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Oral Histories

Dr. Nadine Foreman, M.D.


Short Biography

Medical School; Work With Dr. Soley at UCSF

Treatment of Hyperthyroidism

Radioiodine as a Therapeutic Agent

Duties at UCSF and University of Iowa

Selection of Patients for Radioiodine Project

Work With Dr. Earl Miller

Connections to Donner Labs and the AEC

Work at Highland Hospital

Metabolic Unit at Highland Hospital; Collaborations; Other Research

Radioiodine Treatment of Diffuse Toxic Goiter, Myxedema

Radiophosphorus, Radioiodine Programs; Dr. Low-Beer

Treatment of Polycythemia Vera; X-Ray Therapy

Reflections on Miller, Soley, Stone, Others

(1)an endocrine gland located at the base of the neck and secreting two hormones that regulate the rates of metabolism, growth, and development

(2)overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in increased metabolism rate

(3)For the transcript of the interview with Miller, see DOE/EH-0474, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Radiologist Earl R. Miller, M.D. (July 1995).

(4)an enlargement of the thyroid gland on the front and sides of the neck

(5)The thyroid would be weighed after being surgically removed.

(6)a radioactive tag on biomolecules, used to study biological or chemical systems

(7)a measure of radioactivity equal to one millionth of a curie

(8)two atoms of iodine forming a molecule

(9)a temporary or permanent decrease or subsidence of the manifestations of the disease


(11)of or pertaining to pathology, the science or the study of the origin, nature, and course of diseases

(12)a small, rounded mass or lump

(13)use of photographic film placed over thinly sliced tissue to record, in image form, the radiation tracks from the tissue that pass through the film's emulsion

(14)characterized by nodules (small, rounded masses or lumps)

(15)highly penetrating photons of high frequency, usually 1019 Hz or more, emitted by atomic nuclei

(16)release of electrons or positrons during radioactive decay

(17)a measure of radioactivity equal to one thousandth of a curie or one thousand microcuries

(18)"Right off the reel" means from the start/beginning.

(19)counted the rate of radiation emissions, using radiation detection instruments

(20)pertaining to the liver

(21)characterized by an abnormal multiplication of cells

(22)an instrument for detecting ionizing radiation and measuring dose rate

(23)analog counters, for counting the number of pulses in the detector

(24)a laboratory set up at the UC Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley during the 1930s specifically to conduct experiments in medical physics

(25)a slender graduated tube for measuring liquids or transferring them from one container to another

(26)20 cubic centimeters (about 0.7 fluid ounce)

(27)a graduated glass tube with a stopcock at the bottom, used in a laboratory to measure or dispense liquids

(28)to determine the rate at which the goiter was shrinking

(29)urine samples taken 24 hours after radioiodine had been administered

(30)the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, predecessor agency to the U.S. Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); established January 1, 1947

(31)For the transcript of the interview with Gofman, see DOE/EH-0457, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Dr. John W. Gofman, M.D. (June 1995).

(32)a peer of Joseph Hamilton's at Crocker Laboratory. Scott severed his ties with Crocker in the early '50s, moving his operations to San Francisco, where he took a tenured position, setting up and running UCSF's radioisotopes laboratory. (Source: Durbin interview, DOE/EH-0458)

(33)tumors: uncontrolled, abnormal, circumscribed growths of cells in any tissue; neoplasms

(34)the branch of science dealing with the components of the immune system, immunity from disease, the immune response, and immunologic techniques of analysis

(35)an excess assimilation of radioiodine in the thyroid, indicating abnormality

(36)a medical specialist who studies the nature, function, and diseases of the blood and of blood-forming organs

(37)Dr. John Lawrence, brother of Ernest O. Lawrence, was Director of the Division of Medical Physics at University of California, Berkeley. He operated a clinic at Donner Laboratory, where he treated leukemia and polycythemia patients with radioactive phosphorus. For a colleague's recollection of Dr. Lawrence's clinic, see the interview with Dr. John Gofman (DOE/EH-0457), the sections "From Research to Laboratory Production of Plutonium," "Medical Treatments With Radioactive Phosphorus (32P)," "Conflict Between University of California San Francisco and Berkeley," "Heparin and Lipoprotein Research With Human Subjects," and "Radiophosphorus Therapy for Polycythemia Vera."

(38)polycythemia vera, a disease characterized by overproduction of red blood cells

(39)the practice or profession of examining the eyes for defects of vision and eye disorders in order to prescribe corrective lenses or other appropriate treatment

(40)Radioiodine (131I) is still a highly effective therapy for hyperthroidism, Graves' disease, and thyroid cancer.

(41)The depletion results in thickening of the skin, blunting of the senses and intellect, and labored speech and, in children, cretinism (stunted growth, deformity, and mental retardation).

(42)deficiency in thyroid secretions

(43)A pioneer in radiation therapy, Robert Stone, M.D., had conducted human radiation studies before World War II. He was an early researcher at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and became a major figure in radiobiology research. When Joseph Hamilton began operating his 60-inch cyclotron at Crocker Laboratory, Stone requested that fission products be made on the cyclotron and that their fate in mammals be systematically studied in small animals. That information would be used for radiation protection proposes. In 1942, while chairing the Department of Radiology at UC San Francisco's medical school, Stone was recruited to lead the Medical Division of the Manhattan Project, overseeing all biological, medical, and radiological protection research. Accordingly, he moved to the University of Chicago, where he served as Associate Director for Health under Arthur Compton. In the 1950s, after serving in the Atomic Energy Commission, Stone returned to his post at the UCSF as head of the Department of Radiology. Under Stone, UCSF acquired a 70-MeV synchrotron for conducting therapeutic research.

(44)a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco who died prematurely of leukemia, probably brought on by overexposure to radiation in the course of his career, which included work with radiophosphorus in England. Low-Beer, a physician, had been trained in his native Czechoslovakia. He served as an associate professor of Radiation Therapy before heading the Radiation Therapy Division of the Department of Radiology at UC San Francisco.

(45)the soft, fatty vascular tissue in the cavities of bones; it is a major site of blood-cell production.

(46)a disease characterized by an enlarged thyroid, rapid pulse, and increased basal metabolism due to excessive thyroid secretion

(47)The UC Radiation Laboratory was founded by Ernest Lawrence in 1936 on the campus of University of California at Berkeley. Upon Lawrence's death, the lab's name was changed to Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The name changed again, in 1971, to Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, a National Laboratory under the U.S. Department of Energy.

(48)For the transcript of the interview with Friedell, see DOE/EH-0466, Human Radiation Studies: Remembering the Early Years; Oral History of Radiologist Hymer L. Friedell, Ph.D. (July 1995).