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Oral Histories
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Oral Histories

Pathologist Clarence Lushbaugh, M.D.


Short Biography

Upbringing, Family, University of Chicago

Early Research and Publications in Pathology

Early Days at University of Chicago and Los Alamos

Establishing Safer Radiation Limits

Move to Los Alamos

Pathology Investigations

Early Animal Studies at Los Alamos

NASA-Sponsored Studies

Primate Studies

Investigations of Radiological Accidents

Congressional Testimony on the Use of Whole Body Counting in Medical Diagnosis

Other Human Radiological Studies at Los Alamos

Move to Oak Ridge (1963)

LETBI and METBI Therapy for Lymphatic Diseases

Charges That the Oak Ridge Radiation Therapy Was Not Effective

Questioning the Propriety of NASA-Funded Studies

Radiation Treatment Patients at Los Alamos and Oak Ridge

Institutional Review Board at Oak Ridge

Controversy Over the AEC's Use of Human Subjects in Radiation Research

Interview Wrap-Up


LETBI and METBI Therapy for Lymphatic Diseases

FISHER: We want to talk about all the work you've done at Oak Ridge from 1963 on.
ANDERS: 1963 on. We talked a little bit about how you came to Oak Ridge, why you came to Oak Ridge, and I guess we could start with the medical research that you began in the medical program you began working in when you started here at Oak Ridge.
LUSHBAUGH: I talked about the radioisotope program. And about how I was competitive with Dr. Lowell Edwards and his metastases of cancer and how I worked with Ralph Kniseley. I guess the great thing was that what we did, we got built this large what we called the LETBI [Low Exposure Total Body Irradiator] facility. Ann Sipe was the woman that became the actual day-to-day, hour-to-hour manager of the facility. I was sort of the doctor representative. I don't know what you'd call me.
SIPE: We used to call him co-investigator. It sounded really terrible. But that's what the lower echelon called you. Everybody. You were investigating.
LUSHBAUGH: The LETBI facility was an interesting one. This is where the major part of my research took place. It took place in a room where we had a console that measured the time that the person was in this room and being irradiated. The person that lived in this room was in a sea of radiation, much like that Heubline had made up years and years ago using x­ray tubes. But we used cobalt­60. We used cobalt­60 in an array around the ceiling, whereby a person in this area got a pretty uniform dose of radiation. We had a dose meter there. This thing sort of measured the amount of radiation. What he was not supposed to do with a patient was, he [(the patient)] was not supposed to get more radiation than we had said that he was supposed to get in a number of days. Days times 24 times [the exposure rate] was what the radiation dose was. We kept track of his radiation exposure. We found and what we had actually designed was a door that made these sources go back in the place so it didn't irradiate the patient unless the patient was in the room with the door closed. We didn't have any trouble with this, except for women patients. Women would always go to the bathroom together. Men would always go separately. We could have as many as two persons in this room at a time. So we had to keep track of the women.
SIPE: Yes.
LUSHBAUGH: The interesting thing was that as we watched, and we had remote-control cameras and the like so we could see. The person who was going to be irradiated would usually have arthritis or difficulty untying his shoes, or taking off his pants or getting into bed. If he got down in bed where he was sleeping all night, he had to roll out and climb the wall to stand and get up. It was terribly difficult for him to do. After he had been irradiated for a couple of weeks, and I do mean a couple of weeks, he would now be able to walk when—he had a double cane when he walked in. Now he would be able to give me the canes as he left. Now he would be able to get out of bed without having to fall out on the floor, roll on the floor, crawl up the walls. His arthritis would be gone.
FISHER: Could you describe the types of diseases that were being treated by the low-dose-rate facility?
LUSHBAUGH: We usually treated diseases that involved the lymphatic system39. We had chronic lymphatic disease. We had acute lymphatic disease and we had various kinds of myelogenous40 diseases and the like.
FISHER: It would include both leukemia and lymphoma.
