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April 1966

Treating Head and Neck Cancer With Radioactive Isotopes

Author Affiliations

From the Pack Medical Foundation, Inc., and the Isotope Service, Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, and New York Medical College.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;83(4):360-367. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760020362015

THE AVAILABILITY of radioactive isotopes introduces a challenge in their application in the treatment of certain cancers of the head and neck.1-7 Approximately 1,000 radioactive isotopes are available; therefore, the physician can choose his radiologic spectrum at will. For example, he has the choice of an isotope with a half-life of a few seconds to that of one with a half-life of many hundreds of years; his choice may be one of the βray emitters (here there is a wide range in the energy produced) or one of the γ-ray emitters; he has available a variety of radioactive elements which can be used in any physical state and which can be incorporated into a compound of his choice. Table 1 presents the physical characteristics and uses of some of the commonly used radioactive isotopes.

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