Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for cancer cells or other abnormalities.
Chemotherapy: Traditional drugs that directly attack cancer cells.
Clinical study: Scientific research in which people with a specific illness are given treatment and then examined over time to see if the treatment was helpful. Doctors and scientists use clinical studies to evaluate new treatments or to find out which treatments are most helpful. Patients in clinical studies are volunteers who want to play a part in improving treatments for their disease. Also known as a clinical trial.
Immune system: Parts of the body that fight attacking organisms (“germs”) and other substances that can make you sick. One of the immune system’s jobs is to help fight cancer.
Immunotherapy: A drug or other treatment that stimulates the immune system to attack cancer cells.
INSPIRE study: A clinical study for people with oral cancer. Participants in the INSPIRE study are given IRX-2 before surgery to see if IRX-2 will delay or prevent the return of oral cancer.
IRX-2: A potential treatment for people with oral cancer. IRX-2 may help alert your immune system to help recognize and attack oral cancer. IRX‑2 is only available to participants in a clinical study.
Natural killer cell: Cells in your blood that are important in fighting cancer. Natural killer cells are also known as NK cells.
Oncologists: Doctors who treat cancer. Oncologists may be:
Oral cancer: Cancer that starts in the mouth. This includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks, the teeth, the gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth below the tongue, and the bony roof of the mouth. Doctors may call this oral cavity cancer.
Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy x-rays or other types of tiny particles to fight cancer.
T cell: Cells in your blood that are part of the immune system. T cells are important in fighting cancer.