Cancer Research at KGH Clinic (1951)

New Cancer Find Held ‘Promising’

‘Several’ Melanoma Victims Get Respite with Radioactive Iodine in Knoxville

Knoxville, Tenn., Feb. 10 (AP) — A cooperative research group made up of Knoxville doctors and University of Tennessee scientists has stumbled on a promising treatment for one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

The researchers aren’t making any big claims for their discovery.  But they confirmed this:

They have treated “several” victims of malignant melanoma, or cancer of pigmented moles, with radioactive iodine.  Every case was arrested.

Malignant melanoma is a fast-spreading type which is usually fatal in a short time, although it accounts for only about 1 per cent of cancer cases.

A spokesman for the group emphasized that it takes a long time to make even reasonably sure that an arrested case will not recur.

He said the discovery was made about a year ago at the university hospital when the group was treating a victim of thyroid cancer.  This type had responded previously to treatment with radioactive iodine produced in the atomic energy plant at near-by Oak Ridge.

The researchers noticed that the radioactive iodine also had an effect upon a malignant melanoma with which the same patient was afflicted.  They have since tried similar treatment with other melanoma victims in cooperation with the tumor clinic at Knoxville General Hospital.  The results have made the researchers “most hopeful.”

Source:  New York Times, February 10, 1951, page 52

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