Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Paul Ehrlich: "Father of Chemotherapy"

Deutsch: Paul Ehrlich, in seinem Arbeitszimmer...
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Paul Ehrlich: "Father of Chemotherapy"
Born March 14, 1854 - Paul Ehrlich

*Information below gathered from:

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.
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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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