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September 27, 1965

The Science of Ionizing Radiation: Modes of Application

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1965;193(13):1129. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090130057027

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The discovery of ionizing radiation and the many important and ingenious ramifications resulting therefrom have been of the greatest significance to medicine. Capturing this story in only 788 pages has taxed the capabilities of 35 contributors and yielded about four pounds of fascinating if somewhat uncritical material.

A series of incredibly brilliant discoveries and applications led to the diagnostic uses of radiation. But these were far easier to develop and apply than those for therapy. Therapeutic applications have had a strictly empirical course without much in the way of comparative evaluation. The story of radiation therapy of cancer is no less impressive than that of surgical or chemical therapy but the reader should be impressed with the absence of reasonable scientific comparisons in the growth of work described best as an art but hardly a science. The section on external radiation therapy presents a coherent, logical rationale for its use

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