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Isotopes and Nuclear Radiations in Experimental Medicine

JOHN H. LAWRENCE, M.D.
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;97(6):680-693. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250240032003.
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Modern nuclear physics has already given much to the medical profession. This is reflected in the enormous increase in isotope use over the past 10 years made possible by the Atomic Energy Commission (Fig. 1). In the last five years, this rate of increase has almost doubled each year so that by the end of 1954 over 50,000 c. (curies) had been shipped to users that year, and 70% of the dollar value of these shipments represented medical use.1 With the development of experienced and qualified workers and a broad background of medical research, techniques and procedures for use of isotopes in diagnosis and therapy are now in wide use in laboratories, in hospitals, and in individual physician's offices. All of us are familiar with the use of I131 in the diagnosis and treatment of Grave's disease and thyroid cancer; P32 and other isotopes in the measurement of

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