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December 14, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(24):2089. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810500057020

Several radioactive substances with possibilities for medical application have been prepared with the use of the cyclotron. Up to now radioactive phosphorus has been tried therapeutically more than any other element. Phosphorus, artificially made radioactive, appears to be especially interesting because it is easily manufactured in the cyclotron, because its half-life is relatively long, 14.8 days, and because phosphorus is important in organic and inorganic metabolism generally. Its essential difference from natural inactive phosphorus, according to Lawrence and his co-workers,1 resides in the fact that its nucleus contains an extra neutron and it emits beta rays (electrons) when administered in the form of sodium phosphate. Bone eventually would be expected to retain a larger percentage than any other tissue, and bone, with such a high phosphorus content, would get the greatest number of radioactive atoms per gram. From studies on leukemia in mice it was considered possible that the

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