Frank Hendrickson

Dr. Phillips: Frank, could you tell us where you were born and went to high school and so forth?

Dr. Hendrickson: Sure. I was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, in the kitchen of the house we were living in. I went to school in Springfield and went to high school in Springfield just like you did, Ted.

Dr. Phillips: That's right. What did your parents do?

Dr. Hendrickson: Dad was a physician and mother took care of the family and taught piano.

Dr. Phillips: What kind of physician was he?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, his specialty was ENT. But back in the middle '30s and late '20s he did a lot of general practice, too. We had an office in the house so our living room was a waiting room for the office.

Dr. Phillips: Where was the house located?

Dr. Hendrickson: At 85 Saxer Avenue, right across from quarry.

Dr. Phillips: Okay. So then after high school did you go right on to college?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, back then we were in the midst of the war with Germany. I graduated in '44 and was fortunate enough to pass an exam that the Navy was giving, and so I got into the V12 program. So from the time I started high school in '43 until I graduated from medical school in '50, I was in school kind of all the time.

Dr. Phillips: And you were active duty Navy during that program?

Dr. Hendrickson: It was active duty Navy, but they sent me to school as part of their V12 program. I don't really understand why they did that. My supposition was they were trying to take the people who scored highest in exams and segregate them into college rather than in the front line. But that's just my opinion.

Dr. Phillips: Could you tell us any more about the V12 program? I've heard of it but I never understood exactly what it did.

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, it sent you to college and you could major in different fields from a line to medicine to theology. And you were low ranking. You got paid a little bit but not very much. Then the war was over in I guess '46. They gave us a choice of going to the fleet or going on to school. So I chose not to go to the fleet and finish school.

Dr. Gressen: Did you always choose medicine? Was that your goal the whole way through or did that just happen to occur?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, when I was lucky enough to pass the exam, I wasn't sure I could pass the eye exam to meet their requirements, so when I did, a lieutenant said, "Well, what do you want to study?" And I said, "I have no idea." And he said, "Well, go out and sit on the bench there for a little bit and come back and tell me." Well, Dad having been a physician, or was a physician obviously then, and I had worked as a first-aid counselor at a Boy Scout camp a couple of summers, so I guess I was kind of predestined to end up in medicine.

Dr. Gressen: Did you work with your dad, while he worked in the house?

Dr. Hendrickson: Not really. I was either away at school or when I finished school I never worked with Dad.

Dr. Phillips: You then went on to Swarthmore, is that correct?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yeah, that's where they sent me to school. Of all of the schools they had around the nation, they sent me not even outside of my telephone district. So I went there with the V12 and then stayed on there, and then in '46 I applied to Jeff and was accepted and finished medical school there.

Dr. Phillips: Did they pay for your tuition at both places?  

Dr. Hendrickson: No, only at college and only for about a year and a half, maybe two years.

Dr. Phillips: And then after that you had to pick up paying for the tuition.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yeah, but it was interesting back then. Tuition at Jeff was a few thousand dollars and they felt whatever they had said the tuition would be, it would stay that all your four years through school. So it wasn't nearly as expensive to get an education then as it is now.

Dr. Gressen: Yeah, it's a little bit more now.

Dr. Hendrickson: A little bit more now.

Dr. Gressen: Jefferson, any particular reason

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, Dad was a graduate from Jeff (Jefferson Medical College).
And I guess that's what had me apply there.

Dr. Gressen: Okay.

Dr. Phillips: Do you have any memories about your years at Jeff? It looks like three years for that because the Navy stimulated you to go fast or was that the way it was?

Dr. Hendrickson: I spent four years in medical school, but only a couple of years in college. So the total time was about six years. Oh, I guess everyone has some memories of medical school. None of it is particular interesting. At least they weren't particularly to me.

Dr. Gressen: Did you have any rotations? What made you go to radiology as opposed to anything else? And you stayed with Jefferson.