SIPE: We had the chronic granulocytic leukemias41. We had the lymphomas42 and lymphosarcomas43 and then the polycythemia veras44 and thrombocythemia45.
FISHER: Polycythemia veras. Any Hodgkin's disease?
SIPE: No, we didn't have any Hodgkin's disease. There was a very large lymphocarcinoma46. This is out of the book. I can read it right out. I won't go from memory. This is your book. Everything was in a chronic state when we had them there, the leukemias. They were never in the acute state; they were always in the chronic state. There were criteria that were set up for this. In fact, sometimes even if blood pictures changed, when they decided they were going to have them in there, it would be stopped on the morning that they were going to start their treatments.
FISHER: Do you remember the protocols that were developed for these patients? What were the total body radiation doses that you wanted to achieve and what were the upper limits on those?
SIPE: LETBI strived for 250 rads in a period of eight days.
LUSHBAUGH: Ann knows more about it than I do.
FISHER: 250 rads?
SIPE: Over a period of eight days. Five R per hour, approximately 20 hours a day.
FISHER: Five rad per hour.
SIPE: 1.5.
FISHER: 1.5 rad per hour.
SIPE: They had been doing this in METBI. That was the primary whole body counter. There had been some fractionated and protractive treatment, but not that much.
FISHER: So 250—
SIPE: —was the tops.
FISHER: —was the highest level.
SIPE: We did some 100s and some 150s, but 250 was the top in LETBI.
FISHER: What was the rationale for the medium dose rate versus the low-dose-rate selection? Do you remember which worked best and why?
LUSHBAUGH: It seems like the ones that worked best in the METBI were the younger persons. The older persons went better in the LETBI facility.
SIPE: Yes, I'm not questioning that. When METBI was there, I think [treatment choice] also had to do with the blood work, the picture, the acute state, the chronic state. One of the things that the Heubline treatment promoted was the hospitals all over the United States had been doing this way before LETBI had started. Giving small doses daily. Now this is an uneducated lady here. But learning from him, one of the things was it would attack the bone marrow and keep it from going into an acute state. If the white cells started climbing, the red blood cells a little bit everyday would try to keep a level picture. It also [made it] so that they [patients] could move around, they could stay in this area, and go out and visit and walk. Side effects weren't bad either. They didn't have the side effects they did from the 1.5 R per minute. The comfort of the patient was one of the things that they were really striving for.
FISHER: The low dose rate at 1.5 R per hour resulted in fewer side effects?
SIPE: The only people that ever complained of having nausea were people who had treatments in the METBI, the portal treatments, like to the spleen. There would be people who would tell us they could smell it. They would get nauseated going on the elevator, even going down stairs. There were only about three of those, but they had no side effects, nausea, vomiting, dizziness. They would get a little bit tired, the dormancy. We'd take them out. We'd get them out of there. The room was like a hotel room. They had their own television, and the paper, food, and [they could] come out and look outside or go outside and sit. They really were just hospitalized, so to speak, but still getting treatment. They had much fewer side effects than the ones who had it downstairs that we had noticed.
FISHER: Do you remember the year of the first full body irradiations?
SIPE: Where?
FISHER: Here at the Medical Division?
SIPE: That would have been before I came here in the fifties. That would have been in 1953 or '54.
LUSHBAUGH: There was a physician here on the staff whose name was Frank Comas. Frank Comas was in charge of radiation treatments. He had with him at the time Brucer who was here, he had with him a large focusing type of gamma camera. What would you call those things that he had downstairs?
FISHER: You mean the teletherapy room.
SIPE: He had that. He called it a "red menace."
LUSHBAUGH: Right. He was a good guy. He still is over there at the University of Tennessee. You should be able to talk to him.
SIPE: It was cesium­137 teletherapy. They put that in '55. I wasn't here. But 1960 approximately is when METBI was built, the middle exposure, the moderate exposure. Then we went in 1967 in LETBI. Dr. Comas was at UT [University of Tennessee]. He also possibly has retired. When I had my surgery in January he was supposed to retire by August [1994].
