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October 1941


Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;34(4):809-819. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660040865013

Paul Ehrlich once said that specific chemotherapy was the goal toward which research workers should strive and conjectured that if sufficient effort were expended along this line therapeutic agents for the treatment of all diseases of infectious origin would ultimately be discovered. To add weight to this prophecy, he gave the world arsphenamine (his salvarsan), the basis for all present day antisyphilitic therapy.

After that time little progress was made in chemotherapy until the advent of paraaminobenzenesulfonamide (now known as sulfanilamide) and kindred drugs, which has given new impetus to both experimental and clinical chemotherapy.

HISTORY  Sulfanilamide, contrary to the belief of many, did not appear suddenly as the fruition of one experiment; it was rather the product of numerous investigations extending over thirty years.Gelmo, in 1908, working with azo dyes, first mentioned paraaminobenzenesulfonamide, but as no experimental or clinical applications resulted from his work, his discovery is of