listen (LA-puh-ruh-SKAH-pik-uh-SIS-ted koh-LEK-toh-mee) Surgery done with the aid of a laparoscope to remove all or part of the colon through several small incisions made in the wall of the abdomen. A laparoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. The laparoscope is inserted through one opening to guide the surgery. Surgical instruments are inserted through the other openings to perform the surgery. When only part of the colon is removed, it is called a partial colectomy.

laparoscopic-assisted resection

listen (LA-puh-ruh-SKAH-pik-uh-SIS-ted ree-SEK-shun) Surgery done with the aid of a laparoscope. A laparoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease. Also called laparoscopic surgery.

laparoscopy

listen (LA-puh-ROS-koh-pee) A procedure that uses a laparoscope, inserted through the abdominal wall, to examine the inside of the abdomen. A laparoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

laparotomy

listen (LA-puh-RAH-toh-mee) A surgical incision made in the wall of the abdomen.

lapatinib

listen (luh-PA-tih-nib) A drug used with another anticancer drug to treat breast cancer that is HER2 positive and has advanced or metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) after treatment with other drugs. Lapatinib is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of ErbB-2 and EGFR dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called GW572016, lapatinib ditosylate, and Tykerb.

lapatinib ditosylate

listen (luh-PA-tih-nib dy-TOH-sih-layt) A drug used with another anticancer drug to treat breast cancer that is HER2 positive and has advanced or metastasized (spread to other parts of the body) after treatment with other drugs. Lapatinib ditosylate is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It is a type of ErbB-2 and EGFR dual tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also called GW572016, lapatinib, and Tykerb.

lappa

listen (LA-puh) A plant whose seeds and root have been used in some cultures to treat certain medical problems. It may have antioxidant effects. The scientific name is Arctium lappa. Also called burdock and happy major.

large cell carcinoma

listen (...KAR-sih-NOH-muh) Lung cancer in which the cells are large and look abnormal when viewed under a microscope.

large granular lymphocyte

listen (larj GRAN-yoo-lur LIM-foh-site) A type of white blood cell that contains granules with enzymes that can kill tumor cells or microbial cells.

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