LUSHBAUGH: I didn't know that.
FISHER: So 250 rad either over a short period or a longer period. Twenty days?
SIPE: No, eight days. That was in the LETBI unit. In the METBI unit, they usually had, I don't know what the top was, I don't remember, although we have it in our history. They would have, sometimes they would have lower dosages. It's according to the child or the size. It was according to the disease. I think they would have it anywhere from possibly 50 R up to a little over 300. I think the maximum was 350 at one time. They usually stayed around 100 in METBI. Now in LETBI, we had a group of one hundred, one hundred and fifty, and two-fifty in LETBI.
FISHER: Do you remember the reason, Dr. Lushbaugh, for choosing 100, 150, or 250 R per treatment? Do you remember the protocol or the rationale why a certain dose level was chosen?
LUSHBAUGH: I think that the controlling reason was that the radiation dose was, and you didn't want to kill anybody. It's still pretty well unknown that 400 rads total body radiation is going to kill you; actually, if you had half of that, this was considered the therapeutic level. In the usual treatment of cancers, the daily dose to a cancer is about 200 rads. We were trying to prolong the time period it took to get such a dose into a person. And to be able to see some kind of an effect on a tumor.
SIPE: A lot of times these people had so many other treatments that they had other treatments in METBI, and one of the things, too, is that their cancers, their blood dyscrasias47 would advance. Some of the times, knowing that something else did not bring it down to the level they wanted to keep it, sometimes they would try a little bit more. It is a known fact that all of those would reach a peak and then go over the blast process into acute stages and then you had to take on another type of treatment, which would not be radiation.
FISHER: Blood counts were taken fairly often?
SIPE: Every day, blood counts were taken and the all of their history was known at staff meetings. The blood work. I did graphs for Dr. Lushbaugh. All the graphs distinguish between METBI and later [LETBI] and are the comparisons of where the blood stage was, where the bone marrows that were done. They did bone marrows before every treatment. If they decided it's a possibility to give them 100 in LETBI, a bone marrow was done the day before and then so many days after to see the nadir time and all the different things that would happen. In the meantime, also watching their blood picture to see if they got to a point where that might be doing some damage. They were watched over daily on that type of thing so the patient and his disease came first. It wasn't that their treatments were continued out, just to get an ending. Sometimes we've stopped because "something has happened here."
FISHER: Was there antibiotic support as well?
SIPE: If it was called for and needed, they got it. Some of the patients, some of the women would have some bladder infections. If something happened and it raised it's ugly head, then they would stop.
FISHER: Do you remember the comparison in therapy success between the METBI and the LETBI, in retrospect?
LUSHBAUGH: I was biased, of course. I always thought that the LETBI was much more effective than the METBI. The thing was, that in the METBI facility, it bordered on the amount of radiation that a person could stand in a day. And so you had nausea and vomiting and systemic reactions. Where you rarely had those things, if at all, in the LETBI facility.
FISHER: So there were fewer complications with nausea in the LETBI and you could still deliver the same total dose.
SIPE: Just over a longer period of time. I think also,you have a big psychological side here with the patients who are getting different kinds of treatment. They gave much support to each other. In the hospital, in the regular hospitals, it was always, "I've just talked to a patient three doors down and they're being given such and such, why don't you try that on me?" Although the patients did not pull that much here, there was such support and if someone was getting sick in METBI, everybody knew it. Then when LETBI started, it was like, "Let me try LETBI." There was such a psychological point of people in LETBI because they had one person, they were not a 20-patient hospital. Back there they were the only thing existing. Their every need, they're talking to their people, coming back at night. I've been here at two o'clock in the morning, where if there's something bothering them, I'll come right back up here. Although the nurses have a TV camera and could watch on a oscilloscope their heartbeat to make sure. They were watching over them in the nurses' station. They had so much care back there. It was such a hotel to go to. So the psychological factor also helped, I think sometime. I think that helped on nausea.
