Definition of adjuvant in English:



  • (of therapy) applied after initial treatment for cancer, especially to suppress secondary tumour formation.

    • ‘If surgical removal of a tumor is the primary therapy, then chemotherapy or radiation therapy is considered adjuvant therapy.’
    • ‘Women with breast cancer may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or both.’
    • ‘Three patients received no adjuvant treatment, and no information on adjuvant therapy was available for the remaining 4 patients.’
    • ‘However, this trial suggests that use of high doses of antioxidants as adjuvant therapy might compromise radiation treatment efficacy.’
    • ‘The book is divided into five short chapters that cover coping with the diagnosis of cancer, surgical treatments, adjuvant therapies, and ongoing recovery.’
    additional, auxiliary, supporting, helping, assisting, extra, supplementary, supplemental, accessory, contributory, attendant
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  • A substance which enhances the body's immune response to an antigen.

    • ‘Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in biologic agents as potential adjuvants in the treatment of chronic wounds.’
    • ‘Natural oils may turn out to be valuable adjuvants or even replacements for many anti-germicidals under a variety of conditions.’
    • ‘New TB adjuvants (enhancers of the immune response) have been studied.’
    • ‘A well-known practical application of this observation is the use of microbe-derived adjuvants to increase antibody responses.’
    • ‘The products use a large amount of organisms and adjuvants such as aluminum hydroxide or oil to produce a sufficient immune response.’


Late 16th century: from Latin adjuvant- ‘helping towards’, from the verb adjuvare, from ad- ‘towards’ + juvare to ‘help’.