It is now common knowledge that certain tumors such as lymphosarcomas and masses of leukemic glands may be melted away rapidly with irradiation, whereas other forms such as adenocarcinomas respond less rapidly. The explanation of this difference is fairly simple. All living cells can be destroyed by radiant energy, but the dosage required for the destruction of the more resistant malignant processes approaches close to the dose that most normal tissues will tolerate without irreparable injury. Normal tissues vary in their reaction to irradiation just as do the malignant cells, and the problem involved in safely eradicating only the abnormal structures becomes difficult in the deeper parts of the body. Obviously, any modification of technic designed to increase the factor of safety for the normal structures surrounding a malignant tumor will decrease sloughing and expedite the handling of resistant neoplasms.
Régaud1 and his associates at the Radium Institute in
MARTIN CL. TREATMENT OF MALIGNANT TUMORS: ADVANTAGES OF WEAK HEAVILY FILTERED RADIUM NEEDLES. JAMA. 1932;99(19):1587–1592. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740710031007
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