Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
During the lifetime of many active physicians, the practice of medicine
has rapidly evolved from a rather crude art form into an increasingly exact
science. Whether that progression is entirely for the good remains an open
One field that is without doubt becoming more scientifically precise
is that of radiation oncology. The development of accuracy in delivering radiation
doses to prescribed tumor zones, coupled with protection of normal tissues,
has been given a tremendous boost by computer-driven technical machinery.
Apparatus of this sort includes megavoltage machines and internal therapeutic
radioisotopes. In addition, the field of medical oncology has helped by producing
newer and less toxic combinations of drugs, which, used as adjuvants or coupled
with irradiation, can increase the chance of success for treatment of localized
Gunn WG. Radiation Oncology. JAMA. 2004;291(19):2383. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2383-a