- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Sidney Farber

Born  1903
Died  1973

Related eponyms

American paediatrician, 1903-1973.

Biography of Sidney Farber

Sidney Farber Sidney Farber is regarded as one of the founders of the speciality of paediatric pathology. After qualifying in medicine at Harvard in 1927 he trained in pathology and became a pathologist to the Children's Hospital, Boston. Here he established a programme of teaching and research that was specially directed towards disorders of childhood.

Farber worked at the Mayo Clinic when he first described "his" condition and then at the Children’s Medical Centre, Harvard Medical School, Boston, where he introduced methotrexate in the treatment of childhood leukaemia. Farber made notable contributions in the field of neoplastic disease and his involvement with this problem led him to organise a Children's Cancer Research Foundation.

The Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program was conceived in 1955 when Dr. Sidney Farber, Mary Lasker, and others approached Congress with a proposal that it increase support for studies of chemotherapy for cancer. Congress responded by appropriating $5 million to the National Cancer Institute to establish the Chemotherapy National Service Center. By 1958, seventeen Groups were organized which operated under research grants from NCI; their main thrust was the testing of new anticancer agents from the NCI drug development program. Over the intervening years the Program has evolved into one which places major emphasis on definitive studies of combined modality approaches to the treatment of cancer.

The Society for Pediatric Pathology, founded in 1965, since 1978 presents an annual Sidney Farber Lecture which features an indepth view of current topics in developmental pathology.

Farber was a member of several governmental committees on medical research and was involved with a number of lay organisations and professional bodies. His name is attached with the Sidney Farber Cancer Institute, Dept. Pediatric Oncology & Hematology, Harvard Medical School, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Sidney Farber died from a heart attack in 1973, at the age of 70 years.


  • LeRoy Dryden Fothergill (1901-1861), H. Dingle, S. Farber, M. L. Connerley:
    Human encephalitis caused by the virus of the eastern variety of equine encephalomyelitis.
    New England Journal of Medicine, Boston, 1938: 219: 411.
    Isolation of the virus of Eastern equine encephalitis from man.
  • S. Farber, Louis Klein Diamond (1902-), R. D. Mercer, R. F. Sylvester, V. A. Wolff:
    Temporary remissions in acute leukemia in children produced by folic acid antagonist 4-amethopteroylglutamic acid (aminopterin).
    New England Journal of Medicine, Boston, 1946, 238: 787-793.
  • S. Farber, et al (5 co-authors):
    Clinical studies on the carcinolytic action of triethylenephosphoramide.
    Cancer, Philadelphia, 1953, 6: 135-141.
  • S. Farber:
    Carcinolytic action of antibiotics: puromycin and antimocyn. D.
    American Journal of Pathology, Philadelphia, 1944, 31: 582.

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