66 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Multiple Myeloma, 2018 Dictionary plasmapheresis A process that removes excess proteins, such as M-proteins, from the blood. platelet A type of blood cell that forms blood clots to control bleeding. pneumonia A severe inflammation of the lungs. positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scan A test that uses radioactive material and x-rays to see the shape and function of organs and tissues inside the body. positron emission tomography (PET) scan A test that uses radioactive material to see the shape and function of organs and tissues inside the body. primary treatment The main treatment used to rid the body of cancer. prognosis The likely or expected course and outcome of a disease. progression The course of disease as it gets worse or spreads in the body. progressive disease Cancer that is growing, spreading, or getting worse. protein A chain of small chemical compounds important to every cell. radiation therapy The use of high-energy rays (radiation) to destroy cancer cells. red blood cell A type of blood cell that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. regimen A treatment plan that specifies the dose, schedule, and duration of treatment. relapse The return of myeloma signs or symptoms after a period of improvement. sedative A drug that helps a person to relax or go to sleep. serum free light chain assay A blood test that measures the amount of the shorter fragments of the proteins made by myeloma cells. serum immunofixation electrophoresis (SIFE) A test used to identify the type of M-proteins in the blood. serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) A test that measures the amount of M-proteins in the blood. serum quantitative immunoglobulins A test that measures the amount of each type of antibody in the blood. serum viscosity A test that measures the thickness of blood. side effect An unhealthy or unpleasant physical or emotional response to treatment. smoldering (asymptomatic) myeloma Myeloma that isn’t causing symptoms or damaging organs. solitary plasmacytoma Cancer that is one mass of myeloma cells—abnormal plasma cells that grow and divide all the time making too many copies of themselves. spine The bones, muscles, and other tissues along the back from the base of the skull to the tailbone. splint A device used to support a broken bone and hold it in place. stable disease Cancer that is not getting worse or better in terms of extent or severity. stem cell transplant Treatment that uses chemotherapy to destroy cells in the bone marrow and then replaces them with healthy blood stem cells. steroid A drug used to reduce swelling, redness, and pain, but also to kill myeloma cells. supportive care Treatment for symptoms of cancer or side effects of cancer treatment.