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Video: The Risks Of Cancer Treatment

Doctors at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discuss the risks involved in treating the disease


When Emil J Freireich, M.D. developed combination chemotherapy at the National Cancer Institute in the mid-20th century, officials feared his practice, which involved giving childhood leukemia patients four drugs at once, was too risky.

“We went to the cooperative group and said we wanted to do that,” says Freireich. “And they said, ‘that’s ridiculous; it’s way too dangerous.'”

The study ultimately produced the first effective treatment of childhood leukemia and Freireich’s work serves as a major topic in “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a three-part series that airs tonight through Wednesday at 8 p.m. on TV 8.

Freireich is one of five doctors from MD Anderson Cancer Center who were interviewed for the series and we spoke with three of them, including Freireich, to discuss the risks and side effects associated with fighting the disease.