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August 29, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXIII(9):741-743. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570090027007

On account of the extravagant exploitations of radium by the profession as well as by laymen, a statement as to its actual value as a therapeutic agent (at present) may be enlightening. The majority of physicians are not in a position to judge the merits of this element, because its scarcity and high price place it beyond their reach. Judging from the unusual publicity accorded the discovery of this new chemical, with its marvelous physical properties, it was logical to expect that the therapeutic results would be quite phenomenal; but such results take years to perfect. The premature, hothouse exploitation of radium, hybridized by a cross between its unusual phenomena and the publicity given them, have resulted in disappointment, which was to be expected. After the initial period of exploitation, every new therapeutic agent goes through an evolutionary period in the hands of those who are scientifically inquisitive, and eventually

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