FISHER: You were able to treat as much as two at once in the same facilities.
SIPE: They didn't do that often, but, did that some. Some of the gentlemen, and Dr. Lushbaugh always came to meet them. We'd sit around and talk about it. They would come and sit with me for a little while. We'd go inside and sit for a little while, so by the time they started their treatment, they knew exactly how it worked. I never left unless I told them. Dr. Lushbaugh would sit with them for me to come home. Dr. Ricks did. When one was a preacher and one had a wife who couldn't drive. There was a thing about having treatment for eight hours and tending to their business. They wanted to do that. They were still in the chronic state of their disease. They had a big round table, the physicians, Dr. Lushbaugh, doing comparison of their blood work. These gentleman had probably five or six treatments in LETBI and METBI also. They had other treatments in METBI as other things changed. Or they had METBI before LETBI. So they were able to go home. They were still leading the normal life which was so important too, on that side of it, without the nausea and whatnot.
FISHER: What other facilities around the country were attempting the same types of procedures on lymphoma and leukemia?
SIPE: That part he'll have to answer, I don't know.
LUSHBAUGH: This is just a list of retrospective studies. That's not the answer to your question.
SIPE: That's not the answer you want. But I was giving that to the question they're going to ask in a minute. City of Hope was doing a study on leukemia.
FISHER: This wasn't the only facility in the country doing low-dose-rate whole body irradiations, was it?
SIPE: No, these were two. Princess Margaret [Hospital] in Canada was doing a lot of those. Veterans Hospital was giving five R every day to veterans.
FISHER: Which veterans?
SIPE: It would be a VA Hospital in New Orleans. I did have at one time different hospitals, like Indiana and University of Arkansas.
FISHER: What was the most unique thing about ORINS in terms of treatment of leukemia and lymphoma patients?
LUSHBAUGH: I guess from the patients' point of view, it didn't cost them anything.
FISHER: Who covered the cost?
FISHER: Were they able to be treated because they belonged to the AEC family? Were they employees at Oak Ridge or members of the community or referrals?
LUSHBAUGH: This was the area cancer hospital. If you had some kind of cancer and cancer of the blood was one of them, you were sent to this hospital.
FISHER: Because it was a regional cancer facility.
SIPE: In 1946, when they first had their meeting and the isotope study became so prominent to people and isotopes per se that had been used so many years in the thirties. Right down the street they had ORNL [Oak Ridge National Laboratory] with isotopes. It was a meeting place that was close to isotopes and the expertise of the people involved. That's one of the reasons that they thought this would be a good place to start this. The Army was leaving and they were able to get the EB1 building. This was all the Oak Ridge Hospital in the old days. In '48, they acquired it. That was a basic reason, because of the isotopes that could be made, going in to peacetime.
FISHER: I seem to recall that Dr. Saenger was always doing these. Was it the same time, or did he come on later?
LUSHBAUGH: His regime was different. He didn't have a room, for instance. He had the usual radiation oncology room, which had a big source that could give doses. He would have oncologists who would look at the source or graph of its radioactivity and be able to tell how much radioactivity would come out. So they planned for a certain thing to be looked at in a certain way and delivered radiation to it for a certain length of time. Not total body irradiation.
FISHER: Was it a gamma source in a well?
FISHER: Or was it a teletherapy machine that they converted into whole body irradiation.
