Moscow: tip. Rekord, 1910. Octavo (22.5 × 15 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 82 pp. With a frontis portrait of Prof. Ehrlich and Dr. Sahachiro Hata. Wear and soil to wrappers; lacking rear wrapper; spine with tape repair and fraying to wrapper edges and spine extremities. Still good.
First and only edition. Appealing to a broad audience, this brochure promotes compound “606” or Salvarsan, which was the first effective treatment of syphilis and the first chemotherapy agent synthesized in 1909 by the German professor Paul Ehrlich (1854–1915). The compound contained arsenic and was later found to cause infertility, which led to its discontinuation. News of the agent first appeared in the Russian medical press in April 1910. Ehrlich began to introduce the compound in the same year by sending small samples to doctors all over the world, including to Russia, asking for detailed reports in return. The pamphlet contains articles by A. B. Kachkachev and Dr. R. E. Pasternak and likely contributed to the distribution of the drug in the Russian Empire. This publication includes articles on history of Syphilis before “606”, as well as an article on chemotherapy and the development of the compound. Also included are a biographical sketch of Professor Ehrlich, who was by then a Nobel laureate, having received the prize in 1908 for his work in immunology, and a sketch on the history of his institute. A large final section is devoted to opinions of contemporary doctors and scientists on the new treatment including those of Prof. Mechnikov with whom Ehrlich shared the Nobel prize and Prof. Zabolotnyi, a leading epidemiologist of the Russian empire and an expert of syphilis. The compound was commissioned by the Moscow City Council for use in city hospitals by the end of 1910. Professor Ehrlich and his collaborator Dr. Sahachiro Hata, who later distributed the compound in his native Japan, are pictured on the frontis portrait of the brochure. As of January 2020, KVK and OCLC show only the copy at the National Library of Medicine.
Book ID: 50297