Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary One of the authors has previously reported on a method which consists in the utilization of an artifical radioactive isotope (Zn63), suspended in a suitably prepared solution ofpectin, for the production oflocalized biological radiation effects. This « macromolecular occlusion » of the radioactive isotope enables one to perform intraperitoneal injections (in cases of cancer of the ovaries with severe metastatic peritoneal extension), evidently also instillations in cavernous organs, and furthermore direct intratumoral injections, without diffusion of the radioactivity outside the treated areas, as shown both by autoradiographs and controls of blood and urine specimens with a Geiger counter. The authors investigated further whether this procedure would also be suitable for obtaining, by means ofintravenous injections, alocalized radiation effect within thelungs, as presumably the radiozinc, held in the large molecules of pectin, could thus be retained in the pulmonary capillaries. Intravenous injections of such a pectin solution containing radiozinc were performed on rabbits, and autoradiographic controls gave evidence of this expected fixation within the lungs. For the purpose of preliminary clinical investigation 40 millicuries of Zn63 suspended in 6 cm3 of a 3 p. c. isotonic pectin solution were injectedintravenously in a female patient with mainly pulmonary metastases of a previously operated hypernephroma. This patient had been also submitted to X-ray therapy. In spite of a poor general condition, the injection was well tolerated. Autoradiographic controls showed quite clearly that the radioactivity remains precisely localized within the pulmonary areas. No radioactivity whatsoever was demonstrated with the counter in the urine eliminated by this patient after the injection, a fact which points to a rather amazing accuracy of the fixation of the radiozinc in the lungs. This first clinical experience seems quite interesting in view of improving the therapeutic possibilities of pathological, especially neoplastic pulmonary conditions.
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