- cell death, programmed
- gene-directed cell death
- A normal series of events in a cell that leads to its death.
National Cancer Institute
- Programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.
Definition from: Human Genome Project Information
at the U.S. Department of Energy
- Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death. It is used during early development to eliminate unwanted cells; for example, those between the fingers of a developing hand. In adults, apoptosis is used to rid the body of cells that have been damaged beyond repair. Apoptosis also plays a role in preventing cancer. If apoptosis is for some reason prevented, it can lead to uncontrolled cell division and the subsequent development of a tumor.
Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms from the National Human Genome Research Institute
Related discussion in the Handbook
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.