Charles Brenton Huggins
Born: 22 September 1901, Halifax, Canada
Died: 12 January 1997, Chicago, IL, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Chicago, Ben May Laboratory for Cancer Research, Chicago, IL, USA
Prize motivation: "for his discoveries concerning hormonal treatment of prostatic cancer."
Prize share: 1/2
In cancer, cells grow and multiply beyond normal limits. Prostate cancer, which attacks a gland that is part of the male sex organ, is one of the more common forms of cancer. Around 1940 Charles Huggins showed that the course of the disease can be affected by hormones. If the production of male sex hormone is prevented through castration or if female sex hormone is added, the cancer could be counteracted. Hormone treatment for prostate cancer quickly gained traction. Charles Huggins also developed hormone treatment for breast cancer.