Dr. Hendrickson: I was aware how Dad had no free time to himself and that patients occupied all of his time. So I decided I'd probably choose a specialty that was a little more controllable, so I chose radiology. Radiology back then was really not divided between therapy and diagnosis. The exams were in both, and training was in both. I had thought I'd probably stay in diagnostic, but I went off to the Navy part way through after I graduated and then started a residency in radiology, I got called into the Navy to give back the time that they had sent me to school.

Dr. Phillips: Were you on active duty? Well, you're always on active duty, but did they take you away from Jeff, for a while?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes, for two years. I spent it mostly with the amphibs and 1,000 Marines aboard ship. And we had good times, the first time I had any free time in a long time.

Dr. Phillips: So you were a general medical officer aboard ship.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes.

Dr. Phillips: Then after that you came back to Jeff to finish your residency, is that correct?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes. And I had most of my diagnostics so that I basically needed therapy, and that was when I met Ted Eberhard and stayed to finish my training there. Ted introduced me to my wife who was his tech and encouraged us both to get together and we've been together about 58 years now.

Dr. Gressen: Tell us more about Dr. Eberhard.

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, he had been at Memorial (Memorial Sloan-Kettering) in New York doing radium work up there, and he was recruited to come down to Jefferson as Eric probably knows more about that than I.

Dr. Gressen: Well, all I know is, of course, that he was the first director of radiation therapy there. He was also the director of the Henderson Foundation of Radiation Therapists in 1949. And it certainly explains why he did that because he had such an interest in radium. So that part I did understand and I know that, not only was he a mentor, he was a matchmaker for you. So you got a lot out of him.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes, we did.

Dr. Gressen: Talk about your chairman.

Dr. Phillips: How long did he stay at Jeff?

Dr. Hendrickson: Until he retired.

Dr. Gressen: That's a great question because there was an issue, if I recall, at Jefferson and collapse of the department on June 30th, 1955, at midnight. And that's when there was massive turmoil with the chairman of Radiology, Paul Swenson.

Dr. Hendrickson: Paul was the chairman.

Dr. Gressen: I wrote -- and you can maybe clarify what happened -- because the entire program fell apart. I can't even imagine. It's not like just one person left. It's the entire radiology department including the residents. Were you still there?

Dr. Hendrickson: I finished out at the University of Pennsylvania. Luther Brady and I were both there at the time.

Dr. Gressen: Did you leave for Penn before the complete collapse of the department happened?

Dr. Hendrickson: No, it all happened. They revoked Swenson’s contract. Philadelphia is a very strong, or at least was then, on private practice of radiology. And Paul had a contract for renting space from the hospital and ran the department. The hospital decided to abrogate that contract and that made everyone so uptight that everyone resigned -- all of the staff and all of the house staff. And most of them got into programs that were at least as good or better than the ones they were in.

Dr. Phillips: And Pendergrast had that same arrangement at Penn. I think he leased the space.

Dr. Hendrickson: Right. And that was pretty common in Philadelphia. It wasn't in many other cities.

Dr. Phillips: I was a student at Penn at that time from '55 to '59 and I think at that time professors came over from Jeff to Penn, Philip Hodes perhaps came?

Dr. Hendrickson: I think Hodes went the other way.

Dr. Phillips: Oh, he went the other way later, then. Okay.

Dr. Gressen: I feel like it's a baseball game. I think Jeff picked up Hodes from Penn, but Penn picked up a good portion of the residency program when it collapsed. Russell Nichols was the appointed chairman that created a new department in 1955. Dr. Hodes would come over from Penn to become the fourth chairman of radiology after Dr. Nichols resignation in 1958.

Dr. Hendrickson: I think that's right.

Dr. Phillips: When you got over to Penn then, Frank, who was in charge of therapy there?

Dr. Hendrickson: Dick Chamberlain.

Dr. Phillips: So you finished your training, then, under Dick Chamberlain?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes.

