A new Radium system

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In 1950 Henri Lokkerbol receives new radium needles from the medical director Veldhuyzen. On the right is nurse Van Kempen, chief radiation technologist of the radiology department.

The design of the gold and platinum needles, tubes etc., in differing lengths and source strengths, is by Dr. Lokkerbol and is based on the Parker-Paterson radium system from Manchester. 

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In 1949, this new radium safe is constructed by the physicists Sangster and 't Hooft in the physics department in the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI).

The safe is designed for the shielding of a total of 1 gram of radium, packed in 245 needles and 156 tubes.

The radium supply in the NKI increases from 364 mg to 1050 mg. Funding for this expensive purchase is from a national lottery. 

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The workshop in the Netherlands Cancer Institute  also produces tools for placing breast implants following Lokkerbol's design.


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  In 1956, for the irradiation of the cervix, Lokkerbol designs a so-called colpostat with ovoids, which is inserted into the patient together with radium tubes in a rubber sleeving.


The colpostat is produced in small series, and delivered to among other places, a hospital in Russia. Years later, a Russian visitor enthusiastically notices that the NKI uses Russian colpostats.

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A system for vaginal irradiation designed by Lokkerbol and made by the physics department of the NKI.

At Lokkerbol's request, a cylinder rule is designed with which day and hour of the termination of a radium treatment is calculated. Two of these date-hour cylinders were manufactured by the Leidsche Instrumentmakersschool (Leiden School for Instrument Making) and implemented in the Radiotherapy department of the Netherlands Cancer Institute.