Cancer Chemotherapy II: Laboratory to Clinic

  • G. Powis

Abstract

There are currently over 30 approved drugs for the treatment of cancer in the USA and 36 in the UK. This does not include hormonal agents such as adrenal cortical steroids (cortisone, prednisone), androgens (testosterone), oestrogens (diethystilboestrol), progesterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) which are used in treatment of some hormonally dependent tumours (see Chapter 8). Since the first anticancer drug, nitrogen mustard, was introduced in 1949 there has been a steady increase in the number of anticancer drugs available (Figure 11.1). Approximately two-thirds of the drugs are synthetic while the remainder are of natural origin, being plant or fermentation products. These drugs represent just a very few of an enormous number of compounds that have been tested in animals for anti-tumour activity. Over 275 000 compounds with known structure and an equal number of natural-product extracts have been tested in the USA by the National Cancer Institute in its screening programme, which started in 1955. Screening programmes, although generally on a more limited scale, exist in countries outside the USA and testing is also carried out by the drug industry. Screening for anti-tumour activity relies on the assumption, which remains to be proven, that a correlation exists between a compound’s activity against transplantable tumours in animals and its therapeutic effectiveness in human cancer.

Keywords

Fatigue Lymphoma Sarcoma Folate Androgen 

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Further Reading

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  4. Goldin, A. (1978) Rationale of chemotherapeutic adjuvant treatment. Arch. Geschulstforsch., 48, 627–35Google Scholar
  5. Goldin, A. & Carter, S.K. (1980) Screening and evaluation of antitumor agents. In J.F. Holland & E. Frei (eds) Cancer Medicine, 2nd edn, Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, pp. 633–62Google Scholar
  6. Mihich, E. & Grindey, G.B. (1977) Multiple basis of combination chemotherapy. Cancer, 40, 534–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter B. Farmer and John M. Walker 1985

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  • G. Powis

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