Charles B. Huggins


Charles Brenton Huggins

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Charles Brenton Huggins
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1966

Born: 22 September 1901, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 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. Huggins also developed hormone treatment for breast cancer.

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