Sidney Farber is the first person to discover that a drug, called aminopterin, can influence remissions in acute lymphocytic leukemia in children.

Read more:


1949 - 1956

Leon Jacobson and others discover that shielding a mouse's spleen from radiation can protect the mouse from otherwise lethal radiation. Backing off of that, scientists learn that the body recruits stem cells to protect and heal itself from radiation damage. This created the way for the develop and widespread use of stem cell transplantation in patients.

Read more:

Combination Chemotherapy

Approx. 1958

Scientists find that a combination of the drugs 6-mecaptopurine and methotrexate can reduce or eliminate cancer growth and extend survival in patients with leukemia. allowing doctors to attack cancer cells from different angles creating a new era where "Combination Chemotherapy" is now a newer and better treatment.

Read more:

Cytarobine Boost

1960 - 1970

the drug cytarabine has activity against leukemias and is highly effective for treating a type of the disease known as acute myelocytic leukemia. But after a while, the drug became a critical component of chemotherapy, they learn that precise timing is critical to a successful treatment.

Read more:

Philadelphia Chromosome


Investigators in Philadelphia notice a chromosomal abnormality linked to many leukemia cases. A decade later, researchers find that this abnormality results when parts of two chromosomes – chromosomes 9 and 22 – switch places which is now known as translocation. later it becomes the target of one of the first-ever targeted cancer treatments that transforms treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia and other cancers, known as imatinib (Gleevec).

Read more:

Vinblastine and Vincristine


After researchers approve "Vinblastine" they show that the drug blocks a key protein involved in cancer cell division and induces some leukemias and lymphomas into remission. Vicristine is a sister drug to Vinblastine. They are drugs in a family of chemotherapies, later after more research and investigating a development of similar and more effective and less toxic drugs for leukemia and other cancers.

Read more:



Doxorubicin a anticancer antibiotic, is used to treat many cancer types, including some leukemias. Cytarabine, doxorubicin induces acute myelogenous leukemia remissions by damaging the DNA of cancer cells. On the other hand doxorubicin and similar drugs can cause serious and often long term side effects which require long-term monitoring.

Read more:



Chlorambucil can slow chronic lymphocytic leukemia progresss, the second most common type of leukemia in adults. Then a second drug called fludarabine is found, and proven effective for patients who do not respond to chlorabucil.

Read more:


1980 - 1990

Scientists find that exposure to benzene, is associated with increased risk of developing non-lymphocytic leukemia and other diseases. Widely workers begin taking steps to protect themselves from benzene exposure and reduce their cancer risk.

Read more:

Bone Marrow Transplant


NMDP operates unrelated adult donors. The registry facilitates and expedites matches between marrow and umbilical cord blood donors and the patients who need these lifesaving transplants.

Read more:

Epigenic Drug

2004 - 2006

In 2004 the FDA approved azacytidine and in 2006 they approved decitabine for treatment for MDS, which is a group of blood disorders that can progress to leukemia. These drugs interfere with the growth or progression of cancer cells. Slowing down the cancer, giving the patient a longer life expectancy.

Read more:



Bendamustine is found to triple the time it takes for cancer to progress and produce more complete remissions than the standard chemotherapy. This drug was later in early 2008 approved by the FDA as a treatment for the disease.

Read more:



A long-term trial establishes that adding the targeted drug rituximab to initial treatment with the drug fludarabinemwill slow the progression of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This is the first ever found extend the lives of patients with the disease.

Read more: