Pharmacology of Chemotherapeutic Agents

  • Nicholas R. Bachur
Part of the Developments in Oncology book series (DION, volume 12)


During the recorded history of mankind, we have continually sought cures to our ills. This quest has included search for a magic bullet, a substance or chemical that will relieve us of our cancers. The first sustained efforts in the discovery of anticancer drugs began just 40 years ago, with the clinical trials of nitrogen mustards and alkylating agents [1,2]. This coincided with the entrance of the biological sciences into a Golden Era, a time when fundamental life processes were being explained and understood in chemical and physical terms. With the elucidation of cellular metabolic pathways and metabolites came the design and development of antimetabolites such as the antifolates [3]. Other classes of chemo-therapeutic agents evolved until the rate of development doubled in the early 1960s. This doubling of anticancer-drug discoveries was the result of increased governmental funding for research, the increased search for substances with anticancer activity, and the development of new methods for drug screening such as new transplantable animal tumors to screen for active drugs [4].


Chemotherapeutic Agent Anticancer Drug Vinca Alkaloid Nitrogen Mustard Form Chemical Bond 
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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, The Hague/Boston/London 1983

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  • Nicholas R. Bachur

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