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Article
May 18, 1957

PRESENT STATUS OF COBALT-60 TELETHERAPY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THE CANCER PATIENT

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas

From the Department of Radiotherapy, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute.

JAMA. 1957;164(3):244-248. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980030020005
Abstract

• Cobalt-60 teletherapy is essentially a form of supervoltage radiation. There is no specificity of action on cancers by the various modalities of super-voltage, and it is a misconception to suppose that Co 60 teletherapy has something to offer when 2-million-volt x-ray therapy has not. Both offer the possibility of increasing the dosage of radiation to tumors because of better skin tolerance and a slight increase in tolerance of the deeper structures. But both must be used with due regard to the possible later appearance of subcutaneous and deep muscle fibrosis and other signs of cumulative damage, and the curability of a tumor is one of its fundamental biological properties. Supervoltage or Co60 teletherapy is not indicated in a number of conditions, e. g., lymphomas in areas of superficial lymph nodes. Its use is elective in a number of other conditions, e. g., mediastinal and retroperitoneal lymphomas. Its use is imperative in a considerable number of conditions, including cancers of the oropharynx and urinary bladder and late cancers of the cervix and vagina. It has technical advantages that need to be explored further, but an objective and unemotional approach is necessary.

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