Sidney Farber (1903-1973) was a pediatric
pathologist. He was born in 1903 in Buffalo, New York, the third oldest of a family of 14 children. He was a graduate of the University of Buffaloin 1923. He took his first year of medical school at the Universities of Heidelberg and Freiburg in Germany. He entered Harvard Medical Schoolas a second-year student and graduated in 1927. He was married to Norma C. Farber (formerly Holzman), a children's author. He was the brother of the noted philosopher and UB professor, Marvin Farber(1901-1980).
After graduate training in pathology at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (the predecessor of
Brigham and Women's Hospital) in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was mentored by Kenneth Blackfan, Farber was appointed to a resident pathologist post at Children's Hospital. He became an assistant in pathology at Harvard Medical School in 1928. In 1929, he became the first full-time pathologist to be based at Children's Hospital.
While working at Harvard Medical School on a research project funded by a grant from the
American Cancer Society, he carried out both the preclinical and clinical evaluation of aminopterin, a folate antagonist in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He showed for the first time that induction of clinical and hematological remissionin this disease was achievable. These findings promoted Farber as the "father" of the modern era of chemotherapy for neoplastic disease, having already been recognized for a decade as the "father" of modern pediatric pathology.
Dana-Farber Cancer Instituteis partly named after him. Farber Hall, built in 1953 on the South Campus of the University at Buffalo, The State University of New Yorkis named for him.
History of cancer chemotherapy
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
* [http://www.dfci.harvard.edu/ Dana-Farber Cancer Institute]
* [http://www.cancer.org American Cancer Society]
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