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September 1, 1945


Author Affiliations

Divisions of Medicine and Medical Physics, University of California, Berkeley 4, Calif.

JAMA. 1945;129(1):91. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860350093027

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To the Editor:—  During the past several years the artificially produced radioactive elements have become available for use in biologic and medical research as "tracers." So-called tracer doses of these elements, in metabolic studies, are supposedly so small that there is apparently no danger of harm to the organism either immediate or delayed. However, these elements are also being used with success at several centers in this country and abroad by intravenous injection in larger or therapeutic doses for the treatment of certain diseases such as hyperthyroidism (radio iodine), leukemia (radio phosphorus), polycythemia vera (radio phosphorus) and metastatic bone tumors (radio strontium). Some workers, after a short experience in the therapeutic use of these substances, have become a bit too enthusiastic regarding their value. As far as I am aware, no "cures" have been accomplished. The immediate dangerous possibilities of any form of irradiation (x-rays, gamma rays, radium, artificial radioactivity)

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