LUSHBAUGH: I don't really know. All I know is that I have seen their printouts of the therapeutic arrays that they were going to have. I know that Saenger and I went on many occasions to Columbus, Ohio, where they had some kind of a radiation physicist who was moonlighting and trying to develop into a hospital physicist, a medical physicist. He apparently used the wrong graph paper and he depreciated this source. The hospital there didn't know that they were having any trouble, until one day the radiation therapist said that never in his life had he ever used roentgens, that were so strong. This is a quite well-known debacle. I don't know what his name is nowadays. Saenger could tell you.
LUSHBAUGH: I forget the name of the hospital.
SIPE: Yes, Riverside.
LUSHBAUGH: Riverside Hospital.
FISHER: Were these total body irradiations?
LUSHBAUGH: No, they were focused irradiations. The radiologist who complained about this was the head man, and he complained that he was getting many kinds of dermatitises48, ulcerations49, and untoward radiation effects that he didn't expect to get.
FISHER: Because the actual dose rates were higher than calculated.
LUSHBAUGH: You're exactly right.
SIPE: Sometimes on purpose, sometimes because of neglect of the machinery, too.
FISHER: Was Dr. Saenger treating patients for leukemia and lymphoma?
LUSHBAUGH: I don't think so. Mostly his were inoperable cancers of solid organs.
FISHER: Using a directed beam.
SIPE: (pulls out a photograph) Let me show you how they did the dosimetry work. Because of it being the room, they even arranged the furniture. There was one other. (pointing to the photograph) This is where the place is, with the couch, the door, the TV. It gave exactly, they went in and every inch of that place was totally controlled, exactly what was going to come in. Here's the patient. That wasn't the patient, that was a student. This is it. This is the control. Here are your sources. Then the door that opened and shut into the bathroom. It computerized all the information. It was just a nice little room. Here's the console. I have one here where they have every bit. Cutaway, electrodes. Tom Barkett was doing the study of how much radiation was hitting every bit of that place. I'm doing the dosimetry work, which was done for months and months and months. It was in really great control. I've got it here somewhere.
But anyway. Another thing that stood out. You asked him what was remarkable about the people being treated here. They were from all around this area, but they also came in from other areas. When they started, we had people in Washington that would call, and their mother was in here or their children in here. M.D. Anderson in 1951 took the cobalt-60 therapy and put it into their beams, the teletherapy machine. M.D. Anderson wanted it. Dr. Lushbaugh had brought a child here from New Mexico.
One of the things was that the whole town supported the place. Because they had above-average intelligence here also. We had so many Ph.D.s, medical doctors, etc. One of the things that was so great. When a doctor tells you there is no hope, there is one place. It's experimental to a point, but there's a lot of promise there. Somebody walks through the door that is half dead, limp, and in two days' time that child is running down the hall, eating. A mother has hope to live, to raise her children. We did have cures here.
We had to talk to them, not too long ago when all these wonderful things started happening. I have kept up with quite a few through the years anyway. I've also kept up with the ones who didn't make up but were given extended lifetime. Ten years, 13 years. One case of acute lymphocytic leukemia who would in six weeks be gone, [lasted] three and a half years, which was unbelievable at that time. The word "experimental" also sort of put a thorn in my side, because really and truly even today when you are watching television, reading newspapers, magazines, or anything that you get, they are still doing the same thing that we did. M.D. Anderson, St. Jude, and they're still doing the same things that we did then. The laminar flow, the clean areas that we started here. The laminar flow that cleaned it completely bacteria free as much as possible is being used with these severely acute leukemic children. But what they're doing also is taking their bone marrow and freezing it now. Where before, in times of those days, they didn't know to do that. They were taking it from a child, a spouse, or whatever. So, everything that was done, nobody screaming, but the same thing is being done now that was being done then.

