A tribute to Sidney Farber – the father of modern chemotherapy

  title={A tribute to Sidney Farber – the father of modern chemotherapy},
  author={Denis R. Miller},
  journal={British Journal of Haematology},
  • Denis R. Miller
  • Published 1 July 2006
  • Medicine, Biology
  • British Journal of Haematology
Sidney Farber, world‐renowned paediatric pathologist, made major contributions to his field but is acknowledged as the father of the modern era of chemotherapy. He recognised that folic acid stimulated leukaemic cell growth and enhanced disease progression. He hypothesised that folic acid antagonists would inhibit or arrest the proliferation of cancer cells. His landmark study, published in 1948, demonstrated that a number of folic acid antagonists, including 4‐aminopteroyl‐glutamic acid… 

The Promise of Poison: Life in the Field of Pediatric Cancer Treatment

This dissertation explores practices of total care at Bay Area Children’s Hospital, which is the site of a major pediatric cancer treatment center in the San Francisco Bay Area, and shows how models of pediatric cancer care intersect with models of communication and youth in ways that can produce multivalent effects that range from therapeutic to iatrogenic.

Childhood Leukemias: History of leukemia: historical perspectives

Improved event-free survival with intensified anthracycline treatment in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and with “augmented” postinduction intensification in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) suggests that the limits of indiscriminate intensification of therapy have been reached.

Targeting cancer metabolism in the era of precision oncology

Progress in targeting cancer metabolism therapeutically in the past decade has been limited, and the conceptual framework for drug design must consider the metabolic vulnerabilities of non-cancer cells in the tumour immune microenvironment, as well as those of cancer cells.

Anti-Tumor Therapies-Cases of Breast and Prostate Cancers

A critique of the test guidelines issued by various national and international regulatory bodies and professional societies is provided, providing additional evidence that so-called “population medicine” disregards individual variability and promotes considerably more unnecessary medical testing and procedures.


The review highlights the recent development of antibody-drug conjugates and other immunotoxins, which are capable of delivering highly cytotoxic agents previously deemed too toxic to elicit therapeutic benefit preferentially to neoplastic cells.

Advent of CRISPR Based Immunotherapy in Hematologic Malignancies

While the development of chemotherapeutics for hematologic cancers has advanced tremendously, much progress remains, one area in which the frontier of cancer treatment is being pushed is in multiple myeloma.

Recent Advances in the Development of Antineoplastic Agents Derived from Natural Products

The review highlights the recent development of antibody-drug conjugates and other immunotoxins, which are capable of delivering highly cytotoxic agents previously deemed too toxic to elicit therapeutic benefit preferentially to neoplastic cells.

42nd Congress of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) in Boston: A tribute to the two pioneers in pediatric oncology

One of the founding members and first president of SIOP and Sidney Farber was the founder of the comprehensive pediatric cancer treatment and research center at the Boston Children’s Hospital, a time to remember the two pioneers who made this special occasion possible.

MCL-1 Inhibition Overcomes Anti-apoptotic Adaptation to Targeted Therapies in B-Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

These findings demonstrate that rational sequences of targeted agents with BH3 mimetics, now extensively explored in clinical trials, may improve treatment effectiveness by overcoming anti-apoptotic adaptations in BCP-ALL.

The multiple facets of drug resistance: one history, different approaches

This review aims to appraise the experimental progress in the study of acquired drug resistance of cancer cells in different models as well as to understand the role of CSCs as the major contributing factor in cancer recurrence and metastasis development, describing how C SCs can be identified and isolated.



Some observations on the effect of folic acid antagonists on acute leukemia and other forms of incurable cancer.

No evidence has been presented which would justify the use of the word "cure" of acute leukemia, and two of the most pressing problems demanding solution are concerned with the nature, the prevention, and the treatment of toxic changes, including hemorrhage, produced by these folic acid antagonists.

Chemotherapy in the treatment of leukemia and Wilms' tumor.

Twenty years ago, one fourth of patients with the many diseases grouped under the word "cancer" were cured because of the greatly improved skills of surgeons and radiotherapists, aided by many

Temporary remissions in acute leukemia in children produced by folic acid antagonist, 4-aminopteroyl-glutamic acid.

The occurrence of what the author interpreted as an "acceleration phenomenon" in the leukemic process as seen in the marrow and viscera of children with acute leukemia treated by the injection of folic acid conjugates1 and pteroyltriglutamic acid (teropterin) — and an experience gained from studies on folic .

The enhanced response of the Ridgway osteogenic sarcoma to roentgen radiation combined with actinomycin D.

X-radiation, actinomycin D, and their combination were used in the treatment of mice bearing the Ridgway osteogenic sarcoma, and the augmentation of therapeutic response was found to be independent of the sex of the tumor-bearing animal.

Familial reticuloendotheliosis: concurrence of disease in five siblings.

A fatal syndrome characterized by failure to thrive, eczema, recurrent skin, ear, and respiratory tract infections, lymphadenopathy hepatosplenomegaly, pulmonary infiltrations, and terminal

A lipid metabolic disorder: disseminated lipogranulomatosis; a syndrome with similarity to, and important difference from, Niemann-Pick and Hand-Schüller-Christian disease.

  • S. Farber
  • Medicine
    A.M.A. American journal of diseases of children
  • 1952
In this study, 6 patients with Farber disease (5 females and 1 male) were examined in the last 7 years and the acid ceramidase gene was analyzed and detected 4 novel mutations on them.

Encephalitis in Infants and Children Caused by the Virus of the Eastern Variety of Equine Encephalitis.

During a period of six weeks beginning Aug. 26 and ending Sept. 11, 1938, eight patients were admitted to the Infants' Hospital and to the Children's Hospital suffering from a severe form of encephalitis, which led to the identification of the causative agent as the virus of the eastern type of equine Encephalitis.


The clinical features of idiopathic celiac disease include characteristic wasting, more in the limbs than in the face; distension of the abdomen, which may be soft, doughy, and inelastic, or markedly

Unexpected death in early life.

This Week ’ s Citation Classic

Soon after this method was described, many scientists found that polyethylene glycol could also be used to fuse mammalian cells, insect cells, fungal, algal, and bacterial protoplasts, and soon earned the reputation of being an universal fusogen.