Dr. John Lawrence, long interested in how radiation can be used in medicine, introduces a new approach to fighting cancer when he uses a radioactive isotope of phosphorus to treat a 28-year-old woman with leukemia.
Lawrence was part of a research team with his older brother, Ernest, at the Donner Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. A few years earlier, the elder Lawrence brother had invented the cyclotron, a particle accelerator that creates radioactive isotopes. Together, the brothers were leaders in research in nuclear radiation, both in how it harms the human body, but also how it could be used to treat and diagnose diseases. Read more.