[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 8, 1973

Problems With the Irradiation of Children and Pregnant Patients

JAMA. 1973;223(2):171-173. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220020037012

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


A profound therapeutic dilemma often confronts the physician when a child or a pregnant woman must be irradiated. The beneficial effects of aggressive, curative therapy must be balanced against the deleterious consequences of such treatment.

Irradiation of Children  Adults with early Hodgkin's disease have a good prognosis. Long-term survival can be expected.29 The same can be said for children. Butler35 discussed the several factors that appear to influence prognosis, ie, sex, age, histologic type, and stage of disease. All things considered, he found the prognosis for children to be better, stage for stage, than for adults, a conclusion differing from that of Jenkin et al,36 who found no pronounced difference.Radiation therapy is the mainstay of treatment in these patients. However, treatment policies that are considered suitable for adults may be less appropriate for children, because the immediate and late effects of radiation therapy are more pronounced