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Irradiation with open (incorporated) radio-isotopes

  • P. F. Hahn
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Part of the Handbuch der Medizinischen Radiologie / Encyclopedia of Medical Radiology book series (HDBRADIOL)

Abstract

In the early 1930’s, the discovery of artificial radioactivity was universally greeted by a burst of enthusiasm as a possible solution to many therapeutic radiological problems. Even more realistically, especially from an economic viewpoint, the availability of the products of the chain reactor in the middle 1940’s seemed to open up much wider vistas in the field of radiation therapy. Now one was offered an assortment of isotopes of practically all the existing elements as a means of combatting malignant disease by means of application of newly existent radioactive elements as well as nuclide containing compounds which could be tailor-made according to the desires of the investigator. However, real progress has been exasperatingly slow. Attempts to find the reason why by questioning of competent investigators in the field on two continents have failed to reveal a definitive answer. With such a large potential armamentarium available there should be suggested a question of lack of ingenuity and interest. In spite of the tremendous amounts of money which have been expended to develop chemotherapeutic agents for control of malignant processes the results have been very disappointing. Therefore, radiation alone and as an adjuvant to surgery still holds tremendous possibilities in the management of cancer until such a time as a major “break-through” in cancer therapy may be effected by other means. The situation is not dissimilar to that which existed fifteen years ago when the reactor products were first made available and there may well be another equal or longer period of time during which such nuclides could be advantageously used in the treatment of cancer.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1971

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  • P. F. Hahn

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