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Rc72 OP t1_iuhu01l wrote

AFAIK the term “chemotherapy” wasn’t used before cancer chemotherapy, and it was adopted as an analogous construction to “radiotherapy”. Just as in cancer radiotherapy the radiation is targeted to destroy the cancerous cells, in cancer chemotherapy those cells are “chemically targeted” for destruction. The insight that cancerous cells could be more vulnerable than non-cancerous cells to some chemicals was gained in the aftermath of the Bari disaster, by the military surgeon reporting the effects of mustard gas on the sailors.