Since the majority of patients with cancer eventually succumb to their disease, the practicing physician frequently must deal with the problem of palliation. One of the complications of advanced cancer is the accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal or pleural cavities, which not only mechanically interferes with the function of the lungs and gastrointestinal tract but also depletes the body of proteins. Clark1 reports a 29% incidence of significant effusions (over 1,000 cc. of fluid) in 266 consecutive autopsies on men with malignant disease.
A radioactive isotope was first used to treat ascites due to peritoneal carcinomatosis by Muller in 1945, who used Zn63 prepared in a cyclotron. In 19502 he reported on eight patients treated by intraperitoneal injection of colloidal Au198, including one in whom both intrapleural and intraperitoneal injections were performed. The inhibition of fluid formation noted in these patients has encouraged other clinical
Seaman WB, Sherman AI, Bonebrake M. RADIOACTIVE GOLD IN THE TREATMENT OF MALIGNANT EFFUSIONS. JAMA. 1953;153(7):630–633. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940240022007
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