Radiation Therapy

The origins of radiation therapy for cancer date back to the discovery of the X-ray by Roentgen in 1895.22 The properties of radium were reported by the Curies in 1898.23 The effectiveness of therapeutic radiation was established in the 1920s,24,25 and radiation therapy for cancer treatment became established as a medical specialty within the American Board of Radiology in 1934. Between the 1930s and the 1950s, radiation therapy became a well-established treatment for cancer of the head and neck.26-28 By 1950, radiation therapy had also become the treatment of choice for patients with Hodgkin's disease.29,30 Brachytherapy became widely used in the 1980s.31 By the late 1990s, progress in computer technology facilitated the wide availability of computed tomography (CT) scan-guided computerized treatment planning,32 as well as confor-mal and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.33

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