Dr. Phillips: Then it looks like you went on to fellowships with the American Cancer Society?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, I'd had a fellowship with the Cancer Society and my training was done and I had a year left on the fellowship, so I asked the Cancer Society if I could spend that in Europe and they said, "Sure, you've got only your $300 a month," so Joan and I were recently married in December of '55. Between Chamberlain and Eberhard, they contacted enough people for me to visit in England and Scandinavia and France. So we took off and I spent a year visiting varying European places. That was pretty common for those in therapy at that time.

Dr. Phillips: That was very common. I know Jerry Vaeth who was one of my mentors, had done that, spent a year over there about the same time, I think. Or maybe a couple years after you did.

Dr. Gressen: Did you pick radiation therapy when you went into radiology or was it a few years into practicing diagnostic radiology that you chose radiation therapy? Because everyone starts off as a radiologist. When did you know you wanted to do therapy, because that obviously wasn't as common back then.

Dr. Hendrickson: Right. Well, when I came back from the Navy I needed a year of therapy to finish my radiology requirements, and so I started to do that and decided I was more comfortable dealing with people than with film.

Dr. Phillips: Do you remember where you visited during that year in Europe?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, the Marsden, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm -- the usual places. I can remember it was the summer and Strandquist took us out on his boat and we got out and they were all going to swim, and they swam like they do in Sweden and Norway. So Joan and I, behind a rock, joined the group.

Dr. Phillips: That was the famous Strandquist?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes.

Dr. Phillips: Okay. After that year you came back, what did you decide to do after you had spent all that time visiting those therapy centers?

Dr. Hendrickson: Back when our society was first formed in '55, I had been in Chicago to take my boards on a Thursday, I interviewed with -- oh, golly, his name leaves me right at the moment -- a Presbyterian hospital for the job in therapy that Eberhard had been offered the job but had said, "You need a young guy to come out there." And so I got the job on Friday and went back and got married on Saturday.

Dr. Phillips: So how did a guy from Philadelphia and Springfield end up in Chicago?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, because Ted Eberhard had been offered the job and Ted pushed it off onto me.

Dr. Phillips: So did you like Chicago once you got used to it?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, Chicago is a great town.

Dr. Phillips: Your professorship at the beginning was at the University of Illinois. Was that the affiliation at that time of Presbyterian St. Luke?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes, that was the affiliation. Rush as a medical school had been moved down to the University of Chicago back during the War and so it was reactivated some time after I got there. So Presbyterian Hospital was part of the University of Illinois.

Dr. Phillips: At what point did they decide to -- did they separate from the University of Illinois so they then became two medical schools or was that continued?

Dr. Hendrickson: They separated and I've forgotten the date, but it was somewhere in the '70s probably. And that was when they reactivated the Rush charter and became two medical schools.

Dr. Gressen: Now when you started there you were a junior doctor and there was someone else that was running the program, the chairman?

Dr. Hendrickson: I was it.

Dr. Phillips: Oh, you were the radiation oncologist/therapist du jour?

Dr. Hendrickson: Du jour. I did it all. Tidbit on some of that -- Chicago was an interesting town. There are six medical schools there. But four of them really weren't very big. And while I was there, for reasons of either health or death or resignation, the single individual that was doing the radiation therapy was gone and they asked us if we would provide service for them. So for from six months to a year we provided service to Loyola, to Chicago Medical School, to Rush or to the University of Illinois.

Dr. Phillips: Had you added additional faculty members and who were they?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, we just would move somebody out. The departments weren't very big, so they were easy to manage.

Dr. Phillips: And as you went along, how big did your department get at Rush?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, maybe a dozen. Later on we began to provide services to community hospitals and that was nice because we could see patients at Rush and then tell them we could treat them near their home in the community and have the same quality of care either way. Everybody who worked at a peripheral hospital also spent half time at Rush to keep the group together, and we would have -- if you needed one full-time person, you got half of two.

Dr. Phillips: How many satellites did you end up having?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, at any one time, probably six or five. But we probably provided service to 12 or 15 hospitals at one time or another.

