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April 1957

Experience with Radioactive Phosphorus in Tumor Detection

Author Affiliations

From the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;57(4):485-490. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00930050497001

The importance of correctly diagnosing intraocular tumors need not be emphasized. Yet a recent review of 862 eyes submitted to a large pathology department as clinically malignant revealed that 102, or 12%, were found to contain no malignancy.1 The use of radioactive phosphorus (P32) to detect malignant ocular tumors has been in vogue at certain ophthalmic centers since 1952. From several papers already published on the subject, it has been definitely shown by radioassay2 and by radioautographs3 that malignant tumors concentrate P32 to a greater degree than do other ocular tissues after intravenous injection. Other in vitro and in vivo studies4 have demonstrated that this increased uptake can often be detected by a small Geiger counter if this instrument can be placed on the eyeball sufficiently near the tumor area. Furthermore, it has been shown that this increased concentration does not occur in serous

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