Major Cancer Milestones in History, From ASCO’s CancerProgress.Net

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Alfred A. Gilman

Louis Goodman

To help tell the story of progress against cancer, ASCO launched CancerProgress.Net in 2011. The site is intended as a resource for media, policymakers, oncologists, advocates, and the public. One central feature of the site is an interactive timeline of major milestones in cancer treatment, prevention, and detection, covering 18 different cancer types. The site was developed under the guidance of an ASCO editorial board of expert oncologists.


1949 First chemotherapy drug approved for cancer

Following results of clinical trials conducted in 1946 and 1947, nitrogen mustard is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. Nitrogen mustard, also known as mustard gas and stockpiled as a weapon in World War II, kills cancer cells by modifying their DNA. Its discovery spurs rapid advancements in chemotherapy, and the drug still receives some use today in combination chemotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma.




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