Malignancy from radium

Br J Cancer. 1970 Jun;24(2):195-207. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1970.23.


Human experience of the toxicity of radium acts as a guide for the setting of occupationally permissible levels for radioactive nucleides, especially bone-seekers. Reviewing the published statements and photomicrographs in early reports especially those of Martland (1931) one can make a case that malignancy was induced in bone-marrow (leukaemia, malignant myelosclerosis) as well as in bone (osteosarcoma) by radium, especially with large doses. Three case reports of radium intoxication in Britons are noted as compatible with this suggestion, after revised interpretation in two of them.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Marrow / radiation effects
  • Bone Neoplasms / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Radiation-Induced
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Osteosarcoma / etiology
  • Radiometry
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Radium / poisoning*
  • Radium / therapeutic use


  • Radium