Dr. Gressen: What type of machines were you dealing with when you first got there?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, a constant voltage Westinghouse 200kV machine and a Philips superficial machine. We had a cobalt unit fairly soon, but that was probably part of the reason to move there. They were putting in the cobalt unit when I got there.

Dr. Gressen: How about your experience with radium since they were still kind of using that even into the '50s?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes, we had needles for implants and I did a number of needle implants in the mouth area and the tongue in particular. Implantable radium, of course, was pretty standard.

Dr. Gressen: The Red Journal just put out an article about five months ago with the incredibly scary title of “From The Lost Radium Files,” and talked about how much radium was lost during that time period because there was no regulation on it.

Dr. Hendrickson: Interesting. You reminded me of a good story. The GYN radium came back in the middle of the night, was delivered to our department door by the resident who took it out. But before we got to the department, the cleaning help came in the next morning and picked up the bag and put it in the trash. And when we couldn't find it, we realized what had happened, called the trash collecting trucks and asked where they had deposited it, and the physics people went out with their Geiger counters and found 100 or so milligrams of radium in the trash.

Dr. Phillips: The same thing happened to us at San Francisco General. The resident was pulling the lead pig out of the elevator and it bumped and the radium flew out and fell down the shaft and into a trash receptacle and went to the dump. They finally found it with a Geiger counter. Well, Frank, what was your main focus of research and publication? I know you were in the Fermilab Neutron Project. But overall, what research endeavors did you get into?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, we did a lot of reporting of our clinical results in head and neck in particular, did a lot of larynx because Paul Holinger was a surgeon who attracted a lot of larynx. I guess most of the fun was at Fermilab. We were working out there from '76 to '94. That was kind of interesting. We got our beam essentially for free because we shared it with the main physics research program of the lab and that meant we could negotiate with Medicare, so we could charge for neutron therapy the same as we would charge for standard radiation for the same kind of diseases. And Lionel and I formed a small corporation to do that billing and managed to run it on a private enterprise mechanism and got the bills paid.

Dr. Phillips: What energy protons were you using for the neutron generation?

Dr. Hendrickson: About 60MeV -- more energetic than any of the other neutrons because those were all done with cyclotrons of 30 MEV or less.

Dr. Phillips: About how many patients did you treat in total in the whole project?

Dr. Hendrickson: Several thousand.

Dr. Phillips: And what were the main sites?

Dr. Hendrickson: Mostly prostate and head and neck. We quickly seemed to think that salivary gland tumors were doing better, I think. There have been several publications along that line. And we did a lot of prostates because that was of interest to the whole neutron program. But we did them with neutrons only, not with the mixed beam like MD Anderson.

Dr. Phillips: Did you have beam all year long?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes. Well, essentially all year long.

Dr. Phillips: So you didn't have to interrupt treatment or anything. You used standard fractionation and so forth.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes. Oh, sure. We just got the beam part of every minute. They'd turn off halfway down the LINAC that they used for physics and they could divert the beam to us and then back to physics within a few seconds.

Dr. Phillips: Was the program closed down at some point and why?

Dr. Hendrickson: It may still be running even. I got an email from someone within the year saying that they were still running it.

Dr. Phillips: So they still have that beam on.

Dr. Hendrickson: I think so.

Dr. Phillips: Okay.

Dr. Gressen: How did you get into neutrons? It was someone else's idea and they asked you if you would be involved with it? Or is it something you started?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, there was interest physics-wise in trying to do something. NIH asked for the initial application and so I asked them to support both a proton beam and a neutron beam, as a research project. They didn't think the proton beam made much sense but they funded research for the neutron beam for a couple of years. And then it ran on its own from then on -- private enterprise.

Dr. Gressen: How many neutron beams were there in America?

Dr. Hendrickson: There was one in Seattle, there was one in MD Anderson, and ours.

Dr. Gressen: Okay.

