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Related to Chemotherapeutic Agent: chemotherapy
the name given to various groups of drugs used in chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis. Chemotherapeutic agents include substances of natural origin (for example, antibiotics) and synthetic preparations (for example, sulfanilamides, nitrofurans, and para-aminosalicylic acid). Antimicrobial, antiparasitic, and antineoplastic chemotherapeutic agents are distinguished. With the discovery and use of sulfanilamides (G. Domagk) and antibiotics (A. Fleming, H. Florey, and E. Chain) in the 1930’s and 1940’s, chemotherapeutic agents became the principal means of treating infectious diseases. In the 1940’s and 1950’s nitrogen mustard and many other agents became important in the treatment of malignant tumors.