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How did the United States' controversial decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan lead to a development in the understanding of cancer treatment?


- In the 1940s Sydney Farber raised more than $150,000 for his own treatment centre for leukaemia patients. 


- Combination chemotherapy for leukaemia showed promise but had limitations. 


The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

On 6th and 9th August 1945, the United States of America detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively. The bombings killed 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in an armed conflict.

The Japanese medical community observed that the bone marrow of victims of the atomic bombings were completely destroyed with radiation, and this led to the development of bone marrow transplants for leukaemia.

Since World War II, trends in cancer treatment improved on a micro-level, the treatment methods were standardised, and globalised to find cures through epidemiology and international partnerships.

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