Dr. Hendrickson: I'm not sure whether there was one with Bill Powers in Detroit or not.

Dr. Phillips: I think that came later.

Dr. Hendrickson: I think so, too.

Dr. Phillips: You were president of ASTRO. Can you tell us a little more about your involvement in ASTRO? What happened during those years?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, well, there's a lot of interesting things that happened in ASTRO. I guess the tidbit that may be the most interesting to people reading was the awarding of the first Gold Medals. There's a lot of discussion in ASTRO about who should get the first one and the board, in their wisdom, decided that Gilbert Fletcher, Juan del Regato and Henry Kaplan should get theirs all at the same time. And I had the pleasure of calling them and telling them that they were awarded the Gold Medal and invited them to come to the meeting and receive it. Henry said, "Well, Frank, unfortunately I'm going to be on Sabbatical in Italy at that time, so if you mail the medal to my Stanford office, I would be very appreciative of that." And I said, "Well, Henry, that would be fine. But both Juan and Gilbert are going to come and make a short speech at the meeting," which was in Denver as I recall. And -- guess what? -- Henry showed up.

Dr. Phillips: I was wondering about that. I think I remember when this happened we were a little disappointed that Franz Buschke wasn't among those three, but he got it the following year. But was there a feeling that if you didn't give it to all three of them, they'd be extremely upset? Because they were major rivals among themselves.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes, they certainly were. I think that was the feeling, at least that's my recollection the reason it was given to all three of them.

Dr. Phillips: And any other highlights of your ASTRO presidency and chairmanship?

Dr. Hendrickson: I had some interesting things with the College of Radiology.

Dr. Phillips: Well, tell us about that.

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, I was on the cancer committee of the College of Radiology and was asked to represent the college at the College of Physicians Commission on Cancer as well. And meeting in Philadelphia probably late '60s, we had some interesting discussion.

Dr. Gressen: I assume Simon Kramer was there.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes. And B. J. Kennedy was there. This was the College of Physicians meeting, a cancer committee meeting. And there was a serious discussion among those from the internal medicine group as to whether there was enough unequivocal knowledge to ever have an examination in medical oncology. There were groups treating leukemias and hormone therapy for breast cancer, but that was about it back then. And when I see what ASCO has grown to since the late '70s, it just blows your mind.

Dr. Phillips: It took over the world from that small beginning. I notice that you were on the CRTS and I don't think many people remember much about it. I wonder if you could tell us what that was.

Dr. Hendrickson: Back then many of the disciplines, you had National Cancer Institute committees to shepherd their interests and radiation therapy did not. So Gilbert Fletcher wrote a grant and asked for grant support to support research in radiation therapy. And he got it funded and that was the Committee on Radiation Therapy Studies -- CRTS. And I guess I was on the committee '68 to '72 and it spawned a lot of things including RTOG which most of the committee then became founding members of. And that's about all.

Dr. Phillips: My impression was it had a major influence on developing the specialty and spurring research support for all the different new modalities that were being developed then like chemoradiation and particle therapy and so forth.

Dr. Hendrickson: I think that's right.

Dr. Gressen: I know the history of this and everyone on that committee, like you say, tried to start putting together these Phase III trials and I think the first Phase III trial was a head and neck trial back in '68. Were you involved with any of these major Phase III trials that started the impetus of evidence-based medicine?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, we were obviously participants, being members of RTOG. I was study chairman, a few years later, on some of the palliative studies like brain mets and bone mets that generated some interest.

Dr. Phillips: I think you were the chair of that first brain mets study that looked at different fractionations, is that correct?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes, right. And I guess that kind of led to my belief that the least amount of palliative radiation that will get the result is the best way to go rather than giving the maximum amount that you can give. To me that's over-treating half of the people.

Dr. Gressen: What were some of the doses that they were trying to test for brain metastases? Because now everyone says three in two, three in ten, and there's mild deviations in that. But there hasn't been any change for the past two decades. So I'm kind of curious what you started off with back then.