Charges That the Oak Ridge Radiation Therapy Was Not Effective

FISHER: It's been widely reported that the therapy performed here was not effective in treating cancer. Could you comment on that?
LUSHBAUGH: I don't know what you mean when you say it's widely reported.
FISHER: Well, you read in articles and magazines or you hear on some of these retrospective news programs, for example "60 Minutes," that the therapy was not effective in the cancer treatment. I wonder if you'd take this opportunity to describe the effectiveness of the treatment as you saw it as the principal physician in charge. Go ahead and comment as much as you want.
LUSHBAUGH: When I've commented on some things that Ann has said here, one of the things is experimental treatment. Experimental treatment says to me, and I've got a Ph.D. in experimental pathology, is that somewhere or other you had controls. Well, you don't have any controls. Actually, your controls are your experience. What we found was that we were able to treat people with various kinds of malignancies of the lymphatic and bone marrow systems that worked very well. They worked much better than if you tried to do it in another way.
FISHER: Like with chemotherapy.
FISHER: Do you remember the available chemotherapies in the 1950s and sixties?
LUSHBAUGH: The only chemotherapeutic agent that I really know anything about is the nitrogen mustards that I already told you about.
SIPE: Cytotoxin50 was one. It's still being used even in arthritic patients. I don't remember.
LUSHBAUGH: This is a field where you have to work in it everyday. Things are happening everyday. The names are changing. People are writing papers and you can't expect people not to claim that their treatment and their way of doing it is better than anybody else's way of doing it. We weren't trying to do that. We were trying to be as objective as we could be. Where it said that we used people as guinea pigs, this is not so. When a person came to this place, they usually came because of a physician. A physician referred him to this place and a physician told him what the reasons were and why he was being sent here. We had, for instance, a radiologist over at the medical center here next door to us, who used to say that a person who had a lymphoma or a cancer of the lung, he needed a little bit more ionization than his mediastinum51.
SIPE: Dr. Ball?
LUSHBAUGH: Yes. That's tough to comment about that. Because you have somebody that's mouthing jargon and you've got your [tape-recording] machine on, so I can't really tell you what it is. I got a rock the other day that had "SHIT" on it and I got it for my 31st wedding anniversary. I put it out in my rock garden, by the way. A lot of people are saying this. Like people say, "Why don't you do this? Why don't you do that?" Well, how do you do it? How do you evaluate the things? What we saw here was that when people came to us with their problems and they came to us with their various leukemias, and they were treated by us in a certain way, then our LETBI facility really did its job. It did its job in the kind of a way that returned these people to life. They had hope where they didn't have hope before and they were able to do their job, living everyday, which was very, very important to them. And it was very important to us.
FISHER: In medical terminology, then, you achieved some long-term remissions.
LUSHBAUGH: Yes, we did. The thing that has happened is this. Roger [Anders] should know about this. The other day, Dr. Bill Bibb gave a seminar here at the Medical Sciences Division, or whatever it's called nowadays. He told for the first time the truth about a matter that I knew was the truth at the time it was said. Up until that time, this was our bone marrow program. There was a program in which we tried to replace abnormal bone marrow that had abnormal genetic defects with normal bone marrow that was going to respond in a different way. We had ways that were not well understood. One of the things I was going to say was that—
SIPE: —something Bill Bibb said.
LUSHBAUGH: We made bone marrow injections when our bone marrow program was not something that you could be proud of. Our bone marrows apparently didn't take. A review committee that was gotten together by the AEC to review our program came down, and they came over here and they said that Dr. Gould Andrews was practicing a kind of medicine which was not well founded and it was unethical. The reason why it was unethical was that he was giving total body doses for the radiation that were so small. The reason was that he knew that the bone marrow might fail. Actually, the truth of the matter was that the AEC and your department was figuring up the cost and found that treating these people was too costly for AEC's programs, and so they had to shut down the clinical facilities because clinical medicine was becoming too costly for them. This almost broke Dr. Andrews's heart to have this kind of comment made about him. He left shortly after that.
ANDERS: Was this the AEC's Advisory Committee on Biology and Medicine that was making this comment, or some other part of the AEC?
FISHER: Reviewers or what?
LUSHBAUGH: I don't know. All I know is that I knew one person.
SIPE: I think it was 1973. I think that was the big review.
LUSHBAUGH: That was the time when I was left with largely an area in the LETBI facility and no furnace to keep this place warm during the winter time.
SIPE: You had a lot of expertise in one little building. You asked something on the treatments done in other areas. Daily, weekly, nightly, the hematologists, your physicians, your cytogeneticist, your radiotherapist, they constantly were in contact all over the world. They were all in the meetings speaking, "I just spoke to Dr. So-and-So and this is something that has really been improved, such and such." And then they talked to someone. They were always constantly sharing. When people would talk about people coming in here being guinea pigs, it's like the people on this side. This is what the media was doing, and even our forefathers at DOE. It never seemed like if you happened to be on the left side of the room you were going to get one treatment, you on the right [side] would get something else.
