- Immune system – The body’s defense system against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. The immune system includes white blood cells and protective barriers such as the skin and mucous membranes. The principal organs of the immune system are the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph system.
- Immunotherapy – A type of therapy that stimulates the immune system to help fight cancer. Immunotherapy may also be used to lessen side effects of treatment. Immunotherapy is sometimes referred to as biological therapy.
- Infection – An invasion of microorganisms that have the ability to multiply and produce disease.
- Inflammation – The body’s response to an infection, irritation, or injury.
- Informed consent – A document that outlines an entire procedure or research study. It describes the procedure or study, including possible risks and benefits. Signing the informed consent means you understand and agree to the procedure or participation in the study.
- Infusion – A process of delivering medications, fluids, or blood products into the body through the bloodstream. A needle is used to gain access through a vein, and a catheter with tubing is used to deliver the fluid.
- Institutional review board (IRB) – An IRB is an outside panel of experts that checks and monitors any clinical trial research involving people. This committee represents the interests of the patients who participate in the clinical trial. The committee always includes people who are qualified to evaluate new and ongoing clinical trials on the basis of scientific, legal, and ethical merit. The federal regulations mandated by the Office of Human Research Protection require that an IRB includes at least five people from different backgrounds. Some committee members are doctors and scientists; others are nonmedical people like clergy and teachers. The most important functions of an IRB are to make sure that a clinical trial has scientific merit, minimizes patient risk, and ensures that the privacy of all participants is protected.
- Intravenous (IV) – Inside the veins. An intravenous medication is delivered into the body through a vein.