For contributions that laid the foundations for the chemotherapy of cancer.
Howard Skipper's studies of the metabolic actions of anticancer drugs in normal and tumor-bearing animals revealed the mechanism of inhibition of nucleic acid synthesis by folic acid antagonists. He developed quantitative biological tumor models to elucidate the kinetics of tumor inhibition and regression, demonstrated the curability of cancer in several animal tumor model systems, and first introduced the concept of total cell kill.
Dr. Skipper's development of the principles of combination chemotherapy and the demonstration that many combinations of anticancer drugs have less than cumulative toxicity for normal cells have had a profound effect on clinical studies of cancer and on the improvement of cancer chemotherapy through optimal dose scheduling.
His experimental work elucidated the logic of chemotherapy as an adjunct to surgery and has delineated the idea of prompt eradication of all evidence of disease.
For Dr. Skipper's multidisciplinary contributions and insights which have increased our understanding of the biological, biochemical and pharmacological interrelationships between tumor cells, normal cells and effective anticancer drugs and which have laid the foundation for the present advances in cancer chemotherapy, this 1974 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award is given.