Radiotherapy of Cancer Pain

  • H. Kuttig
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 89)


The alleviation of cancer pain by ionizing radiation was observed early in the development of radiotherapy. In the first months of 1896 — on 28 December 1895 Roentgen had just presented his discovery of X-rays — Despeignes in Lyon reported a striking analgetic effect of X-ray therapy on a cancroid of the floor of the mouth and a stomach cancer and, at the end of 1896, Williams in Boston published a report of remarkable, fast regression of pain in a repeatedly operated patient with breast cancer (see Glasser 1958). Subsequently, the analgetic effect of ionizing radiation has also been utilized for a large number of benign diseases within the scope of the anti-inflammatory irradiation of acute and chronic processes inaugurated by Heidenhain and Fried in 1924. The effect has been explained by an influence on the autonomic nervous system, by electrolyte redistribution at the peripheral ends of the nerves, and a change of acidosis frequently present in the tissue toward neutral pH.


Bone Metastasis Cancer Pain Osteoblastic Metastasis Analgetic Effect Percutaneous Irradiation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Kuttig
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung für Allgemeine Radiologie, Radiologisches ZentrumUniversität HeidelbergHeidelberg 1Germany

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