Centre for Global Health Histories Lecture
Tuberculosis chemotherapy is often presented as a success story dominated by the use of streptomycin in Medical Research Council clinical trials. However, what this standard rhetoric overlooks is the complexity of tuberculosis drug therapy and the relationship between this and two alternative treatment options, bed-rest and thoracic surgery. Initially, these three treatment strands overlapped and the potential of chemotherapy as a curative option was not immediately apparent. This lecture explores the evolution of treatment using drugs alone, where determining best practice from a plethora of prescribing options was clinically challenging.
This is the 2014 William Bynum Prize-winning lecture. Clare won the prize with her paper ‘Unravelling the ‘tangled web’: Chemotherapy for Tuberculosis in Britain, 1940-1970’, on which this lecture is based.
Other lecture in this series include:
- From colonial times to independence: The Indonesian medical profession, 1900-1950
- Eugenics as a secular religion
- ‘Not everyone can be a Gandhi’: The global Indian medical diaspora in the post-WWII era