Don Lawrence and the "k-capture" revolution
Department of Radiation Oncology
Medical Subject Headings
Brachytherapy; Cesium Radioisotopes; History, 20th Century; Humans; Iodine Radioisotopes; United States
Neoplasms | Oncology
PURPOSE: The practice of brachytherapy was in steep decline in the mid-20th century, largely because of safety issues. This article explores the innovations that revitalized brachytherapy with special attention to the introduction of low-energy seeds for permanent implantation.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Literature review; interviews; and the memos, records, and correspondence of Donald C. Lawrence.
RESULTS: Paul Harper first proposed the use of radionuclides that decay by k-capture in the 1950s. But it was the vision and tenacity of health physicist Donald Lawrence that led to the successful implementation of I-125 (in the 1960s) and Cs-131 (40 years later).
Rights and Permissions
Brachytherapy. 2010 Oct-Dec;9(4):373-81. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2009.07.014. Link to article on publisher's site