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|Paul Ehrlich: "Father of Chemotherapy"|
*Information below gathered from: http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/chemotherapy-history.htm
Much of the original work leading to the ‘magic bullets’ is credited to a German bacteriologist from Frankfurt - Paul Ehrlich.
He was awarded a Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1908 for some of his pioneering work and is considered the ‘father of modern Immunology and Chemotherapy’
After Ehrlich laid down the principles, the treatment of cancer cells using chemotherapeutic agents was first carried out in the 1950s.
The first drug used in treating cancer is an accidental discovery. During the World War II, mustard gas was used as a warfare agent. It was discovered that individuals who were accidentally exposed to mustard gas had low WBC counts.
It was reasoned that an agent with such an effect on the rapidly-dividing WBC could have the same effect on cancer cells too.
As a result, the drug was intravenously used to treat individuals with late-stage lymphomas with dramatic early results.