A

Antibody

a protein made by the immune system during an immune response. Antibodies attach to specific cells and can affect the immune system’s ability to target and kill cells.

B

Biomarker

a biological molecule that is found in blood, other body fluids, or body tissues. It may be a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. Also called molecular marker or signature molecule.

BRAF gene

this gene makes a protein called BRAF, which is involved in sending signals in cells to promote rapid cell growth.

BRAF V600 mutation

a specific mutation (change) in the BRAF gene. It can lead to abnormal cell growth, which contributes to the growth of cancer cells.

G

Gene

a piece of DNA inside each cell. Most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. For example, the BRAF gene makes the BRAF protein.

I

Immune system

a collection of organs, special cells, and substances that help protect you from infections and diseases.

Immunotherapy

a treatment using substances that stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection, and disease. Some types of immunotherapy only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Immunotherapy may also affect normal cells.

Infusion

a method of putting fluids, including medicine, into the bloodstream. Also called intravenous (IV) infusion.

Infusion reaction

any sign or symptom you might experience during or soon after the infusion of fluids, including medicine/s, into the bloodstream.

In situ

this term applies to abnormal cells that are found only in the place where they first formed in the body. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread to nearby normal tissue.

L

Lymph node

a small bean-shaped structure that is part of the body’s immune system. Lymph nodes filter substances that travel through the lymphatic fluid and contain white blood cells (lymphocytes) that help the body fight infection and disease.

M

Median

the middle value, or number, in a set of measurements that have been put in order from lowest to highest.

Melanocyte

cells that produce a pigment called melanin, which gives skin its color.

Melanoma

a type of skin cancer that develops when the cells that give the skin its color (melanocytes) start to grow out of control. It may begin in a mole (skin melanoma), but can also begin in other pigmented tissues, such as in the eye or in the intestines.

Metastatic

the spread of cancer from where it originated to other places in the body.

Mutation

a change in the DNA of a cell. Mutations may be caused by mistakes during cell division or caused by substances in the environment that damage the DNA. Mutations can be harmful, helpful, or have no effect.

P

PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1)

a protein found on the surface of many cells, including cancer cells. This protein can affect the immune system’s ability to target and attack cells.

Protein

a molecule that is the building block of the cells in the body; needed for the body to function properly.

U

Unresectable

unable to be removed with surgery.