Dr. Hendrickson: We started off with that.

Dr. Gressen: You did start off with 3 Gray times ten back then, but did you give more dose than that and had issues that made you taper it down?

Dr. Hendrickson: No, I don't think so.

Dr. Phillips: I think the study had 400 times 5 and 300 times 10, and it looked like 300 times 10 was the best. Frank, did you do any Sabbaticals? Did you go out for six months or a year somewhere else during your career?

Dr. Hendrickson: No, I was too busy -- both raising children and trying to keep the department running. I never took time off that way.

Dr. Phillips: Could you tell us more about your family? I know you married Joan back when you were a resident, but how many children do you have and what have they done?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, we have four children -- three boys and a girl -- and ten grandchildren. They're all healthy and doing well. None are in medicine. One works for Abbott Labs and that's as close to medicine as they come. We have one great-grandchild.

Dr. Phillips: Do they live near you or are they spread over the country?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, they're spread over the country. There are two families that are still in Chicago, but we find it a hassle to drive and it's a hassle to travel, so we find it easier to have them visit us here rather than we traveling there.

Dr. Phillips: They don't mind coming to Florida, I assume.

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, if we pay their way.

Dr. Phillips: They come in the winter.

Dr. Gressen: Did you have any hobbies during this time when you worked and were raising your kids or later on?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, I enjoy gardening. I play golf -- not well, but enjoy it. I play some competitive bridge and enjoy that. Would you call those hobbies?

Dr. Gressen: They are. Are they are all retirement hobbies or hobbies you even did while you were working? Or was your hobby your children and work?

Dr. Hendrickson: I think the hobby was children and work then.

Dr. Phillips: Did you play golf when you were working or is it mostly since you've retired?

Dr. Hendrickson: I think we joined the golf club in the late '70s or '80s and retired in '96. So, yeah, a couple of decades. They overlapped.

Dr. Phillips: That was good. And so you're still playing golf and playing bridge?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes. I play golf three times a week. They keep making the golf course longer every year.

Dr. Phillips: Now do you have any reflections of your career, anything you wish you'd done and didn't or wish you hadn't done or wish you didn't do?

Dr. Hendrickson: Never had a thought along any of that line. I guess like we practice medicine, we do what we think is best at the time and however it turns out, we move on.

Dr. Phillips: Eric, do you have some more questions?

Dr. Gressen: It was very common for radiotherapists to travel throughout Europe, especially Britain since they had more advanced programs. Did you work with any people that also became well-known in our field in Europe and then continued your relationship in the United States?

Dr. Hendrickson: I invited some of them when we dedicated our new department to come and speak at a symposium that we put together, but I haven't kept in contact with any of the others and none within since then. So the answer is basically no.

Dr. Gressen: And you've trained, I'm sure, many residents. You had a residency program there, too, correct?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, yes.

Dr. Gressen: Any reflections on specific residents or favorite sayings or teachings that you did with them that you could reflect on now?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, golly.

Dr. Gressen: I know they're your legacy just like all your work, your hard work.

Dr. Hendrickson: I guess just a little aside from that, I was very pleased that in '71 we became a full department of radiation therapy and not a section in radiology. And we were one of the early sections to become full departments. Another thing that I am proud of is they endowed a chair in my name in '95, mostly by patients and past trainees. You sent some pictures.

Dr. Gressen: Yeah, any comment on those?

Dr. Hendrickson: I was trying to figure out where they were from. The one that I can tell about is the one with the snow leopard on the table. And that was a lot of fun or interesting. Did I tell you about that yet?

Dr. Gressen: No, you haven't. I'm looking at the picture now where it's kind of vague, but I'm not sure if you have your hand in the snow leopard's mouth or not.

Dr. Hendrickson: I do.

