Last modification: 2024/01/15

This is a glossary of a number of special words and medical terms used by this information service.

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W X    all  

radiation syn. radiation therapy, radiotherapy
controlled use of ionizing (high-energy) radiation for the treatment of malignant diseases

radiation exposure
the dose of ionising radiation to which humans are exposed from natural, civilised or artificial sources of radiation; natural sources of radiation include cosmic, terrestrial and natural radioactive substances produced by the decay of natural radioactive substances, which are absorbed into the body with drinking water, food and breathing air. Artificial sources include radiation produced by the technical and medical use of nuclear and atomic forces, such as X-rays.

the term „radioactive“ is used for substances with unstable atomic nuclei that spontaneously transform by releasing energy. The energy released is emitted as ionizing radiation (high-energy particles and/or gamma radiation).

radioactive radiation
radiation produced by the decay (nuclear decay) of radioactive substances; these are substances with unstable atomic nuclei that spontaneously transform by releasing energy. The energy released is emitted as ionizing radiation (high-energy particles and/or gamma radiation).
Example / Relevance Pediatrics: both in the context of diagnostics (X-ray diagnostics) and in the radiotherapy of children and adolescents with cancer, the properties of radioactive radiation are used in different dosages and administration forms/techniques. The effect of radiotherapy is based on the fact that it causes DNA damage in the tumor cells and thereby destroys them. However, radioactive radiation can also have a mutagenic effect, i.e. leads to genetic changes (mutations) with corresponding consequences (diseases such as cancer, disturbance of embryonic development).

a physician specialized in diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy

radiotherapy syn. radiation therapy
controlled use of ionizing (high-energy) radiation for the treatment of malignant diseases

(statistical) random distribution of patients to treatment and control groups in a study; the strict random distribution is intended to eliminate systematic errors in the evaluation of therapy studies.

relapse, recurrence of a disease after recovery

not controllable, not excitable; a refractory disease cannot be successfully treated by otherwise effective therapies.

rehabilitation (Abrev.: rehab)
medical, social, psychosocial and occupational measures after an illness for reintegration into society, work and private life, which may include, among other things, the restoration of abilities through exercise treatment, protheses and other measures

temporary or permanent decrease or disappearance of the signs of cancer.

here: insensitivity of cancer cells to certain cell growth-inhibiting drugs (cytostatics)

a rare malignant tumour of the retina that occurs almost exclusively in children; there are hereditary and non-hereditary forms of the disease. Either one or both eyes can be affected (unilateral or bilateral retinoblastoma). In very rare cases, hereditary retinoblastoma can also occur together with a brain tumour (e.g., pineoblastoma); in this case, it is called trilateral retinoblastoma.

retinoblastoma gene
tumour suppressor gene called RB1, which causes the development of a malignant retinal tumour (retinoblastoma) when genetically altered (mutated); it is located on the long arm of chromosome 13.

the most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood and adolescence

Rickham reservoir
a small plastic reservoir that can be implanted under the scalp and is then connected to one of the brain’s ventricles; the shape of the Rickham reservoir is reminiscent of a small pillow. At its bottom, it is connected by a tube (ventricular catheter) to one of the cerebral chambers (usually the right lateral ventricle) or another cavity in the brain filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (e.g. arachnoid cyst). The Rickham reservoir (or Ommaya reservoir, another model with a similar mechanism) is implanted as part of a short, neurosurgical procedure. Such a reservoir can be connected to a shunt system for the long-term treatment of hydrocephalus or to a ventricular catheter.
Example / Relevance Pediatrics: (ventricular) accesses such as the Rickham reservoir are required as part of the treatment of some brain tumour, e.g. to remove cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes (so-called ventricular puncture) or for the controlled administration of drugs (such as cytostatics, antibiotics) into the cerebrospinal fluid. Ventricular access may also be used in the diagnosis and treatment of leukaemia and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

rubella syn. German measles
an infectious disease caused by the rubella virus (rubivirus), which, in the absence of vaccination, occurs mainly in childhood; the disease leaves behind lifelong immunity. Signs of the disease include a typical rash on the face and body, fever and lymph node swellings; in older patients, additional symptoms may occur. About half of the patients with German measles are asymptomatic. Rubella infection during pregnancy is very dangerous, as it can lead to severe malformations of the child and to miscarriage. Treatment consists in alleviating the symptoms of the disease (symptomatic therapy). Live preventive vaccination is available.
Example / Relevance Pediatrics: in immunosuppressed children and adolescents (e.g. in the context of cancer treatment), a rubella infection can be life-threatening.
References: infection - virus - lymph nodes - live vaccine - symptom