[Fabien Arcelin (1876-1942), or how to become a radiation oncologist when born an archeologist]

Cancer Radiother. 2017 May;21(3):228-238. doi: 10.1016/j.canrad.2016.12.003. Epub 2017 May 8.
[Article in French]


Fabien Arcelin, physician working in Lyon, pioneer of radiology and radiotherapy, was both mentored by Destot (one of the fathers of the French radiology for his thesis of medicine) and by his own father Adrien Arcelin (one of the two codiscoverers of the prehistorical site of the Roche-de-Solutré in Burgundy) for archeological works. Hence, radiologist in Lyon during the week and archeologist during the weekend, Fabien Arcelin made significant advances in both radiation research and archeology. He was notably the discoverer of the first tombs of Aurignacian men. In radiology, he examined about 2000 radiographic heart views with the Destot's orthodiagraph to assess the cardiothoracic ratio and wrote a reference book about the use of X-rays to detect kidney stones. He made the first survey about the secondary effects of radiotherapy, important database for pointing out individual radiosensitivity. In parallel to the radiotherapy trials of Regaud at Curie institute (Paris), he performed the first series of anticancer treatments in Lyon.

Keywords: Arcelin; Pionnier des radiations; Radiation pioneers; Radiologie; Radiology; Radiotherapy; Radiothérapie; Rayons X; X-rays.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Archaeology / history
  • France
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Medical Oncology / history*
  • Radiotherapy / history*

Personal name as subject

  • Fabien Arcelin