Philosophical Society of Washington

Intraoperative Radiotherapy – A Treatment Option for Cancers That Cannot Be Removed by Surgery

Alfred F. Goldson
Howard University Cancer Center

2012th Meeting Abstract
Friday, April 23, 1993 at 8:15 PM


Radiation therapy is the use of x-rays,gamma rays, electrons, etc. to treat rauidly dividing malignant and non-malignant tumors. The radiation in the form of atomic particles or energy waves are directed at the cancerous cells and ionizes atoms or molecules in the cells. These ionizations damage or kill the cancer cells.

Intraoperative radiotherapy uses electrons to produce ionizations in cancer cells. Its attraction lies in the direct irradiation of the surgically exposed tumor. This "direct attack" radiation therapy technique permits; (1) accurate beam direction, (2) precise limitation of the radiation effect to the tumor, and (3) the possibility to physically displace sensitive organs like the skin, the intestines, and nerves outside the radiation beam. This presentation will discuss the past, present, and future of the intraoperative radiotherapy.

About the Author:

Mr. Goldson received his M.D. from the Howard University College of Medicine. He did his radiation therapy residency at Howard University Hospital under Ulrick K. Henschke, M.D., Ph.D, a world renown radiation oncologist. Mr. Goldson furthered his training as a fellow in radiation oncology at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York City. In 1976, he returned to Howard University Hospital to start his pioneering work in intraoperative electron beam irradiation. Mr. Goldson is also credited for his pioneering efforts in high dose rate interstitial isotope implants and is also the inventor of the "Baby Bonder," a device which allows men to pseudo-breast feed.

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