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Books, Journals, New Media
May 19, 2004

Radiation Oncology

Author Affiliations

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.

JAMA. 2004;291(19):2383. doi:10.1001/jama.291.19.2383-a

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 question.

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 tumors.

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