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A 20-year-old male asked:

How did they use radiation to treat cancer before linear accelerators, and do they use anything besides linear accs now?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
Many technologies: Radiation has been used to treat cancer since just after it was discovered in 1895. Before LINACs, X-ray tubes and then cobalt 60 machines were used. GammaKnife still uses Co60. Proton cyclotrons are more prevalent today and carbon ion cyclotrons are being studied. Brachytherapy started in the early 1900s with Radium implants. Ir192, Cs131, I125, Pd103 and other isotopes are now used as well.

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Last updated Sep 13, 2014
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