Classics in brachytherapy: Margaret Cleaves introduces gynecologic brachytherapy.
ABSTRACT Intracavitary treatment of gynecologic cancers has been the anchor of brachytherapy, and perhaps the greatest success of radiotherapy, for over a century. The woman who first performed the procedure was neither a surgeon nor radiologist, but an electrotherapeutist who began her career as an alienist. She pursued a prolific academic career despite being disabled by a disease that is no longer recognized. The fascinating life of Margaret Cleaves, the initiator of gynecologic brachytherapy, is recounted.