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PITUITARY IRRADIATION IN MALIGNANCY

JAMA. 1951;147(7):666-667. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670240050011.
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ABSTRACT

In recent years, temporary control of certain neoplasms, particularly of carcinoma of the prostate and of the mammary gland, has been achieved by castration or by administration of large doses of androgens or estrogens. Why such an alteration of hormonal balance should be therapeutically effective is not yet known, although the subject has received widespread attention. Among the theories advanced is the suggestion that the beneficial effects may be due to alterations in pituitary function. As a consequence, attempts have been made to reduce pituitary function by irradiation of the pituitary. Preliminary results, however, have not been successful owing to the apparent high resistance of the normal pituitary gland to x-ray irradiation.1 Kelly and his associates irradiated the pituitaries of three adult women patients with advanced cancer with doses of 8,100 to 10,000 r. Two months after irradiation there were no clinical or laboratory evidences of reduced pituitary function,

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