- The Latin “adjuvans” means to help, particularly to reach a goal. Adjuvant therapy for cancer is surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation to help decrease the risk of the cancer recurring (coming back). An adjuvant is a substance that helps and enhances the pharmacological effect of a drug or increases the ability of an antigen to stimulate the immune system.
* * *1. A substance added to a drug product formulation that affects the action of the active ingredient in a predictable way. 2. In immunology, a vehicle used to enhance antigenicity; e.g., a suspension of minerals (alum, aluminum hydroxide, or phosphate) on which antigen is adsorbed; or water-in-oil emulsion in which antigen solution is emulsified in mineral oil (Freund incomplete a.), sometimes with the inclusion of killed mycobacteria (Freund's complete a.) to further enhance antigenicity (inhibits degradation of antigen and/or causes influx of macrophages). 3. Additional therapy given to enhance or extend primary therapy's effect, as in chemotherapy's addition to a surgical regimen. 4. A treatment added to a curative treatment to prevent recurrence of clinical cancer from microscopic residual disease. [L. ad-juvo, pres. p. -juvans, to give aid to]- Freund a. a..- Freund complete a. water-in-oil emulsion of antigen, to which killed mycobacteria or tuberculosis bacteria are added.
* * *ad·ju·vant 'aj-ə-vənt adj1) serving to aid or contribute2) assisting in the prevention, amelioration, or cure of disease <\adjuvant chemotherapy following surgery>a) an ingredient (as in a prescription or solution) that facilitates or modifies the action of the principal ingredient <the beneficial activity of the spray is enhanced by \adjuvants>b) something (as a drug or method) that enhances the effectiveness of a medical treatment <used chemotherapy as an \adjuvant to surgery>c) a substance enhancing the immune response to an antigen
* * *n.any substance used in conjunction with another to enhance its activity. Aluminium salts are used as adjuvants in the preparation of vaccines from the toxins of diphtheria and tetanus: by keeping the toxins in precipitated form, the salts increase the efficacy of the toxins as antigens.
* * *ad·ju·vant (ajґə-vənt) (ă-jooґvənt) [L. adjuvans aiding] 1. assisting or aiding. 2. a substance that aids another, such as an auxiliary remedy. 3. in immunology, a nonspecific stimulator of the immune response, such as BCG vaccine.
Medical dictionary. 2011.