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September 1959

Cancer Palliation: Extracorporeal Pump Perfusion of Radioactive Isotopes and Nitrogen Mustard as Adjuncts to External Radiation Therapy

Author Affiliations

Iowa City
Trainee, National Cancer Institute (Dr. Johnson).; From the Departments of Surgery and Radiology and the Radiation Research Laboratory, State University of Iowa College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(3):416-426. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320090064010

All too often incurable cancer proves to be a painful, chronic condition, and such illnesses should challenge the ingenuity of physicians and scientists collectively. The patient may suffer mental and physical deterioration, and his family may encounter great social and economic hardship. The therapeutic limitations of surgery, of ionizing radiation, and the commonly used cancerocidal chemotherapeutic materials each alone are fairly well known. Incompletely explored are combinations of modalities in therapy, and herein, perhaps, are unused remedies in cancer palliation.

The mustard group of drugs are thought to enhance the effects of ionizing radiation.1 These drugs have had limitations in effective use against most cancers, however, because of their systemic toxicity. The proposal that an extracorporeal circulation can provide a means for delivering high doses of nitrogen mustard2,3 to a diseased area with lessened systemic contamination appears to have merit.

Our purpose was to assess a simple extracorporeal