for prostate cancer and prolonged remissions and cures for bladder cancer patients.
In 1910, German bacteriologist Paul Ehrlich gave momentum to selectively targeting toxic chemicals for specific diseases by using salvarsan to treat syphilis. Paving the way for antibacterial drugs, Ehrlich's work also piqued the interest in similar "magic bullets" for cancer.
While University of Chicago's Charles B. Huggins (a Nobel laureate), C.V. Hodges and William W. Scott introduced hormone therapy for advanced prostate cancer in 1941, headway on testicular cancer treatment was not made until the 1960s, when actinomycin D became a standard. Some 40 percent to 50 percent of patients responded while 10 percent achieved complete remission.
By the mid-1970s, Melvin L. Samuels, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, capitalized on the synergistic benefits of vinblastine and bleomycin. By combining drugs that interrupted different stages of the cell cycle,