TitleCancer Department
DescriptionRecords of the Cancer Department and its predecessors, 1919-1962, comprising:

Material relating to the research conducted by the Radiotherapeutic Research Committee and Lead Research Department, principally medical records and abstracts of patient case histories, 1919-1929, much of which was compiled into the publication: Levitt, Walter M. 'Deep X-ray therapy in malignant disease. A report of an investigation carried out from 1924-1929 under the direction of The St Bartholomew's Hospital Cancer Research Committee.' St Bartholomew's Hospital Reports, supplementary volume, 1930;

Correspondence and memoranda relating to the formation of the Cancer Department, 1933-1935;

Research reports of the Cancer Department, 1938-1952, comprising: 'Fourteenth Annual Report on the Investigation on Deep X-Ray Therapy on Malignant Disease', [1938]; typescript draft of the annual report of the Cancer Research Department, 1940; 'Cancer Report 1948-1952.' St Bartholomew's Hospital Reports, New Series, vol 1 (1963);

Cancer Department Committee papers, 1943-1957;

Papers relating to the Follow-Up Department, 1947-1959;

Correspondence, 1938-1939, mostly regarding the continuation of cancer treatments during the Second World War;

Report, correspondence, memoranda and architectural plans concerning the purchase and installation of the Linear Accelerator and Cobalt Unit, used for radiation research, 1954-1962.
Related MaterialSee also records of the Radiology Department, ref: SBHB/RD; also indexed register of radiotherapy patients, 1925-1946, ref: SBHB/MR/18/1.
Administrative historyIn 1919 the Medical Research Council offered the Hospital a quantity of radium, which had been used in gun-sights during the First World Ward, to research its use in the treatment of patients. The Radio-Therapeutic Research Committee was set up to undertake and administer the project. Radium had been used to treat patients at the Hospital since 1913, when Dr Neville Finzi was appointed Chief Assistant in the X-Ray Department and donated his own radium.

In 1921 members of the Hospital staff visited Erlangen to investigate the claims being made regarding the efficacy of Deep X-Ray Therapy in the treatment of malignant disease, and were suitably convinced to recommend that it should be adopted by Bart's. In 1924 a Deep X-Ray Therapy apparatus was purchased, mainly from private subscriptions, which was operated by the newly founded Radiotherapeutic Research Department from October 1924.

In 1927, stimulated by the work of Blair Bell, the Medical Council and Governors instituted an investigation into the treatment of malignant disease by colloidal lead. A committee and a special Lead Research Department were formed, but after negative reports of the treatment, the Department was closed in December 1928. The Lead Research Committee was combined with the Radiotherapeutic Research Committee to form the Cancer Research Committee.

The Cancer Research Committee continued its work but it was felt that its scope was too limited, and in the autumn of 1934 the Cancer Department was founded. The new department was designed to act as an inter-departmental service in order to co-ordinate all the cancer work, both clinical and laboratory, being carried out throughout the Hospital. In doing so it would ensure that methods of treatment would be consistent and in the process gather valuable statistical information regarding the efficacy of certain treatments.
Access statusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome material is restricted. This is noted at file or item level in the catalogue.
Extent32 items
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