How Marie Curie

How Marie Curie has revolutionized medicine

Without being a doctor, a scientist with two Nobel prizes, physics and chemistry, has revolutionized medicine, and his works still inspire the innovation of diagnosis and treatments

Before CHU, “model-Curie”, for the first time in France, to gather in the same place basic research, applied research and clinical, as early as 1911 at the Institut du radium, now the Institut Curie. Without being a doctor, Mary, committed volunteer has succeeded, at the head of its fleet of mobile antennas to x-ray, the “small Curie”, to the care of more than a million soldiers, with protection against X-rays, a screen of metal and a gloves of fabric! On February 7, 1922, member free because not a doctor, this is the first woman to be elected triumphantly to the Academy of medicine, which is still today a small ten women members..

.. .it All began in 1896 when Henry Becquerel discovered the mysterious rays uraniques that Mary will appoint radioactivity. Two years later, the discovery of radium enables Marie and Pierre Curie shared with Henri Becquerel, in 1903, the Nobel prize in physics.

The radioactivity changes the world.


.. Everything is radium: beauty creams, soft drinks atomic, mineral water and even baby clothes. It is supposed to cure arthritis, hypertension, sciatica, or diabetes. ..

.. And Marie Curie herself recommends these treatments, even if she regrets the character too empirical. .. ..

Birth of the curithérapieOtto Walkhoff, a dentist, German, tent, radios dental with the radium. The experiment fails. Pierre Curie trying to: he files a a source of radium on his forearm and, as Walkhoff, burns. Röntgen, he will be x-rayed. ..

.. The hand of his wife! The proof is made of the effect of the radiation, and Peter convinces his friend, Henri-Alexandre danlos syndrome, a dermatologist at the hôpital Saint-Louis, to experiment with the technique.

It is a success on skin tumors malignant. Brachytherapy is born.

By putting a radioactive source in contact with the tumor, to avoid damaging the surrounding healthy tissue, while the external beam radiation must pass through before reaching the tumor.

In France, each year, approximately 5000 cancer patients continue to benefit from this treatment, the terms of which have not ceased to diversify. Today, brachytherapy, metabolic radioactive iodine treats cancer of the thyroid and, thanks to a radioactive element coupled to an antibody that “clings” to the cancer cells, brachytherapy vector specifically targets the cells to destroy, and nothing else. Finally, the industrial-scale production of a rare isotope, lead-212, is expected to treat more aggressive forms of cancer. .. ..

Tribute indirectly to Marie Curie, as the lead 212 is transformed into polonium which the emission of alpha, high-energy, destroys the cancer cell. In 1935, Irène Curie, daughter of Marie and Pierre, and Frédéric Joliot discovered artificial radioactivity, and the family Curie won a third Nobel prize! As early as 1937, technetium-99m, one of the first radioactive elements, artificial, yet allows today to produce images “scintigraphiques” of very many bodies. The gamma camera allows, in effect, locate a product radioactivity introduced in the body when it is concentrated in a particular organ, skeleton, heart, brain, or thyroid. Approximately one million three hundred thousand scans are performed every year in France. On July 4, 1934, at the age of 66, Marie Curie died of leukemia. She dies the victim of his invention while working at the Academy of medicine, a memoir on the radiation protection But, the real revolution, this is the PET (the PET Scan, in English).

The positron emission tomography (pet is a nuclear scan that is based on the detection of positrons and provides a picture of cellular activity within a tissue.

It allows, for example, to diagnose early Alzheimer’s disease. Today, gamma cameras to semi-conductor can reduce the examination time by injecting less of the radioactive products. Most PET scans are now hybrid, fitted with a ct scan or an MRI to have a quality image on which one projects the image scintigraphic. Finally, it is the radioactivity that must be an innovation, major medical, dosages radioimmunologiques, which have increased in an amazing way the sensitivity of the assay of thousands of substances such as hormones, drugs and toxic. On July 4, 1934, at the age of 66, Marie Curie died of leukemia. She dies the victim of his invention while working at the Academy of medicine, a memoir on the radiation protection.

Faithful to his memory, the nuclear medicine requires radiation protection without fault, even if his techniques are not invasive, even if the explorations can be repeated without risk, if necessary.

But an excess of caution would be to alter the lesson of courage to the one that will remain for posterity the first woman to stand for its own merits, in the temple dedicated to great men the grateful homeland. .. ..

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