We had a young man that came here and worked under Dr. Lushbaugh named Dr. Guilimo Casteneda from Mexico City. Dr. Casteneda was a physician studying with this group because of his activities in Mexico. The one thing he always complained about is they took too long to decide what treatment would be best. They had these people here because in Mexico within twelve hours. I said, "What about bone marrows, what about such and such?" He said, "Oh, no." I said, "That's what makes this place special." Every patient was an individual, and if you had five acute leukemic or chronic granulocytic52 leukemia, every one was going to be different. Everything was searched and looked. Because I was doing blood graphs and they were looking at the blood graphs and they were constantly trying to compare. Now this guy has too much of a T cell53 something. And this one has some other thing. A lot of stuff I'd have to get my dictionary out or corner him. Everybody was such an individual that the treatments were just for them. That's even what made this place more special.
FISHER: You're saying that the therapy was customized to the degree possible for each individual.
SIPE: Yes, indeed. I would swear to that. I really feel that strongly. Like I say, not as one of the higher upper echelon and the knowledge of such a person, but you could listen and you could watch. A lot of times there could be possibly other experimentation using isotopes. The scans that were done to look and see what this treatment had done. To look at a liver, to look at a pancreas, to look at a spleen, to look at anything. We've had children come in here with aplastic anemia54 that now are mothers. We had one girl who came in here. What did she have? She had two little babies, her husband left her. She's well. She was at death's door. They worked on her, and still they're having to work on her periodically, but she's a grandmother. There were so many good things that came out of this.
FISHER: There are quite a few long-term survivors of the therapy program.
SIPE: Oh, yes. There was an acute leukemia patient, and he is alive, working at Grovers in Knoxville.
FISHER: From some of the things that we've read, there were no survivors, you get that.
SIPE: Survivors of what now?
FISHER: Of the therapy program.
SIPE: That's not true.
LUSHBAUGH: People are always correct when they make statements like that because you can't live forever. So you have to measure things in a certain kind of way.
SIPE: Marshall Brucer said something about radiation aging, or something. You do live to get older. There's something he had in one of his books that was so neat. It is. We have some that are living. We have many spouses of mothers and fathers who still swear by the program. If they had to do it over again, because it gave their child extra hope.
FISHER: Marrow transplantation techniques were developed in the middle fifties, and you say you attempted some bone marrow transplantation here during the sixties.
SIPE: We did four.
FISHER: You did four.
SIPE: We had plates. I think it was really early seventies. There were four.
FISHER: Four cases with marrow transplantation. Did you want to comment anymore on bone marrow?
LUSHBAUGH: I don't know. I can't check out your figures because my brain is too soft for that. I think that everybody should be truthful about these things. I think the truth of the matter is that the people in this area benefitted from these programs. Like this man who brought these chairs in. His mother is the mother of a child that I am said to have brought with me from Los Alamos. I didn't bring that child from Los Alamos. She talks the same way.
SIPE: He gave a talk at East Tennessee.
LUSHBAUGH: That mother brought that child with leukemia from Los Alamos where I was trying to treat that child with leukemia with a bone marrow transplant. We had irradiated that child and we had given it a bone marrow transplant from that boy that walked in here with these chairs. Did you know that?
SIPE: No, I didn't know that. But you didn't bring him here, but she came here because you were here. That's what I meant.
LUSHBAUGH: The other day, when my wife and I were trying to give away one more truck. We had to give an affidavit to the county that we were giving it without selling it so there was no tax involved.
FISHER: You were giving away a truck?
LUSHBAUGH: Yes. We did. That woman actually cried, broke down in the county clerk's office and cried when she saw my wife and me. We were the people who took care of her child. That child died.
SIPE: That's okay. He had about a year and a half.
LUSHBAUGH: Our treatment of that child was a failure. But because that child was a failure, we had other children that lived.
SIPE: He was also given about eighteen months to two years, when with acute lymphocytic leukemia it lasts two weeks or six weeks. They often brought them in here and they died before they could do anything.
FISHER: What did you do medically to improve your therapy over time, based on results?
LUSHBAUGH: I would say that medically, we actually stayed up with the medical times and that we benefitted from the other papers that were written. Where I talked about Warthin and Wellerd, and the radiomimetic drugs. That was a very important paper. For them to write. It was very important for me to have read it, because I didn't know what radiomimetic meant. Radiation was unique. Yet, I think that using radiation can be done knowledgeably in a way that you can produce a radiomimetic effect. And also you can use chemicals in such a way that you can produce by chemotherapy as a radiation effect. Today persons on chemotherapy—my daughter is 43 years of age. She's got 44- and 45-year-old friends supposedly dying with various kinds of cancer. They're on chemotherapy, they're on radiation therapy, they're on all sorts of kinds of therapy, and they're living. People are making progress and medicine is making progress. Medicine is making progress in the treatment. In a place like this where every day you come in and you work and work and work 12 hours a day, trying to stay up with all the things, reading all in the beautiful library. It's awful when you retire.
FISHER: It's tough to be out of it?
LUSHBAUGH: Yes, it is tough to be out of it, it really is.

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