Dr. Gressen: Okay. And what's the story behind that?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, the zoo contacted us and said they had this rare animal who had a squamous cell cancer of his jaw. And you can't really resect a carnivore's jaw and have him be much of a carnivore. So they asked if we would treat it. And we did and they brought the animal in at noon time when the department was closed for lunch and brought it in the back door and we treated him much as we would a patient with such a lesion, and successfully treated it.

Dr. Gressen: You didn't do radium, you just did external beam and knocked it out?

Dr. Hendrickson: Just external beam.

Dr. Phillips: Do you remember how many fractions and what dose?

Dr. Hendrickson: Oh, I suspect it was probably 60 or 65 gray. That's the usual way we would do it. The interesting thing was, though, the animal died about a year later of cirrhosis and it made me begin to think they lived a pretty high life in the zoo, dying of alcohol problems and having smoker's cancer. We also had a Mynah bird, a Rothschild’s Mynah bird that had squamous cell cancer on the elbow on the wing and, again, not being very smart I didn't realize that birds' bones were hollow and we treated it successfully where it was, but it spread up the femur and she died of disease that had gotten out of the primary location.

Dr. Gressen: Now I understand that the lawsuit is still pending with the bird family.

Dr. Hendrickson: Very good.

Dr. Gressen: There's another picture with you and a therapist talking, might be in front of a screen or a computer. Do you recognize any of the other pictures with you in it?

Dr. Hendrickson: I did not recognize that one. The one with four or five people on it I was trying to figure where that was from.

Dr. Gressen: That suggested some meeting they called it CTF meeting, a users meeting. And then there's another one that I thought was interesting where a patient is seated in a chair.

Dr. Hendrickson: Yeah, I have no idea where that is.

Dr. Gressen: Okay. I tried. I just thought it was very interesting.

Dr. Phillips: It looks like a treatment chair of some kind.

Dr. Gressen: It does.

Dr. Hendrickson: It looks almost like a chair at Stanford's horizontal linear accelerator.

Dr. Phillips: Yeah, for rotational treatment. It looks like that.

Dr. Hendrickson: Right. But I was never at Stanford.

Dr. Gressen: So you don't remember treating somebody in a chair like that?

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, that was a similar chair to what we used at Fermi because we brought the beam out on an elevator shaft and then put a rotating chair on the shaft so -- on the platform of the elevator so we could raise or lower the patient and rotate it. But I don't recognize any of the people.

Dr. Phillips: Was there a simulator room at Fermilab that had a duplicate chair in it?

Dr. Hendrickson: No, because we simulated them on the treatment.

Dr. Gressen: Let me just make sure I understand this. The person sits in the chair and that chair, can be lifted and turned and the beams are stationary aimed a the patient?

Dr. Hendrickson: The whole room lifts or turns on the elevator shaft.

Dr. Phillips: You were in an elevator actually?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yeah.

Dr. Gressen: So you're literally treating people in an elevator shaft that can be turned?

Dr. Hendrickson: Yes.

Dr. Gressen: All right, I don't think we do that often anymore.

Dr. Hendrickson: Well, it gives you all the degrees of freedom that rotational therapy does.

Dr. Gressen: I just think it's hilarious and you just basically can move the entire elevator shaft how you want to aim your beam however you would like it.

Dr. Hendrickson: Exactly.

Dr. Gressen: And I guess you had lasers for positioning the patient?

Dr. Hendrickson: Exactly.

Dr. Gressen: Okay, so there are lasers on the side. And in your hand it looks like you have some type of an immobilization device in your hand that you're probably going to apply to the patient to make sure he doesn't move, you line him up, and then I guess you aim the beams through the elevator shaft.

Dr. Hendrickson: Exactly.

Dr. Gressen: All right, well, I will tell you that is rather interesting.

Dr. Phillips: Okay. Now, Frank, do you have any reflections on the status of today in radiation oncology and the future direction it ought to take?

Dr. Hendrickson: I really don't because I've been out of contact now for more than a decade and I don't read the Red Journal anymore and I am not sufficiently adept on the computer to bring up articles there. So I have, unfortunately, lost a little contact.