Bioeffect Dosimetry in Radiation Therapy

  • Colin G. Orton


Interest in understanding and manipulating time, dose, and fractionation in an attempt to find the “optimal” therapy began on Wednesday, January 29, 1896, less than three months after the discovery of X rays. This was the day that Emil Grubbé initiated the first of several 1-h daily treatments to a Mrs. Rose Lee, who had an advanced carcinoma of the breast. The choice of technique was relatively simple. Grubbé placed the X-ray tube in direct contact with the lesion and treated for the maximum time period he considered reasonable for the comfort of the patient. Since the output of the X-ray tube was so low, it was necessary to deliver multiple daily treatments in order to produce a marked effect. Grubbé had discovered fractionated radiotherapy. It apparently worked to a limited extent, since Grubbé reported marked tumor regression. Little did he realize that he had started a long, tortuous trail in search of the “ideal” treatment technique, a trail which was to take many sudden twists and turns, even on occasions going backwards. We are still on this trail today, although, hopefully, we are progressing mainly in a forward direction.


Dose Rate Partial Tolerance Cell Population Kinetic Skin Tolerance Isoeffect Dose 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin G. Orton
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiation Oncology Center, Harper-Grace HospitalsWayne State University School of MedicineDetroitUSA

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