For their discoveries of the therapeutic effects of arsenic trioxide and all trans-retinoic acid on acute promyelocytic leukemia.

2020 The Life Science Prize Laureate

Tingdong Zhang
For their discoveries of the therapeutic effects of arsenic trioxide and all trans-retinoic acid on acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Harbin Medical University First Affiliated Hospital


Cancer remains a major threat to human health. In the global effort of fighting cancer, Tingdong Zhang and Zhenyi Wang made seminal discoveries which transformed the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which used to be one of the most lethal leukemia. For thousands of years, arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been used to treat different diseases without generally accepted therapeutic effects. Work by Tingdong Zhang and colleagues in the 1970s was the first to clearly demonstrate that ATO could treat APL patients. Work by Zhenyi Wang and colleagues in the 1980s demonstrated that ATRA could be used to treat APL in human patients. Both discoveries have been replicated internationally, with ATO and ATRA as the standard therapeutic agents today, saving the lives of patients globally. 

 

Tingdong Zhang, born 1932 in Hebei, is a professor at the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

Zhenyi Wang, born 1924 in Shanghai, is a professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China


1. Zhang TD, Zhang PF, Wang SR, and Han TY (1973). Preliminary clinical observations of 6 cases of leukemia treated by “Ailin solution”. Med Pharm Heilongjiang 1973(3):66-67.

2. Rong FX and Zhang TD (1979). A report on long term survival of 2 cases of acute granulocytic leukemia. J New Med Pharm 1979(6):31-34.

3. Zhang TD and Rong FX (1979). Treatment of acute granulocytic leukemia by Ailin No.1 and dialectic theory. Medicine and Pharmacy of Heilongjiang 1979(4):7-11

4. Huang ME, Ye YC, Chen SR, Zhao JC, Gu LJ, Cai JR, Zhao L, Xie JX, Shen ZX & Wang ZY (1987). All-trans retinoic acid with or without low dose cytosine arabinoside in acute promyelocytic leukemia: report of 6 cases. Chinese Medical Journal 100:949-953.

5.  Huang ME, Ye YC, Chen SR, Chai JR, Lu JX, Zhoa L, Gu LJ, Wang ZY (1988) Use of all-trans retinoic acid in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia. Blood 72:567-572.


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