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History of Chemotherapy  

Nowadays, the term chemotherapy is in the mouth of everyone, rich and poor. Our contemporaries use the term chemotherapy to describe the treatment against cancer, yet the invention of the chemotherapy was not solely for the treatment of cancer.  

The word chemotherapy was used for the first time by Paul Ehrlich; he is, therefore, considered as the father of modern chemotherapy for his work in hematology and immunology. In 1908, Ehrlich's search for antibacterial substances to combat syphilis, he discovered, with his collaborator Sahachiro Hata, Salvarsan or 606 (later named Neosalvarsan or 912), an arsenic compound used to treat syphilis and trypanosomiasis (or trypanosomosis) . Salvarsan is considered as the first chemotherapy medication and source of inspiration for the invention of other modern chemotherapy drugs.  

In December 1943 , a ship of American sailors, John Harvey (ship), transported 100 tons of mustard gas was attacked and sunk by German planes. The sinking exposed the marine to the gas, and caused a life threatening hematologic toxicity. In search of treatment, researchers lead to the first trials of treatment with nitrogen mustard. It was the beginning of chemotherapy use in the treatment of cancer. Nowadays, thanks to advances in medical science, there are plenty of chemotherapy drugs for all types of cancer. In fact, some cancer patients are fully cured of cancer through chemotherapy.