Editor's note: Citation Classics Commentaries were written by the first authors of some of the most highly cited studies published between 1961 and 1975. The essays were originally published between 1977 and 1993 in Current Contents, a publication of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), now Thomson Scientific. (ISI was founded by Eugene Garfield, also the founder of The Scientist.) In this essay, published in 1980, Seymour Cohen describes the experiments that led to the development of tumor-fighting agents.Cohen's study reported that 5-fluorouracil, a previously-discovered anti-tumor agent, blocked cell cycle replication by inhibiting thymine production in bacteria and phage, identifying a crucial target in preventing tumor growth. The paper has been cited more than 775 times, according to the ISI database, and laid the groundwork for research on potential chemotherapeutic drugs. The bulk of Cohen's research at the University of Pennsylvania, and later, at the State University of New York...
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