Treatment of diseases with x rays began within months of Roentgen's discovery, and within four years x rays were being used successfully for the treatment of skin cancers. Deep-seated cancers began to be treated successfully in the 1920's with the advent of "deep" x-ray units and, especially, once supervoltage therapy machines became available in the 1930's. The 1940's and 1950's saw significant growth of megavoltage therapy, initially with Van de Graaff generators and betatrons, and later with linear accelerators. Linear accelerators became popular during the 1960's and 1970's and, by the 1980's they began to replace 60Co units as the most common form of treatment machine. With high-energy linear accelerators, computerized treatment planning, and ingenious fractionation schemes, modern radiotherapy has become a vital component of cancer treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study the authors analyze the documentation regarding the earliest known X-ray treatments with the objective of identifying the true origin of radiation therapy. The four most often quoted events, including X-ray treatments allegedly performed in 1896 are analyzed in the light of available published reports. From this it is concluded that Despeignes of Lyon, who in July of 1896 irradiated a patient with cancer of the stomach, is in all likelihood the first person to perform documented radiation therapy treatments with a scientific and logical basis.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 04/1997; 42(3):213-7. DOI:10.1016/S0167-8140(97)01940-3 · 4.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medical health physics is the profession dedicated to the protection of healthcare providers, members of the public, and patients from unwarranted radiation exposure. Medical health physicists must be knowledgeable in the principles of health physics and in the applications of radiation in medicine. Advances in medical health physics require the definition of problems, testing of hypotheses, and gathering of evidence to defend changes in health physics practice and to assist medical practitioners in making changes in their practices as appropriate. Advances in radiation medicine have resulted in new modalities and procedures, some of which have significant potential to cause serious harm. Examples included in this review include radiologic procedures that require very long fluoroscopy times, radiolabeled monoclonal antibodies, and intravascular brachytherapy. This review summarizes evidence that supports changes in consensus recommendations, regulations, and health physics practices associated with recent advances in radiology, nuclear medicine, and radiation oncology. Medical health physicists must continue to gather evidence to support intelligent but practical methods for protection of personnel, the public, and patients as modalities and applications evolve in the practice of medicine.
Health Physics 05/2004; 86(5):445-456. DOI:10.1097/00004032-200405000-00001 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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