Biosynthetic Products for Cancer Chemotherapy: Volume 1 by George Pettit

By George Pettit

Cancer exacts a very damaging toll at the world's human populations. in recent times we have now usually heard the expression "war on cancer," yet in comparison to the carnage inflicted by means of melanoma, our clinical and scientific efforts, thus far, would appear extra like a minor skirmish. a few comprehension of the melanoma challenge should be received from a glance on the present and projected casualty checklist for the us. during this state, approximately 700,000 new situations of melanoma could be clinically determined in 1976 and over 1 million identified circumstances will stay taken care of. Over 400,000 of those sufferers will die from melanoma in our bicentennial 12 months. With the occurrence of melanoma within the usa expanding to 5.2% in 1975, in comparison to the 1.1 % every year price skilled for many years, Dr. F. J. Rauscher, Jr.,338 Director of the nationwide melanoma Institute, has expected that greater than 10 million humans can be less than therapy for melanoma and approximately four million will expire from melanoma during this decade. At that expense, melanoma will look in approximately of 3 households and the required therapy will fee a few $15-20 billion according to yr. hence except equipment for the remedy and regulate of melanoma are markedly more suitable, approximately fifty three million american citizens now alive will ultimately be melanoma sufferers. Unfor­ tunately the foremost kinds of human melanoma are nonetheless past healing care by way of surgical and radiological concepts and due to the paucity of presently on hand melanoma chemotherapeutic medicines with healing potential.

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But it was not until 1952 that Schulte 365 employed actinomycin B against Hodgkin's disease. Farber95 ,96,97 reported additional work in 1955. These very encouraging results with the actinomycins set the stage for the uncovering of the series of antibiotic antineoplastic agents made available during the 1960's. 35,108 The isolation of cancer chemotherapeutic agents from animal sources began to be successful in terms of clinical agents in the 1950's. Discovery of the previously unknown marine animal I3-D-arabinosyl nucleosides spongouridine (39) and spongothymidine (40) by Bergmann and Feeney25,26 led to the synthesis of cytosine arabinoside 152 (ara-C, 17) in 1959.

Indeed some of this information still forms an integral part of traditional Chinese medical treatment, and a variety of plant extracts are currently in use as supportive measures for contemporary cancer treatment. S. Academy of Sciences medical and pharmacology delegation to the People's Republic of China in 1974, this writer was pleased to see that quotation prominently displayed in the Peking Institute of Materia Medica, where new cancer chemotherapeutic agents are being developed. C. ) may have been the first to use the word carcinoma.

Already this approach is giving good results in breast cancer and gives hope of similar successes in lungSI and colon cancer. 102 The extensive study led by Fischer and Carbone and colleagues lOO employing L-phenylalanine mustard (L-PAM) for adjuvant chemotherapy (with mastectomy) in patients with primary breast cancer (and positive axillary nodes) has established the effectiveness of this approach to treatment. Normally over 70% of such patients with axillary node metastases will expire from breast cancer.

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