Californium Isotopes Proposed for Intracavity and Interstitial Radiation Therapy with Neutrons


RADIATION therapy with neutrons is receiving increased attention as a result of new information on its effectiveness in destroying the anoxic or oxygen-deficient cells of tumours1–3. Therapy with collimated beams of neutrons generated in cyclotrons or nuclear reactors, however, has the disadvantages of great expense, very limited availability, and accompanying damage to intervening healthy tissue in the collimated beam. These disadvantages may be eliminated and neutron therapy made more flexible, in some cases, with intracavity or interstitial implantation of encapsulated sources of 252Cf or 254Cf, which generate neutrons by spontaneous fission. Practical quantities of 252Cf will soon be available4. Large quantities of 252Cf could be produced economically, if intracavity or interstitial neutron therapy became a widely used technique.

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SCHLEA, C., STODDARD, D. Californium Isotopes Proposed for Intracavity and Interstitial Radiation Therapy with Neutrons. Nature 206, 1058–1059 (1965) doi:10.1038/2061058a0

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